The Overlooked Importance of Attention to Detail in Software Development
In the process of software development, attention to detail will mean very different things to different stakeholders depending on their roles and priorities.
For a technical person like a software engineer or software architect, attention to detail may mean code quality, readability and performance, it might mean coverage of unit tests or it might be descriptive commit messages.
For a product-oriented person, attention to detail may relate to the user experience, calls to action, action feedback, states and behavior of the user interface and how it makes the user feel while using your software.
And for a business-oriented person, it will involve the questions being asked to establish the requirements of the software, the business context in which it will be used, the problem the software is being designed to solve and how those discoveries are consolidated, documented and presented back to the stakeholders for validation.
Throughout the lifespan of a software project from discovery, design, development, testing to maintenance, support and ongoing enhancements, failure to identify and address any detail important to a stakeholder can result in catastrophic consequences to the success of a project and ultimately the ongoing trust and confidence the stakeholders have in the development team.
Engaging a technology partner to outsource software development to is a risky endeavor, there are tens of thousands of low quality/low cost software outsource companies around the globe who all claim they can meet your expectations, but the reality is often that these companies are providing nothing more than development resources at a margin without any framework, culture or processes in place for delivering high quality software that meets the expectations of the stakeholders. It can be a very frustrating and costly experience.
The Cost and Benefits of Attention To Detail
A high-quality technology partner who promotes, encourages and demands attention to detail as part of its culture and has it engrained in its processes can be one of the biggest assets a business can have.
Often businesses will use day rates as a primary metric for comparing technology partners, which is understandable as cost is obviously a primary concern for any business. What some unfortunately take too long to understand is that total costs cannot be inferred from the day rates and that day rates are often a reflection of the attention to detail that will be applied to the customer, the project and the process.
The level of attention to detail is the primary driver of cost in outsourcing software development. Getting a project right the first time through asking the right questions in breadth and depth, short feedback loops to assure all parties the project is on the right track, delivering a result tightly aligned with the vision of all stakeholders and producing code and architecture that is performant, maintainable and free of technical debt is what ultimately saves money and time over the lifespan of a software platform.
Conversely engaging a development team without the tools and culture to demand a high level of attention to detail not only produce results unaligned with the expectations of stakeholders and requirements of the business but often low quality code and architecture, containing high levels of technical debt making ongoing maintenance and enhancements a nightmare and performance unacceptable. This results in higher support and maintanance overheads, higher infrastructure overheads, rework and redevelopment. In scenarios such as this the lower day rates coupled with lower attention to detail will always cost more in the long run than engaging a high-quality partner with attention to every detail of the process and your expectations.
At Groove Technology we’ve been lucky to work with customers and partners who understand the value of attention to detail, appreciate the culture we’ve built around quality and have helped us get listed on the prestigious B2B guide, The Manifest,
If you want to learn more about the nuances of software development, give us a call. We’re always happy to advise and contribute to your decision-making process.