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Productization of software

Many domestic enterprises, especially the software industry from the development of a software company, started from two software projects, and project size and complexity is not large, rely on one or two masters, they can moderate the satisfaction of the customer to complete the project successfully. Under Han Jie-based research, the main factor in the success of the project has the following characteristics:

  • If the item is customized form, the project requirements are clear and limited in scope, limited change. Such projects demand or client-side clear enough understanding of either business needs, so that means the project both at least one person have a comprehensive and detailed understanding about requirements; with good atmosphere of cooperation, which can change the amount of demand reduction and conflict avoidance acute.
  • The case of technology-leading projects, is dependent on the company’s unique technology.
  • Enterprises have one or two technical and business experts.
  • Project involves use of the technology is not extensive, often one or two people and the attention to be sure.
  • A bit of luck: just picked the right technology platform; master not just leave …

Over time, more companies to undertake the project, more staff, expanded the business scale. This time, the company’s internal and external environment have undergone great changes.

From the external environment:

1) The rapid development of client industries, demand in the width, depth, frequency change occurred on the continuing changes. Specifically, the requirements of the business software system support and more (demand increase of the width); concurrent software system using more people, a long time, complicated business process (depth increase); increased competition for business customers require frequent adjustments (changes in frequency and more). Such changes often result in customer demand management as a professional, continuous, and considerable amount of work process. In other words, business requirements management and software development with the division of labor demand.

2) Many kinds of third-party technology platforms are used in development of software systems , they are complex, and replacement is also fast, companies have to track the development of technology platform, and to find effective application of practical experience (best practice norms). In this way, enterprise software project becomes more diverse and complex, this need more urgent.

3) The importance of market and technology competition increased, companies find that in order to obtain the contract, they need the protection of research and development capabilities, and to study the technological competition to win. Forcing companies to focus on our customers professional technology investment.

Look at the situation from the inside:

1) The number of enterprise software projects while increasing the operation, but the project depends on the expert mode is not changed. The projects require a master to protect, if not master, the project stalled, and often non-normal means to end.

2) With the further expansion of software projects or software upgrade, enterprises will find that some modules are always re-repeat re-development to do, made the previous version, this version will continue to do carry out several projects simultaneously, have similar things in the repeat. But before the content directly, but also not. For example, it is typical that each software project is doing the landing rights management system; the legality of every software project has input validation problems and so on.

3) The technical staff is always a lot of reasons not to write the document, if not a person will be responsible for analysis and design of a module into the code from the latter part of the people are always proud of the self-innovation, and prone to designers and developers wrangle .

4) Software development project in the early triumph when all the way to the delivery time is about, but difficult birth, always meet the requirements, change to change the code to re-test, forever. The technical staff and very hard. Even a large part or all of rework.

5) When the software project began, and who do not know when to complete, the leader said three months three months, six months to six months, in fact, not be completed on schedule, the extension of 3-5 months are common, 1 – 2 years is there, even had to re-open stove for groups.

The face of these changes and problems, one of the solutions business success of the project is a continuation of the original model – a master-led project mode, that is, to every project with a master. If you do not so much a master, let the pressure of all the items in a master limited body. If the master limited, the problem is actually transferred to the enterprise is relatively low capacity of experts to resolve. Of course, a master limited also can use the same approach to its problems. This is a bit like the project contract, the ability of companies to complete software projects rely on a different master, if the master just does not work, software project will be a mess. The masters division of the project can be adjusted, due to the temporary features of the project, these adjustments are also destined for the project services. Accumulated to form the way the company is often the ability to produce some professional experts. Moreover, the more problems the project, so more can get a master’s attention. Such a solution because all the problem to master the body, business management decision-making on R & D is difficult to form a clear direction and goals, employing only in research and development strategy.
Obviously, the above is not the fundamental solution. Difficult to find or develop businesses so many masters, resulting in their business development is limited, but significant risk in this way; over custom development project will not only affect the project progress and quality of delivery, but also to the high cost, invasiveness of the Company profits have been relatively limited. So, the solution can only be a product of the trend.

However, the software product is a very difficult thing, companies will face challenges in all aspects, and must make appropriate changes.

First, companies need to change the philosophy and ideas. In fact, whether the project or the product of technology, must adhere to customer-oriented, but on the content and implementation of customer-oriented way, many enterprises tend to be passive to meet customer demand, and even accommodate the diverse needs of customers. We are in the end choose what kind of customers? This is a business growth must be made to answer. Even if this problem has been identified, the customer needs to meet is not indiscriminate, but the need to grasp the core target customer needs and preferences, and recognizing the customer as long as the core interests are sufficient to meet, they are willing to sacrifice Some personalization features – this is the product of the assumptions.

In the implementations, of course, is to adhere to the platform of the development model, based on the needs analysis and planning of refined products, platforms, and then in the product platform based on the division of product lines, creating a platform for product or product version. Implement the platform in the process of development thinking, attention should be differentiated and versatility in a balance. We can say that replication is the only source of software profits, so the software reusability goal difference or even to give priority to the goal, as long as there is a large enough degree of reuse, we can significantly reduce costs, as long as the core business to meet demand the customer, coupled with the advantages of price and speed, will in an invincible position in the competition.

According to Han Jie’s consulting experience, product platforms of the various aspects of the implementation process will face difficulties. The external face of new market opportunities and special needs of customers, marketing personnel tend to take advantage of new opportunities and respond to new demands of customers, if there is no high-level pressure in the growth of strategic principles to determine the corresponding bound product decisions, they are likely to established the direction of product positioning and product efforts in vain. Even if the company defines the product positioning and direction, in terms of operation, in the end users need to add a feature in the product planning, in the end whether a demand for product features should be incorporated into the development of standard products and how …strike a balance between customer end products, which is still under development patterns of most products headache. Once the inclusion criteria some demand in products, the products may be the fatal blow. Under development patterns in the platform, product architecture and modules / components will be designed to give more consideration to openness, versatility and redundancy design, from the local point of view will affect the progress and efficiency of product development, especially in the first series of new products a product, you will need more time to market, which is the enterprise must understand and accept the price, but in return was a follow-up product development speed increased dramatically. In addition, the product platform development will come from within the master of the challenges and developers accustomed to the resistance. They always want to master their own planning and development of product ideas, to let everyone into the same unified platform architecture and development model is not easy. Developers do not like to think outside the box, always trying to get some what new things, but platform of the need for more standardization and specification requirements. In summary, to solve these problems, companies need to have enough determination and patience.

Clearly, the software product is not just a technical problem, but technology is also a key part of them, including architecture design, technology platform, modular structure, data structure, function / method, interface technology. For example, the work of the general technology platform include:

  • Selection of third-party technology platforms
  • Use of technology studies to determine the software projects technology roadmap and technical architecture
  • Development of developing norms, and the formation and development case template, clear the development team when developing large-scale obstacles
  • Development of technology components, the development team to improve the efficiency of large-scale development , and so on.

Software product development is also related to industry, business product shape maturity, the maturity of enterprise management, software technology development, personnel and other factors, so the software product and platform construction should corporate with R & D management, project management, together to promote human resources management.

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