If you’re worried about tech debt and considering digital transformation for your software, creating a robust plan is one of the most important steps (after picking the perfect software development partner)
It can be tempting to build something because it’s what customers want. Or because one of your more vocal customers gave you feedback. But your digital transformation project should always be based on your business objectives.
So be structured. Set measures and milestones. And be disciplined about sticking to your plan. It’s the only way you will get the return you are looking for.
Think of your digital transformation plan as a project about your project. You need to set clear goals, agree any measurements and define what great looks like. And all deliverables and key milestones should be really clearly defined.
Your software development partner should help you create a plan as part of a deep-dive software discovery process. As a general rule, the process should take between 10 to 20 days across no more than 6weeks. And your time and inputs are critical.
The planning phase should include in-depth interviews with all teams and customers although the plan should always be based on what you are trying to achieve as a business.
Because the planning process typically involves so many people, this inevitably brings lots of ideas and requirements to the fore.So this is where you have to apply absolute laser focus onto what will really drive the business forward.
There’s an analogy we love about big rocks, pebbles and sand which is a useful visual in this instance; if you fill a jar with sand first and then add the pebbles, there’s no room for the rocks.
And when it comes to digital transformation projects to transform tech debt, you need to focus on the big rocks to keep your project on track.
Some simple questions you can ask to help you focus on the big rocks:
So you’ve got a clear plan that focuses on the big stuff. But then one of your biggest clients requests something else. Do you try to squeeze it in and end up sacrificing something that might have helped you scale? Or do you say no and risk losing loyalty?
The answer is about having structured and open conversations with the customers or businesses you want to do business with.It’s also about having the courage to ask difficult questions. And to record the conversation. So your research leaves you in no doubt about whether a development is worthwhile or not.
Some structured questions you can ask customers requesting a change:
These questions may seem exceptionally direct. But they really help to focus the mind of the customer and filter out irrelevant requests.
Nailing your tech debt plan might seem overwhelming but, breaking it down into a structured, business-lead approach, open conversations with customers and a focus on the big stuff, will help you develop your own belief in the plan. And ultimately, you need to be evangelical about each part of the plan, because you’ll need to convince the rest of the business.
If you want to design a fail-proof plan and guarantee project delivery, book a call with one of our software development specialists to find out more about our Discovery process which guarantees on-time and in-budget delivery
If you would like to discuss a bespoke software development project, challenge or goal please book a 30 minute Clarity Call with us and we'll point you in the right direction (even if you chose not to work with us)