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Your Development Team Needs to Be Small

Your Development Team Needs to Be Small


The notion of employing a small team for custom development projects is rooted in the philosophy of agility and lean operations. This approach embraces the idea that fewer people can communicate more effectively, reducing the risk of misinterpretation or loss of information. Small teams can create a more focused environment, enabling them to dedicate their full attention to the task at hand. With fewer individuals involved, there's also a higher degree of accountability, as each member's contributions are more visible and significant.

Deliver Functionality Weekly

Breaking down the project into weekly functionality deliverables brings a sense of structure and rhythm to the development process. This approach allows for continuous integration and delivery, fostering a culture of regular feedback and iterative improvement. It provides opportunities to identify potential issues early on, making them easier and less costly to address. Moreover, it encourages a constant forward momentum, which can be psychologically beneficial for the team members, as they can see tangible progress being made on a regular basis.

Live Test Is The Only Real Test

Live testing of these deliverables by users is another critical aspect of this strategy. It offers an avenue for real-world validation of the product under development. User feedback can reveal insights that might not have been anticipated during the planning or development stages, allowing for more user-centric adjustments. It also encourages a strong relationship between the developers and the users, promoting a sense of shared ownership and collaboration.

Determining next steps and future functionality based on live testing results ties into the principles of adaptive planning and evolutionary development. This approach acknowledges that needs and circumstances can change over time, and that the project must be flexible enough to accommodate these shifts. Rather than sticking rigidly to a predefined plan, the development process becomes a dynamic journey that evolves in response to user feedback and changing market conditions.

Continuous Improvement

The strategy of using a small team, delivering weekly, and adjusting based on live testing feedback promotes a more responsive, adaptable, and efficient approach to custom development projects. It encourages a culture of learning and continuous improvement, where the goal is not just to deliver a product, but to create value for the users and the organization.

The top ten reasons to use a small development team for custom programming are:

  1. Enhanced Communication: Smaller teams can communicate more effectively, reducing misunderstandings and miscommunications.
  2. Increased Accountability: Each team member's contributions are more visible and significant, leading to higher accountability.
  3. Greater Focus: With fewer people, there's less distraction and more focus on the project.
  4. Faster Decision Making: Smaller teams can make decisions quicker without the need for extensive consultations.
  5. Flexibility: Small teams can adapt to changes more quickly, making them ideal for projects where requirements might evolve.
  6. User-centric Development: Live testing allows for continuous user feedback, leading to a product that truly meets user needs.
  7. Early Problem Detection: Regular deliverables and live testing can help identify issues early on, reducing the cost and complexity of fixes.
  8. Efficient Use of Resources: A smaller team can reduce overhead costs and make better use of resources.
  9. Strong Team Dynamics: Small teams often develop strong bonds, leading to increased productivity and morale.
  10. Adaptive Planning: The strategy allows for flexible planning, accommodating changes and evolving requirements.

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