Ongoing Software Development

A more effective approach to ongoing software development, Team-as-a-Service (TaaS)

The Atlas Team

In developing software, what typically happens is this: A company has a smart idea for some software. They spend some time scoping it out and make extensive and elaborate flowcharts of what that software can do. When they feel they’ve mapped out a functioning system, they come to a company like ours and ask us to turn their ideas into an actual piece of software. For a fixed fee and to a deadline.

All of that sounds good in theory…but a theory is all it is. Effectively when someone turns up with all their flowcharts and notes, they’re placing a rather large bet. Everything rests on the assumption that what they’ve been working on for so long can be turned into working code. And that’s where the problem starts.

The problem with non-agile approaches to software development

How many times have you gone to use a recipe book, and what you cook doesn’t turn out anything like the photo, even if you used the specified ingredients and followed the instructions precisely? However experienced the thinking the company puts into mapping out their software, it’s still just a map. And like any map, there will be things it doesn’t show, or doesn’t depict in enough detail to indicate the scope and nature of what it represents.

Typically when we’ve been asked to develop software using a non-Agile methodology, we find out that the plans aren’t up to the job they’re designed to do. That’s not a criticism, just a reflection of the simple fact that making a specification for a web or mobile application, and actually building that software with all its intricacies are two different jobs. And that can lead to tension between the customer and the developer as the software refuses to do what it’s meant to do, the deadline gets nearer, and the developer either has to renegotiate the fee based on the actual time required to get the job done or forget any chance of making a profit, hoping that the longer term client relationship will see the prospect of future returns.

A fresh alternative – Team-as-a-Service

There is another way. This is what we prefer to do, and our customers are increasingly working like this:

Rather than present a detailed plan of what you want your software to do and leave us to discover the flaws in that plan, we can work with you from the earliest stages. From our work with startup companies and of developing our own software products, we’ve embraced the principle of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – a demo that does pretty much what you want, to prove that it can be done.

Once you’ve got a functioning Minimum Viable Product, you can spend time on expanding it to add extra features, make it more user-friendly, and so on – in the knowledge that the core programming does what you need. Why spend weeks going down dead-end roads when you can use your time more efficiently pointing our software experts at your problem and turning it into a winning solution?

Enter, Team-as-a-Service (TaaS)

We call our approach Team-as-a-Service (TaaS). Here’s what you need to know that makes it so popular with the customers who work like this with us:

  • You don’t need to scope out your project upfront. Work on it with us, using our expert team members and Agile or Waterfall methodology. It saves time and money and streamlines communications and processes.
  • We work as partners to ensure delivery, doing whatever it takes to get the job done. If that means we swallow some of the costs to put more people on a project, we’ll do it.
  • We’re in ongoing communication collaborating on a live software project, and that cuts down admin in a major way.
  • You’re working directly with our developers, not communicating to them through account handlers. That saves time, makes communication better, and speeds things up. All of which makes the software project less expensive.
  • You commit to a chunk of time for project development, e.g. six months. And because of your commitment to that relationship, we can offer you substantially discounted rates on our team members. Skills are duplicated throughout the team so you won’t be left in the lurch if someone has a holiday.
  • It’s up to you exactly what you delegate to us, and that can be amended in line with software project progress.
  • You end up with a system that we know intimately as its co-creator, which does what’s required (and probably much more than that). All of which makes life a lot easier when it comes to ongoing maintenance and system development.

With this strategy we’ve revolutionised software development for our customers. Talk to us now on +44 (0)800 133 7948, about how we can make your life easier and produce a whole new class of results.

Our work

Two of our recent software projects, see Our Work for more Case Studies.

Industries & Customers

We have worked closely with a range of industries and truly understand that no two customers or businesses are exactly alike. This is why we tailor our services and technology to our customers specific business needs.

Our varied and extensive industry knowledge ensures that our software development team are perfectly placed to understand and deliver value to your business quickly and efficiently.

Finance

Pharmaceutical

Inventory Management

Manufacturing

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Startups

Customer testimonials

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