Help, it’s chaos! I cannot manage my software

het is chaos! Ik krijg mijn software niet op ordec

Building software is not just something you do on a whim. It involves a lot: from idea and design to programming and managing a team. And there comes the challenge right away: translating your idea – through the programmers – into a final product. To achieve this, you need a good and structured process. Because when you do not have a good grip, guaranteed chaos arises and you can’t get the software right. So, let’s talk about that process!

Building software is a process

Building software starts with an idea: the idea of the pioneer who has a mission and wants to solve a problem. The idea is often translated into a flat structure with a general description. Then a team of programmers is assembled to build the software with this structure. These steps are all necessary, but they’re not enough. There are in fact many more small steps that need to be incorporated into a good process. And startups often do not approach the construction of software as a process. They do start a process, but it quickly becomes a chaotic process. The result: the pioneer asks for A but gets Z delivered. There is, therefore, a mismatch and that’s because entrepreneurs often do not know that the ‘process’ is cut up into very small pieces.  

Breaking up into deliverable pieces

This is how we – Wise Minds – approach software: we break up the process into deliverable pieces. Those deliverable pieces – also called sprints – are also broken up into pieces again: the so-called user stories. A user story is a short description of what the end-user wants to do with this ‘piece’ of software. An administrator, for example, wants to receive an email if he has forgotten his password. You describe this in one user story. The features are also processed in user stories. The user stories are then planned into a sprint of about 2 weeks. At the end of each sprint, the programmers deliver a piece of software (a product).

For every user story, a proof of concept is always delivered with which you conduct a pilot: is everything correct and does it work? In the following sprints, the product is improved until it is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP): the first version of a product that is rolled out to the customer. Thus, it is a whole journey before a piece of software becomes a MVP. And you need a structured process with clear communication to the programmers for that.

Traceable and Verifiable

Because the process is cut into so many deliverable pieces, everything is traceable and verifiable. Everyone knows exactly who is building which user story and when it is delivered and tested. Is a user story or feature tested and validated? Then it is approved and checked off. If a user story is rejected, then you can see when that was and which feedback was given. Is there a bug? Then you see exactly who is or was dealing with it. This process provides overview, focus, and prospects. Wise Minds uses handy tools to not only make this process traceable and verifiable but also to for instance, keep track of code versions.

Work in process…

To guide this whole process properly, you not only need the right tools but also the right people. Think of good project managers who guide the process and manage the programmers. They also, for instance, check if a user story is really finished. In this way, you guarantee quality and prevent the process from becoming a chaos again. And coincidentally, we have these people ready, along with the right tools. Would you like to meet them? They would love to show you how to create a working process out of chaos.


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