Outcome-driven software development: Prioritising customer value over velocity

Software development teams have long been measured by output, but outcome-driven development underscores the importance of results-driven software development. Customers demand products and new features that function properly and add value to their business, more than they value a steady stream of updates with new products and features that have little relevance to their work. This applies to all sectors, be that construction and manufacturing, e-commerce or even professional services.

Shoothill is not your run-of-the-mill software development house, whilst we have our own products that we take to market, this is not the bulk of our portfolio. We build solutions for businesses, bespoke to their needs. In every project, these needs take the form of outcomes, or in simple terms a solution to a problem. While delivering these solutions quickly is always important it must be balanced with a few other key principles.

Achieving customer satisfaction:

Our job simply put is to build and deliver a desired outcome, it is often the case that our customers are not sure what technology needs to be implemented to get there. Be that accelerating a process like invoicing, or an advanced digital-focused marketing campaign, or even a bespoke app development. The practice of outcome-driven development prioritizes the value of software above all else.

Outcome-driven development is informed directly through customer input before the development of a solution or the addition of new features. This process of consultation can be time-intensive, but it ultimately means that the correct and most effective solution is implemented.

It’s for this very purpose that our team pools recognised industry talents, both in our consultational capacity or as a force in software development – because both must work in conjunction to deliver the best solution for the customer’s given outcome. In many instances, this requires the creative application of technology to achieve the desired outcome.

For example in our work for Base, Shoothill has built a cloud-based system that can manage both new leads and existing client projects, generate quotes in the system with a smart PDF output, and can turn a successful quote into a project which is broken into tasks to be distributed amongst staff members according to workload and specialism. The platform also links to Base’s email system and provides clients with bespoke updates on the progress of their projects.   

It represents a complete digital transformation that has streamlined the company’s workflow. At the start of the working day, Base’s team simply need to log in and are presented with the tasks they need to undertake for that day, alongside any notes or supporting documentation. 

Read more about our work with Base here

More efficient development cycles:

When there’s a set outcome to achieve it’s far easier to plan out the development of a project, resulting in much better efficiency. Working in reverse order from a goal and outcome, this style of development can be easily broken up into manageable steps– in our industry these are called sprints.

Each sprint not only provides the easy ability to give project updates to customers, but also ensures that progress towards the set outcome is kept on track. As a result, the development process is optimized to reduce the number of iterations required to achieve a product market fit. In layman’s terms, the solution and as a result the client’s outcome is delivered on time.

This is often vital to a project’s success with our customer’s solutions integrated into their business development roadmap. It also must be said that many in an organisation look forward to a new platform’s launch not only as a result of enhanced efficiency but also with increased staff happiness. A recent study by Ricoh and Opinium, found that 28% of staff would consider leaving a job due to inadequate systems.

Redefining software goals:

Many businesses have been sold solutions not fit for their business, these might take the form of archaic inventory management platforms of perhaps even a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) platform. These platforms are sold as a one-size-fits-all platform, and while brilliant for many strip the room for innovation from a private business.

SaaS vs Custom Software – The pros and cons for business software applications

Outcome-focused software development, on an individual business level, is not possible with SaaS providers – simply because these are developed to be functional hundreds if not thousands of customers, while they may satisfy, they won’t excel.

Housebuilder Pro, one of our products, has been built and developed for 5 years now. Housebuilder Pro effectively became a SaaS platform for the new homes industry. Development of Housebuilder Pro has incorporated this outcome-led philosophy, this has been hard for the team at times. We’ve balanced the desires of many customers with the same attentiveness as you do with only 1, that’s tricky and requires a lot of admin and customer relationship management.

With a custom platform, built for only 1 company, the needs of the many no longer outweigh the needs of the few, an individual business’ desired outcome is the priority – as a result this leads to truly optimal results for that organisation.

In conclusion, outcome-driven development is all about the value of outcomes over outputs. By prioritizing customer value over velocity, software development teams can deliver products and new features that function properly and add value to customers. Outcome-led development that prioritises your business needs is only truly possible with custom software development.

If you’d like to find out more about Shoothill’s development philosophy or even begin your journey with us get in touch with the team here.