5 Will Get You SIx. Part II: Development
Recently our VP of Sales and Marketing, Tim Bigoness, published this post where he shared his enthusiasm for, and confidence in, the development of our next major software release. In it he also discussed the efforts we have made to improve our processes and productivity. Like many of our customers, the last year and a half came with many challenges. We responded to these by taking a hard look at all the ways we work, identified where we could be more productive, and made important, and often tough, choices about how to work more efficiently. The result has been a year in which we improved upon every aspect of D-Tools’ operations and have prepared ourselves to improve our products and grow our business.
As the CTO of D-Tools, my responsibility is to ensuring that we not only produce quality software but that we also produce a quality product that best addresses the needs of our customers. Late last year we began laying the ground work of what will be our next major software release. As with any major undertaking, we started by identifying what our goals and objectives were. Our primary goal can be summarized in three words: Be More Productive. As we define the requirements for our software we will always ask ourselves the important question, “does this functionality help our customers be more productive?” By helping our customers be more productive in how they work they can be more efficient. If they are more efficient, they will be more profitable. And if they are more profitable, they will grow. This is how we have been able to grow during the hardest of times and its how we believe that we can best help our customers succeed.
As Tim also mentioned, we will be taking our customers along for the ride. For some time the development team has worked with in what is called an Agile process. The methodology is very simple:
- Focus on discrete units of functionality.
- Develop the functionality in a short focused iteration.
- Review the work and determine if its complete and meets our goals.
- If so, move on to the next unit of functionality. If not, repeat until its right.
The result of this process is one where we are completely focused on ensuring the feature is fully “baked” before we move on to other features. It means that at regular intervals we will be able to share our work and elicit your feedback. When we do this, we will be asking for your input and asking the question “will this help you be more productive?”
We have already begun working on our first major unit of work, the tools for managing your equipment, package and labor catalog. In the coming months we will publish a series of blog posts and videos that demonstrate our progress and the functionality of our new software. I personally am excited about what we are working on and I am looking forward to sharing our enthusiasm with all of you.