Leverage The Power Of Consultative Development

The art of pooling in ‘consulting’ to your offshored software development project without the slightest budget markup

When you have outsourced your development to the hands of experts, do you mean you have hired a set of experienced human robots that listen to your requirements and just build it for you. Or are you aware that off-shoring can bring to the package some strong consulting and that too free of cost. Well if you aren’t it’s time you learn the trade.

Let me put this out in a simpler way. Say you are ordering your latest iPhone4 S from an e-store. Store X gives you an iPhone, the exact specs you had asked for. Store Y gives you the phone, gives you options for accessories, recommends a color, and delivers on your door for the same price. Which one do you go for? It’s the same story with this printing house X expecting you to collect the newly ordered books the next day and charges you for storage, whereas with Y, you can collect it any day and still pay the same price. Obvious answer is Y and your question is ‘won’t it be rude to squeeze out of the providers?’ well not exactly as you aren’t asking for any extra service. Real expert companies have this extra mile in-built quality to ‘recommend’. That’s part of their system. Now you know that recommending is huge. If you do not agree, hire and pay a consultant and you’ll know. So your best deal is ‘consultative development’.

Consultative development isn’t just about listening. It can be equated to learning client’s businesses, and guiding them towards an ideal solution. This is crucial as consulting and development are complimentary to each other during every stage of the project. It is not about bringing in the most sought after solution, it is about the ideal solution keeping in mind client’s budget, time, business model, customers and organizational structure. When there is a requirement, the techie sees only the technical need and the consultant sees the business need as well. So it is very important to choose an offshore provider who does both together yet charges only for the development part. It not only reduces your overhead of hiring or recruiting a consultant or doing the math yourself but also helps arriving at the most optimized output.

It’s like the very difference between developing and coding. A developer is creative, he shapes up a product when coders most of the time miss the big picture. This is also one major reason why companies win over individual developers when it comes to serious projects as with the company developers are operating along with the management and the MBA’s. And unlike the same script being resold many times over to a variety of customers, you are treated special by creating a custom solution only for you. To discuss more compelling reasons why you should opt for a hybrid model let me draw a clearer distinction:

Business Eye:

A consultative developer views whatever you show him from the business angle of it as well. They can guide you to the latest trends in technology and the best practices in the industry. They’ll play a good part in your business decisions, which is good, as you’ll be able to make better ones. A lack of consultative eye keeps the coder searching for the technical specs alone and he’ll be concerned more on merely implementing what is being said to him, which is bad because if the specs aren’t perfect in the first place, you are nose diving into a stone pit.

Market performance:

Markets change. Your system should change with it. It might need several functional modifications to fit in to the right target audience, achieve the expected goal and gather sufficient ROI. An average provider will most certainly be myopic towards these fluctuations. Even if he is not, he’ll confine himself to finishing off the tasks before deadline.

A holistic approach:

Perspective matters. When building the code the most crucial factors that need to be kept in mind are scalability, usability, security, maintainability and performance. This is called the 360 degree approach and this ensures smooth implementation right from the incubation stage. If this is overlooked the product/service will have to face several overhauls and revamps in order to keep up.

User Acceptance Testing:

For a consultant UAT is the most important. Though a coder uses numerous technical testing methods, UAT is critical as this is user experience and the very bread and butter for the client. You can see it from the perspectives of Branding, Marketing or Sales, you name it. In order to view it right, the system should have qualified business professionals on board who keeps close watch.

Forecasting:

Only a thorough and experienced foresight can envision load measurements and simulated traffic. This helps to optimize the schema, data structures and algorithms. For a coder, testing environment means maximum load.

Environment:

Hosting platform, server, cloud et al are different branches of the same tree, the environment, which a consultant thinks about for you and coder is the least bothered of. Developer looks for various ways to migrate to the recommended environment.

Production setup:

A prod machine setup will be entirely different from the coding environment. Factors affecting the production system should be considered during the initial development stage itself.

Process:

Capturing, streamlining and managing processes also are keys to successful outcome. Management of timelines, resources, schedule and scope requires a system which only a consultative development atmosphere can offer. An ordinary development team would neither find the budget nor the time helping to keeping them organized at the high level.

Agile Methodology:

The feedbacks, iterative developments, sync-ups, status follow ups, demos and communications simply would not happen without the system and this is in a way consultative development too.

Coders find it hard to get out of their ‘module’. They confine to their own comfort zones at times. A consultant embraces new challenges because it leverages and exercises their own knowledge and expertise.

Hence outsourcing is not just about finding the right technical ability but also finding a system that can bring to the table some business knowledge, market experience, domain exposure, high level perspective and common sense in truck loads. So the best option is to choose someone already into consultative development. Some companies do it unknowingly, some companies charge for it but the real vantage is in short listing a provider who is good at it and does it for free using shared resources and systems. So that’s like a mix of additional skills, intelligent advice and outsider perspective.

Advantages are numerous. Consultative development can contribute significantly towards your business’ reliability, stability, vertical and horizontal scalability, external and internal security and overall improvement of production and performance of your company.

OptiSol Business Solutions actively engages in meticulous consultative development in every phase of its design and development stages with the clients. OptiSol’s organizational structure and system ensures allocation of shared and non billable resources for every project like Project Managers, Associate Consultants, Business Analysts and Product Owners to successfully run the system of consultative development and this helps to limit the project charges to development costs alone. If you would like to know more or would like to do a trial please feel free to mail in your request to info@optisolbusiness.com

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