Custom Software: The Lean Approach

Recently One80 was asked to provide an estimate to a small startup company.  They were looking to build custom software to enhance their existing platform.  The company had a nice set of high-level features that they wished to build, had spent some time interviewing potential users, and even had commitments from several to beta test.

With all the due diligence completed, the client was ready to hire someone to build the new platform.  They had taken the “build it and they will come” approach.

We came in and reviewed their feature set.  We asked a lot of questions about the new custom software, about the problem they were attempting to solve, and the users that they planned to target.  It quickly became clear to us that building the entire platform may not be the best path.  

One80 reviewed the Lean Start-up approach with the client.  We quickly transitioned to the idea of testing the product idea and generating data to help validate the product.  We settled on the Wizard of Oz approach.

For those who are not familiar with the Wizard of Oz approach to custom software development, let me explain:  Just like the iconic movie, what a user sees is not necessarily the whole picture. 

agile software development

The Wizard of Oz approach validates learning by building a functioning user interface. The user interface is nice and it works, but behind the scenes the process of completing the transaction is done manually.  

The business completes the fulfillment of the application manually while tracking data, learning about custom behavior, establishing process, and reviewing potential options.

By completing Lean Start-up testing, the business can validate if the user will actually use the system the way the stated in the interviews and if the new platform will actually solve the users problem.  

Is this cheating? NO! It is Learning.

Why spend cash to build a platform that you are not 100% sure will actually solve the problem?  By building this small piece of custom software the business can quickly learn and pivot if necessary or continue to build the platform. 

Build a partnership with One80 Services, and build the right product. We start by asking the important questions. 

Contact One80 Services Custom Development today and see how we differ from other custom development companies.  


Share This!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

post =