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Remote squads: accelerated development of digital products

Agile methodologies, multidisciplinary teams and decisions that consider the user experience are differentials to deliver the best digital solutions.

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Developing new digital products and improving processes with the use of technology can be a challenge for many organizations, but it is a global trend of digital transformation that has no turning back. The market is moving towards innovation, and the consumer is increasingly demanding regarding the experiences received from companies.

Companies that can innovate quickly, using multidisciplinary teams and agile methodologies to develop solutions, and that make product and strategy decisions putting their customers at the core reach the best results. It is also important to highlight the differential of a shared strategy and aligned teams, in which everyone has the same definition of success,” says Gediel Luchetta, Head of Technology at ilegra.

The differentials of high-performance companies

The report Successful Digital Transformation: Apps At The Ready, developed by VMware, indicates that high-performance organizations (HP), that is, those that grow more than 15% per year, are technologically more structured and have better methodologies than those of low performance (UP), which present a fall in the annual revenue.

The numbers become particularly fuzzy in relation to three main points:

  • New software/application development projects arriving in production: 73% HP x 40% UP;
  • The average proportion of time spent by developers and IT decision-makers in the process of developing new applications, compared to other demands: 50% HP x 39% UP;
  • More than half of its development processes can be considered agile: 83% HP x 24% UP.

The survey was carried out between March and April this year, based on interviews with more than 5,000 business and IT decision-makers, and application developers in medium to large companies in 17 countries around the world.

The data presented demonstrate two main factors. First, teams responsible for creating and managing digital projects integrated and aligned with the corporation’s strategy can deliver better products. Secondly, the extent to which agile methodologies make it possible to improve and quickly resolve errors in development.

Therefore, three pillars should work harmoniously for the creation and improvement of digital products to reach its goals: processes that generate minimal technological hurdles; platforms, applications and software that are integrated able to deliver the expected results; and the right people at the right place, at all corporate levels.

In summary, operating with agile methodologies, in multidisciplinary teams able to carry out the best delivery, becomes a differential through the capacity of fast response to challenges.

Product Development 1.0

In the market practice, it is common to find agencies using old concepts towards a new product to be developed. Management 1.0 is focused on costs and short-term decisions. It de-prioritizes initiatives that may deliver a better solution to the end-user. In addition, the outdated administration has little basis on concrete data that is effectively collected from users, making decision-making inefficient, which directly reflects on the quality of the product.

On the other hand, the reality of most software companies presents a context of outdated technology systems. Therefore, these systems accumulate technical debt or offer bad user experiences. This results in inefficient systems that often need a migration, which ends up happening inappropriately.

Added to all this, there is the VUCA environment, volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. What could be considered correct quickly changes at certain times and contexts. In the current scenario, in which the digital transformation is changing the relationship between consumers and brands, the lack of predictability brings increasingly more difficulties for the companies to be confident in their relevance in the market.

However, as previously said, there is a way to navigate this ocean of uncertainty and issues that are found in the market. This is not a rupture in relation to existing methodologies, but an approach based on several agile methods, which seek to respect the preparation stages to deliver the best product possible to the end-user. This basis comes from what is applied in the largest technology companies in the world, including those in the Silicon Valley, such as Airbnb, Lyft, Dropbox, and many others.

The investment that generates savings

Even for companies that already use agile methods, the approach used by remote teams of digital projects development at ilegra, Triple Track Agile (TTA), is an advantage, as other methodologies focus specifically on product creation. In the article Triple Track Agile Approach, the evolution of agile methods there is technical information about how this agile method works and what are its stages.

Here we are going to understand how the multidisciplinary remote squads method brings effectiveness and avoids surprises for the development team. We know that improvements have different costs in distinct phases.

It is estimated that US$ 1 invested in improvements in the research phase corresponds to US$10 invested in changes in the design phase, which become US$100 spent in modification in the development stage. It means that well-applied technologies have a capacity to generate relevant savings by avoiding changes during the product development phase.

The approach of the ilegra remote squads is an evolution in the agile methodology, in which an initial stage is included to understand the strategy of the company, understand the macro goals and identify major challenges that can bring risks. At this time, the focus is on topics that have a large impact on the final product and that need a broad overview, not only assessing the business needs but also noticing whether there are ways to result in more gains in terms of technology.

Therefore, in addition to maintaining its delivery team closer to the company strategy, the multidisciplinary remote squads are also a clear way to reduce costs and they can be used both to modernize an existing solution and to develop a new product.

ilegra remote squads combine design, software development, and product management to create and improve digital products in an accelerated way. They have talents that work with user experience techniques and advanced software architecture methods, aiming to ensure value delivery for the project.

Remote squads in market practice

A strategy to decrease uncertainties and to increase the adaptation capacity. Note that we say “decrease”, and not “eliminate”. There are many problems to be considered. Who would have imagined that in 2020 we would be all isolated at home due to a pandemic?

The challenge, however, can also be a competitor launching an innovative product and threatening the current market leader. In those cases, are the priorities the same? What can we do to react in a faster and more assertive way? Through a remote multidisciplinary squad, with the use of agile methods, continuous improvement, and a product mindset that places the user at the center, a fast reaction can happen.

“The methodology gains of our remote squads, at those times, are resilience and adaptability since the approach predicts uncertainties, which allows for a faster reaction,” says Gediel Luchetta.

Remote squads not only execute, but they help conceive and develop the strategy to reach business goals, based on research, tests and analyses. In addition, the agile methodology stages guiding the teams, Foundation, Discovery, and Delivery, brings together specialized professionals from different areas, resulting in higher productivity, savings, and the delivery of the best product.

Maybe the main requirement to start to plan a new product is to understand and admit that we do not have all the responses and that we need to face uncertainties and challenges in a responsible way. There is not one only solution for all problems, it is necessary to take risks, make mistakes, learn, and build together.

To summarize the work of the remote squads in the market, this is a process that involves a good deal of dialogue and experimentation. Therefore, it is an approach that allows to make mistakes fast and to learn even faster, yielding less loss, generating savings, and offering the best product to the customer.

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