July 3, 2013

Enabling ‘Optionsability’ in Software Development Projects

One of the most underrated aspects of most IT project implementations today is what I call enabling ‘Optionsability’. It is nothing but merging your Abilities with Options. Embedding this attribute into all your project development lifecycles is one surefire way of delighting your customers and forging long term relationships.

I define optionsability as looking beyond a conventional project delivery model and walking that extra mile for your customers. If your goal is to deliver a flawless software product the first time around, you should be commended for that aspiration. But in the process do not disregard the fact that the real action (read: opportunity) typically begins immediately after you have successfully deployed your product. Only then will you begin to get feedback about what people actually think about your product and analytics that tell you how they actually use it.

In this context it is important to understand the difference between a project mindset and what we at 3Pillar call “the product mindset.” The former is the conventional norm for software development companies, but project-based work is an insufficient and outdated way of thinking about software development. The latter is an approach that helps 3Pillar build confidence in the eyes of our customers and establishes us as a respected partner in product development. You can only achieve a product mindset once you start inculcating a belief system of ‘Enabling Options’ across the length and breadth of your delivery system.

The use of ‘Optionsability’ here is to bring forth an important point. In this day and age of cut-throat competition, customers are constantly looking for that something extra. Delighting your customer has to be the end objective. Adopting this mindset in no means suggests that you execute it right away! All it points to is the need for every product and software development process to explore these opportunities during the initial design or development phase.

The Trademark Adaptive PLM approach that we follow at 3Pillar for every software development is a classic case in point. It is a lifecycle approach to product development aimed towards long term sustainability of a business. At 3Pillar, we believe that delivering on the precise needs of our customers is not the only objective. We strive harder to be their best product development partner by involving them in every stage of the software product development lifecycle.  As a business, you must look for new ways to delight your customers. Enabling Optionsability is certainly one such step in the right direction!