The art of making systems23 July 2021
At Wise Minds we don’t just make a tool. We build systems that bring about change not only in the digital field. What is the art of making systems? I’ll tell you all about that in this blog.
Build like an architect
Building software can be compared to building a building. You start with the building plan, and then you start thinking about the architecture. Is it going to be one system, for example, or do you want multiple components that communicate with each other? And if so, which components? Where is the boundary of the component? We always try to clarify this at the start of the process. Once we have finalized the construction plans, we start construction. First of all, we lay the foundations. Those foundations are important, because the final construction must lean on them. We like to take the time for that. I notice that many customers do not realize what is involved in building software, and how much time each part takes. We are happy to take the customer step by step.
Main goal remains in sight
In addition to the technology, part of the construction plan is also the functionality. To get a clear picture of the functionality you want, you have to ask yourself a number of questions. Who do you want to reach? Who are your users? What should they be able to do with your software? We summarize the information we collect about the user in user stories. Then we sit down with the customer and discuss how we can convert these user stories into a so-called Minimum Viable Product (MVP). In any case, the MVP should already be able to carry out the user’s main purpose.
For example, is the main goal for the user to create a blog? Then you should already be able to do this with the MVP. After that, you can add additional features, such as a comment section or a button to your social media accounts. So the basic functionality comes first. This is the foundation. Then you can tinker with the architecture as much as you want. You can add components, and gradually expand and improve the system. As a software developer you are actually a systems thinker, an architect and a construction worker at the same time. The beauty of such a system is: you can add as much as you want. This way you can make every aspect of your work faster and easier, and you have more time to focus on customer relationships, for example. That’s a huge advantage.
Business model as a system
What are examples of beautiful systems that really add something? Take Uber for example. Actually it is purely a digital card with the possibility to order a taxi. But everything built around it fits very nicely with the main purpose. It offers everything the user needs who is on the street at that moment, and at the same time the system removes all the hassle for the company. It takes care of logistics, administration and money flows. This saves you a lot of costs, without penalizing your customers. That’s what makes it successful. Their entire business model is packaged into a system. That is also something we try to achieve for our customers with our systems.
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