Technical debt is a term that describes the future cost of having to rework a non-performing or inadequate software or technology solution. It’s the software embodiment of short-termism or choosing to take a shortcut or savings now that causes your cost to increase later.
Behavioral scientists are well-acquainted with this phenomenon. Studies repeatedly show that humans undermine our future selves because we are poor at predicting our future needs or are adept at easily rationalizing them away.
This holds true for companies and technical teams too. Under pressure to meet near-term budget or timeline goals, they often avoid the more difficult or proper development path.
While it’s easy to justify, it almost always means more work and higher costs down the road when a system cannot keep pace with technology advances, no longer meets customer expectations or is unable to scale effectively.
Choosing a Software Development Partner
The most effective path to short circuiting our natural human instincts — or to push back on pressure from leadership — is to hire the right design partner.
Few companies have the internal resources to incept, plan and execute a software design on their own. Hiring a development team or consultant enables small- to mid-sized companies to tap premier developers and leverage technology for significant business gains.
While a strong technology partner might seem more expensive upfront, they almost always lower your costs over time because good development partners will ask insightful questions and provide the best guidance. They help avoid the trap of taking too long to develop inferior software now, that will need to be rewritten later when it no longer performs or scales properly.
A commitment to discovery and planning should be a core part of any engagement with a design partner. We’ve found this to be critical in our own work with clients.
A Chariot team recently insisted on a Product Discovery and Requirements Analysis meeting with a new client over that client’s objections. By agreeing to specific, prioritized requirements – including a feature roadmap, backlog and test plan – before ever writing our first line of code, we avoided missteps that would have squandered valuable time and money.
Better Software, Better Business
Far from just avoiding future costs or lost productivity, good design consultants can also maximize budgets in the near term by working smarter, not harder. Their experience and insights can even help unearth new revenue streams or product applications.
This was reinforced when a Chariot team recently advocated for and implemented several front-end refactorings that enabled a client to rapidly develop new features for some entirely new verticals. Our team’s experience with the technology coupled with an awareness of their business challenge allowed us to quickly identify an opportunity and then effectively communicate it “up the chain” to management. The end result was a faster time to market and a broader potential customer base.
Chariot Solutions’ CEO Michael Rappaport talks about the business acumen and communication skills that separate a good consultant from a great one.
Beyond the obvious key attributes of knowledge, productivity and value exhibited by good design partners, this ability to understand business as well as technical needs is vital. Identifying an opportunity and then knowing how to communicate it can deliver exponential value to your company.
A Commitment to Client Success
Here at Chariot Solutions, we operate on the same side of the table as our clients. We win only when customers succeed.
We understood that at the founding of our company 21 years ago, and committed then to hiring only the very best, highest-quality team members in order to set ourselves apart from other development firms.
Software development is incredibly complex and the gap between A-list players and everyone else is enormous. That’s why we still hire exclusively from the top 10% of technical talent who can also demonstrate unmatched professionalism and deep business awareness.
That strategy is why Chariot has flourished over the last two decades and enjoys such a strong reputation amongst its peers and clients. Our development teams are structured as extensions of every client and are committed to helping them achieve their goals and look great in the process.
With Chariot Solutions, you can avoid the pitfalls and mistakes of software development, save time and money, and maximize your business opportunities. Can we help you? Let’s start a conversation today.