“I want everything” – An app developer’s nightmare

Week 1 - Post 2 (Flickr) - Mac D-Skl Photography

One of the most common dilemmas in the world of Outsourced Product Development is the question of how best a developer can be efficacious in delivering the customer’s requirements while dealing with the resources at hand in all its limitations.

The focal point of any project really boils down to what you can handle and what goes beyond your control: and to that effect, the world really seems tilted towards blindly falling in line with the “Golden Triangle of Project Management”. The assertion is that the three basic variables – namely, time, cost and scope of the deliverables – are typically all that are within the control of the one handling the project. Agreeable – but what most such theorists ignore is the fact that there is a fourth component – Quality.

Let’s take an example to break this down. Let’s talk about making a clone of a popular app that should match the kind of aura that original stands for – making waves among the masses.

 

The double rainbow day, if you’d – When you get what you want, at the price, right away and at the quality that makes you proud, pinch yourself. It’s mostly a dream – One where your expectations can turn the reality into a nightmare.

The double rainbow day, if you’d – When you get what you want, at the price, right away and at the quality that makes you proud, pinch yourself. It’s mostly a dream – One where your expectations can turn the reality into a nightmare.

If you need an Uber Clone, at cheap price, good quality and immediately, you’d have to be ready to sacrifice on what it does. You cannot expect it to compare feature by feature with Uber.

If you need an Uber Clone, at cheap price, good quality and immediately, you’d have to be ready to sacrifice on what it does. You cannot expect it to compare feature by feature with Uber.

If you need a Whatsapp clone, at cheap price, in no time and baked with every goodness found on earth, you’d have to be ready to sacrifice on its perceived quality. For all you know it may suck so badly that no one uses it.

If you need a Whatsapp clone, at cheap price, in no time and baked with every goodness found on earth, you’d have to be ready to sacrifice on its perceived quality. For all you know it may suck so badly that no one uses it.

If you need a Tinder clone, at cheap price, good quality and baked with every goodness found on earth, you’d have to be ready to sacrifice on how long it takes to build it.

If you need a Tinder clone, at cheap price, good quality and baked with every goodness found on earth, you’d have to be ready to sacrifice on how long it takes to build it.

If you need to compete with Instagram with same quality or better, more features and get to market really fast, you may have to hire the best in the world and pamper them in a pool of dollars, to give yourself a standing chance. This is also called as the ‘funded startup’ game.

If you need to compete with Instagram with same quality or better, more features and get to market really fast, you may have to hire the best in the world and pamper them in a pool of dollars, to give yourself a standing chance. This is also called as the ‘funded startup’ game.

So here’s the deal: the moment the customer’s expectations come into play mindless maneuvering of the project levers will not necessarily help accomplish the end goal, as the law of marginal utility kicks in. The best way to make this work practically is to ensure that there is a “line of best fit”. Identify the expectations of your customer, and then use that as your springboard: of the four variables, which one is the priority, and which are the most flexible, keeping in mind the expectation? Once it’s clear what the priorities are, it is clear what the customer can expect.

Then go on to set those precise expectations with the customer, in the most explicit way possible.

Good customer experience is not about saying ‘Yes!’ always. It’s rather about saying it the way it is.

 

 

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