So, here is a scenario… you want to develop a new software product, but you aren’t sure who to hire or how much it will cost. What should you do?
Don’t Do This
Before I tell you what you should do, lets talk about what you should not do… pay a development team to break your application down into user stories or worse yet, a requirements document. The amount of waste that you will spend on this is enormous with little value for a potentially large investment.
Common myth: Once you have the specification, you can hand it to other developers who can create estimates for your application, right? Wrong. Developers cannot possibly pick up a cold specification and accurately estimate the project. They still need to walk through the application, visualize it and ask questions about the features. Even if a developer understands the application after investing an enormous amount of time, they still might not be able to accurately estimate it. Why? Read this. https://blog.codinghorror.com/how-good-an-estimator-are-you/
Specs are Boring and Painful to Read
If you aren’t going to spend money on specs, what should you do?
Steps To Preparing Yourself
Step 1. Become a hermit
Roll up your sleeves and invest in learning a simple mockup tool like, https://moqups.com. Lock yourself in during a weekend and mock out what you want your application to do. In a weekend, a founder can reasonably figure out how to build the critical 5 or 6 pages of their application. Then, they can provide this to a development team to get their concept across and produce a well engineered prototype.
Step 2 . Pick up the check… the lunch check that is.
Use the money you saved by not paying someone to do your specification and take a few people out to lunch that are friendly to you AND understand your market very well. Use this time to shore up your thoughts and produce another version of your application based on what you have learned.
Step 3. Deliver a working Prototype
Select your team using this simple outsource process. Not sure how do this? Check out our “10 Minute Guide To Hiring Outsourced Team”
At the end of the day, you are accountable for every dime you spend. You are the only one. You can blame a team delivering poorly after a few sprints, but that it is. As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for selecting people to work for you and firing them. If you blame your development team, then you are weak sauce and not ready to run a startup. Be prepared to fire.