July 31, 2020

Components of a Successful Project

logo
Syberry

Components of a Successful Development Project

All stories of failed vendor-client software development relationships are similar. On the other hand, every successful collaboration is unique.

The reasons for failure could include issues with communication, language and culture barriers, or lack of understanding of the business and technical requirements by the vendor.

While successful projects have more varied stories, however, that success is usually built on a variety of components that lead to successful partnership between the vendor team and the client. Let’s take a look at those components, and then we’ll show you how to determine whether a partnership with a particular vendor is likely to be successful.

The Mindset: “Not Failure” or “Success”

Let’s start with two distinct approaches, or goals, a vendor might bring into the relationship: “Not Failure” and “Success.” This is how the two approaches would look like in a visual form, if we were to take an example of a restaurant.

Here, the "Not Failure” approach includes the bare minimum—some mandatory conditions the process and solution must meet. Meeting them means the project is not a failure, but does it really indicate success? No. “Success” takes the whole project a step farther, adding non-compulsory conditions that will increase the chances of a truly successful experience — one that not only achieves the bare minimum but goes above and beyond to satisfy or exceed the clients’ expectations.

By understanding a potential vendor’s approach to the software development process — especially in considering the integrated team model — we can see whether the vendor relationship is likely to be successful based on their preference to either avoid failure or truly achieve success.

Project Management Tools

Almost every vendor nowadays uses project management and planning tools. These could be commercial tools such as Jira, Redmine, Asana, or Trello, etc., or they could be internally created project roadmaps. These tools are used to reduce delays and risks, and it is impossible to imagine project work without these tools. But the simple fact that a vendor uses a project management tool doesn’t mean the vendor has a success mindset. What matters is how the tools are used.

Delays are fairly common as a project progresses, usually caused by unforeseen obstacles. When a vendor simply uses its project management tools to note those delays, that’s a “Not Failure” mindset. But when the vendor uses those tools to uncover reasons behind delays, overcome obstacles, adjust roadmaps, and ensure the developers and client are still on the same page, that indicates a success mindset.

The only ways to tell whether a team will implement these tools effectively are to look at their history of successful implementation of such tools on previous projects and to ask them to show you how they use the tools today. For example, the client does not need a huge list of specific tasks and deadlines in order to understand the big picture. Those are critical for the developer, but what the client requires is a visual depiction of targets as a whole. A quality vendor knows how to set up roadmaps in such a way that any stakeholder could understand the high-level overview and the current status of the project within a few minutes, as well as the specific short-term targets.

Technical Expertise

These days, many companies offering software development services place the emphasis on the high quality of their engineers. So how can a potential client be sure they’re really getting a quality team who will really provide solutions and not create additional problems?

Having technical expertise alone is part of the “Not Failure” mindset. Everyone vendor on the market likely has technical expertise, but savvy customers are looking for more. Developers who take a success-centric approach will offer not only their technical skills their decision making expertise regarding the right technologies and strategies required to achieve the desired business results. For example, the developer needs to be able to explain the pros and cons of different languages for the project at hand and outline which characteristics should be taken into account for the long-term planning. Implementation is important of course, but to be truly successful, a vendor must also be a strategic partner for its clients.

Sprints

Every client’s project is special and complicated, requiring business analysis and a great deal of decision making. All this might fuel concerns that a team that isn’t composed of full-time employees — with the same loyalty to the company and basic proximity to its leadership — might not be able to get the job done.

So, what do vendors offer to ease these concerns? Sprints.

The method of breaking down the development process into two-week sprints — with regular communication during the sprint and formal updates before and after each — is common practice. If a team is not prepared to work in sprints, that’s a clear red flag for a potential customer.

Many vendors with true success mindsets have introduced weekly sprints, as well. These weekly sprints are particularly useful during complex parts of the project, such as integrating the client and vendor teams, though they may be used for the duration of the lifecycle. Weekly sprints are harder to implement, as they mean additional strain for the teams. But they do provide better visibility into progress toward goals and any challenges that may appear, allowing teams to start on working on improvements before those challenges become thorny obstacles.

Demos

Regular demos are another tool that can be used for accountability and effectiveness. Demos are used to visualize what has been accomplished during each sprint so that the client has full transparency into the project’s development.

Demos can be adapted to address both business and technical stakeholders, whose questions and perspectives will likely be very different. This way all parties are heard and have their questions answered. The result of a successful demo system is that everyone knows how the project is progressing and is still in agreement on goals and next steps.

Determining Whether a Vendor Collaboration Will Be Successful?

Now that you know what to look to determine whether a vendor focused on achieving actual success or simply “not failing”, we can offer some practical advice on selecting the right partner based on some common issues clients have told us they’ve experienced while integrating with other vendor teams. We’ll share the promises you want to hear, as well as how to be confident vendors will keep those promises.

The vendor claims to offer expert help in making technical decisions.

How to check: Even in the initial discussions, before contracts have been signed, don’t be afraid to ask some strategy questions. A quality vendor will be willing and able to make recommendations on the use of particular programming languages and frameworks. They can make a clear case for a specific choice based their experience and perspectives. Additionally, be sure the vendor’s technical director will be overseeing the project and taking part in technical decision making when necessary.

The vendor claims to offer help in business decision making.

How to check: Listen to the questions the vendor asks during initial conversations. They should want to know how the proposed project fits into the overall picture of your business, and their team should include process engineers who can help optimize business processes within your organization.

The vendor claims to incorporate global best practices.

How to check: Ask the vendor to show examples of best practices they have implemented on previous projects.

The vendor claims to set up project management tools for easy tracking of the project status.

How to check: Ask the vendor to explain what tools will be used and to show examples of the use of such tools on previous projects.

The vendor claims to use sprints.

How to check: Ask how the sprints are structured and whether each sprint will show specific results.

The vendor claims to hold demos.

How to check: Ask the vendor to show some previous demos that were held with different types of stakeholders in mind (business and technical).

As we said, every software development success story is different. But that doesn’t mean clients have to go in blind and hope for the best when choosing their vendors. Keep your eyes open for indicators of the “Not Failure” mindset versus the true success mindset. Ask questions, listen carefully, and select the vendors who will work hard to integrate with your team and create the solution you need to achieve your business goals.

July 31, 2020

Explore More Resources:

What our customers say about us

Syberry has provided satisfactory services thus far, and they are very responsive to any issues that arise. The team also possesses strong communication skills. They delivered a functional piece of software at a reasonable price, and they've managed the project very well.

Richard Harkness

CEO, ADEPT Driver

Elk Grove, CA

How we help ADEPT Driver Company

We developed a web-based driving simulator for teens and another for adults. The products run on Chromebooks, and the team added features that enable them to measure a driver's ability to avoid a crash.

Technologies used

I don't think you could find a better company to manage and build your project. I get so many compliments on my application, and it has a lot of unique and complex development.

Todd Surber

CEO, PIXRIT

Charleston, South Carolina

How we help PIXRIT Company

A photographer approached us to build a web-based software platform that combines the fastest social media manager with state-of-the-art galleries and provides the ultimate tool for photographers to upload, store, back up, and share their photos and manage their SMM activities.

Technologies used

The user-friendly software hasn’t encountered any issues or bugs in more than three years. It’s high quality has helped grow the clientele. Straightforward and consistent in communication, Syberry met every deadline and ensured a hassle-free development process.

Vince Hughes

Owner, Steel Estimating Solutions

Knoxville, TN

How we help Steel Estimating Solutions Company

Our client was inspired to create a product that helps steel erection companies perform faster, more efficient estimations and bids. We developed original proprietary software from the initial concept.

Technologies used

The new platform received positive feedback and performs better than its predecessor. Syberry communicated the project’s progress to their partners well by breaking down their steps and utilizing a management system. Most importantly, they delivered world-class service for a cost-efficient price.

Bill Fahy

Owner, FDI Creative Services

Houston, TX

How we help FDI Creative Services Company

Following strict regulations and requirements, we used AWS to develop a custom e-commerce web app that includes shipping integration. Since the site’s launch, the team has continued to make updates.

Technologies used

The application was delivered on time and within budget. Syberry explained their process thoroughly and accommodated to scope changes effortlessly. Their stellar project management, highly responsive communication, and proactive attitude set them apart.

Ricardo Casas

CEO, Fahrenheit Marketing

Austin, TX

How we help Fahrenheit Marketing Company

We developed a large, complex .NET application with various third-party integrations. The team built the software from scratch based on existing wireframes.

Technologies used

The end solution exceeded the client’s expectations. Syberry delivered high-quality products on time and at outstanding value. They provided frequent updates and repeatedly sought feedback at each stage. Customers can expect a highly experienced team that easily translates concepts into solutions.

Ruby Milkovic

Executive Director, Velicom

Austin, TX

How we help Velicom Company

Our team built video streaming software as a web and desktop app for a third-party client. We completed end-to-end development—from scoping to feedback cycles to QA—using PHP and Wowza Streaming Engine.

Technologies used

Syberry has successfully improved the frontend performance of the platform and continues to make thoughtful suggestions for enhancements. They have proven to be communicative and reliable, mitigating the common concerns of outsourced teams. Syberry remains mindful of business goals and client needs.

Cory Kowal

VP of Products, THG Energy Solutions

Tulsa, OK

How we help THG Energy Solutions Company

Taking over for another vendor, we served as the ongoing software engineering partner for an energy company’s cloud-based platform. The company provided scoping, development, testing, and deployment services.

Technologies used

The added team members sufficiently fulfilled the needs of the project. The product was successfully launched and has received positive feedback. Syberry continues to be a supportive partner in development. They provide an impressive team and their expertise fosters a smooth collaboration.

Chris Cox

CTO, MyMelo

Louisville, Kentucky

How we help MyMelo Company

We provided staff augmentation resources for a development project. The team contributed engineers to follow an established roadmap to perform updates and add features.

Technologies used

Syberry delivered a solid website that has become a database of close to 40 organizations. The team worked quickly and efficiently to get the website up and running, and they continue to invest their time into the project. Additionally, they have been a communicative partner.

David Snyder

Product Director, Covid Resource Network

West Orange, New Jersey

How we help Covid Resource Network Company

The company developed a website that serves as a database where organizations can find and donate to other organizations. Currently, the team is working on enhancing the website and fixing bugs.

Technologies used

When the system is up and running, it will save time for the internal team. Syberry was a patient partner, and they performed well throughout the collaboration.

Joyce Cubio

VP of Operations, Ernie's Mobile Home Transport

Yuba, California

How we help Ernie's Mobile Home Transport Company

The team built an information hub for a mobile home transport and permit service. After discussing the existing system and processes, we delivered a new structure for forms and data.

Technologies used

All deliverables have exceeded expectations and function properly once launched. The Syberry team is skilled in juggling multiple projects, and provide strong expertise in software development. Their dedication to the project has fostered continual success in the engagement.

John Fox

Executive VP, Fox Business Automation Solutions

Lakeland, Florida

How we help Fox Business Automation Solutions Company

Brought on as a third party, we supplied ongoing development services. The team work on multiple projects and deliver according to predetermined design specifications.

Technologies used

Contact us to learn more about how Syberry can help your business achieve its every goal!

Sign a mutual NDA NDA preview before a conversation.

When to sign an NDA?

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legal contract between parties, such as the software developer (or a software development firm) and yourself, outlining information to be shared and requiring that information be kept confidential.
Send
Submit loading...

Was this page helpful?