If you are a product, technology, or business leader, and you are building a digital product or undergoing a digital transformation (which, let’s be honest, can be scary), you probably have two questions keeping you up at night:
- Am I building the right thing?
- Am I building it the right way?
This is the difference between creating a digital product that stands out and disrupts the market, versus those that fizzle out wasting time, resources, and cash. Whether you are undertaking a digital transformation at a Fortune 500 company or building a brand new solution as a startup, nobody’s got time for that!
At HatchWorks, our sole focus is to build the right digital product the right way.
We call it the Built Right mindset.
But what does that mean?
Let’s start with the first component: “Am I building the right product?”
Am I building the right product?
The right product must satisfy three critical components. It must be valuable, viable, and feasible.
Your solution must be valuable in the eyes of your end user, which ultimately impacts whether someone will buy or use your product. In order to achieve this you must focus on solving the right problem for the right user. You must have clarity on who your solution is for, and more importantly, what problem it solves for them. To do this, you must first understand your user’s job to be done. In other words, what progress are they looking to achieve?
Everything you add to your roadmap and build should be viewed through this lens.
It is not enough for users to love your solution. It must also work for your business and be economically viable for you to continue building and supporting your solution in a sustainable way.
This can come in the form of:
- Your overall business model,
- Your go to market strategy,
- How you acquire customers, or
- The total costs to build and run your business.
The one thing that can change the viability of your business are market forces. Take the pandemic for instance. It completely ruined the viability of some businesses overnight, while creating new opportunities for others.
P.S. If you are looking for a cost-effective way to build your custom software solution in your timezone, check out our comparison of onshore, offshore, and nearshore costs.
Feasibility is all about whether or not the solution you have defined can actually be developed by your engineering team. This is based on their skill set, available technology, and the agreed upon timeline.
All three of these components must be satisfied to build the right digital product.
Am I building it the right way?
Building the right digital product is critical to get right, but it is all for naught if you don’t build it the right way.
A product that is built right must satisfy these four components: It must be maintainable, scalable, secure, and usable.
The majority of software cost is in ongoing maintenance, not its initial development. Having a maintainable solution is all about making life easier for your developers. A maintainable solution is one that can be repaired, improved, and understood with ease.
A highly maintainable solution possesses these 5 qualities:
- Modular: the solution is composed of discrete components so that a change in one component has minimal impact on others in the system
- Reuseable: The extent to which the solution makes use of assets that can be reused in building other assets in the system
- Analyzable: the ease at which impacts of a change can be easily identified, diagnosed, and analyzed
- Modifiable: The ease at which the solution can be modified without introducing new defects or degrading the existing solution quality
- Testable: The ease at which the system can be tested ideally through automated testing
This is all about how performant your solution is based on the changing demand for your solution. Prioritizing this from the start can lead to lower maintenance costs, a better user experience, and all-around higher agility.
This is more than just throwing your solution in the cloud – it has to be architected the right way to ensure optimal performance over time.
Security must be architected into your solution from the beginning, not an afterthought to be bolted on at the end. In today’s world, this is one area of your solution you can’t skimp on. It’s not just your sensitive data that’s at stake; your customers and users who depend on your solution are also in the balance.
Last but not least, your solution must be usable. Wouldn’t it be a shame to get this far, and not have a usable solution? This goes deeper than just the UI of your solution. It includes the user experience, which must be architected in a way that is enjoyable and friction-free for your end users. To do this, you must keep the user experience top of mind through initial ideation and discovery all the way through delivery.
To sum it up, building a digital product that hits the mark requires more than just throwing some code together and crossing your fingers. As a product, technology, or business leader, you need to constantly ask yourself two questions: Am I building the right thing, and am I building it the right way? This means making sure your product satisfies the critical components of being valuable, viable, and feasible, while also being built in a secure, scalable, maintainable, and usable way.
At HatchWorks, we call this the Built Right mindset, and it’s what we live and breathe every day to help our clients achieve success in their digital transformations. Whether you are building a brand new solution or modernizing an existing one, adopting this mindset is crucial to standing out in today’s fiercely competitive markets.
So, if you want to build a digital product that disrupts the market and sets you up for success, keep these principles in mind and focus on building the right product the right way. Trust us, your customers (and your bottom line) will thank you for it!
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