One may wonder, how come other industries are not facing the same problems as software development does? When you order a pizza online, the experience is incredibly predictable. You can be sure how long it will take. You will also get what you requested.
The comparison to other industries may not be fair - the reason we need software is for it to handle the complexity on our behalf. It is the equivalent of outsourcing the challenging tasks to the software. One could argue that complexity in this industry is inherent and inescapable. Does this mean there is no way to enhance the current state of things?
Our co-founders have been working in the software development industry for nearly 15 years. They have begun their careers as developers. Soon they moved up the ranks to lead multiple delivery teams. They became co-owners of a software development company and participated in its growth from just several to over 100 employees.
Having participated in many successful projects, they also had their fair share of projects that fell short of their goals. Projects like that led to a realization that most software development difficulties are caused by ineffective ways people work. That too many promises are made during the sales process. That not enough time is invested in analysis and planning. That clients are not invited to join in these activities enough. All that results in not having clear acceptance criteria and a realistic delivery plan.
How come most of the projects still get completed? Well, people care and work hard. They manage to push through the finish line despite uncertainty and an inefficient process. Yet sometimes, various negative factors collide, and all hell breaks loose. Projects get stuck at 90%. All talks about the completion date become mere speculations.
Facing the hard truths led to countless evenings spent discussing the problems. It led to studying multiple books on diverse subjects. Most of the needed knowledge already exists. Sometimes we need to admit that there are people more experienced than us. Then we can stand on the shoulders of giants:
Studies led to tens of thousands of hours spent stress testing the newly obtained knowledge in real-world projects.
Gradually, a realization came that quality is an ongoing process and not a one-time event. All these subjects are interrelated. For example, not talking enough to the client results in miscommunication, which results in unclear goals, which results in inefficiencies. Then comes the time pressure, quality concerns, stressed people, employees leaving the company, etc.
Co-founders have discovered that if you are not content with providing merely a mediocre service to your clients, you have to optimize all of these areas at once or not bother trying at all. Starting with plainly defined company values, genuine interest in employee training, realistic promises to clients, up to the project delivery, and beyond.
MeritStory was founded with a vision to make software development less unpredictable and, hopefully, a little more enjoyable for everyone involved. Our mission is to achieve this vision by continuously improving our process, focusing on client experience in all the project stages.
Technology is advancing far too quickly for our story to be complete. You are welcome to join us in our mission to keep up.