3 Secrets to Bigtime ISV Growth

Secret #1: Offshoring Software Development Can Be Costly

After discovering his killer business app idea, build it right away before another software developer beat him to the punch. To avoid overburdening your current staff, subcontract the development work to third parties. The biggest mistake is thinking you could rely on offshore software developers without properly vetting the companies and understanding cultural differences, even though their hourly rates are only about 16% to 20% of what an experienced U.S. software developer charges, it doesn’t mean you’re going to save 80% to 84% on your project development costs if you don’t do your homework first. Skipping these important upfront steps can lead to projects that should have been completed in two months taking a year. I’ve learned that the best way to utilize offshore talent is to work through a seasoned local developer who has offshore experience and can help avoid the pitfalls.

Secret #2: Recognize Where You Need Help

Developing a business software required much different workflows and processes than selling managed services. In addition to the complexity of creating the product, there’s lots of complexity involved in protecting it.  Do not feel that everything developed is proprietary and had to be patented. Be more judicious about which portions of code necessitated legal protection and which didn’t before jumping into several sessions with patent lawyers followed by hefty invoices.

New software developing venture may spread your attention too thin so consider bringing in a wingman.  Someone who can take your to take the helm. Task them with helping to scale and accelerate our digital transformation business growth. Aim to accomplish in such a short term goals quickly and build towards long term achievements.

Bring software development expert when necessary but not too many too soon.  Having a single expert can help control cost and accomplish more during the growth period, especially in optimizing processes and workflows.

Secret #3: If You Have Complex Projects/Workflows, You Need Scrum

Trying to build a skyscraper without first laying the foundation is your biggest pitfall. Build a strong foundation using the Scrum methodology. Scrum is a popular agile project management methodology or framework used primarily for software development projects. Per the SCRUM ALLIANCE, here’s a seven-step overview of how the methodology works:

  • A product owner creates a prioritized wish list called a product backlog.
  • During sprint planning, the team pulls a small chunk from the top of that wish list, a sprint backlog, and decides how to implement those pieces.
  • The team has a certain amount of time — a sprint (usually two to four weeks) — to complete its work, but it meets each day to assess its progress (daily Scrum).
  • Along the way, the ScrumMaster (Note to self: This is one of the greatest titles ever!) keeps the team focused on its goal.
  • At the end of the sprint, the work should be potentially shippable: ready to hand to a customer, put on a store shelf, or show to a stakeholder.
  • The sprint ends with a sprint review and retrospective.
  • As the next sprint begins, the team chooses another chunk of the product backlog and begins working again.

The following video gives a nice visual of how it all works.

Shore up your processes, which includes restructuring chart of accounts and business divisions along with benchmarking companies against each other and operating more efficiently. Build a dev team that includes several seasoned industry veterans. Utilize some offshore coding assistance for certain, low-end or redundant projects, but all the highly technical and important coding happens stateside. Although bringing in a new partner and shifting to onshore software developers can drive up expenses, it may be the smartest move you can make. Not only is your development time significantly faster and agility better, you can achieve results quicker and recognize revenue sooner.

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