In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, I recently embarked on an exciting project in the #edtech industry. It all began with a late-night email from a client in the APAC region, igniting a chain of events that led to the creation of a mobile video learning application aimed at enhancing children's graphic skills. This post delves into the challenges faced, the decisions made, and the valuable lessons learned throughout the development process.
Client Engagement and Vision
As the notification on my phone woke me from my slumber, I swiftly replied to the client's email, expressing my eagerness to discuss his objectives and ideas. In the subsequent meeting, it became apparent that the client possessed a solid background in software development and had a clear vision for the application. However, his requirements remained abstract, necessitating further analysis by my team. With this in mind, I rescheduled our meeting to allow more time for a comprehensive evaluation after researching similar applications and technical feasibility evaluation.
Budget Constraints and Prioritization
Recognizing that this project was a new endeavor with a limited budget, our team had to suggest a crucial roadmap regarding feature prioritization. We aimed to strike a balance between the essential components required for the initial launch (MPP) and the others that could be deferred to future versions. Taking into account the client's budgetary concerns, we provided a revised proposal at a reduced cost, omitting certain features for inclusion in subsequent iterations. The client, understanding the need for effective budget management, accepted the adjusted scope of work. The conflict between scope, budget, and time is a common problem that a majority of our 1st-time clients have met. We appreciate this client who has listened to our experience very well and is open to finding a suitable approach to move forward. In that manner, the client and our team are not split as client and server, we are an Agile team in a common project with a common objective. That's a great starting point to move the project forward.
Preparation for Launch
Following the successful negotiation of the project scope, our team diligently worked for three months, preparing for the application's launch in June. During this period, we focused on the necessary development tasks while keeping an eye on future enhancements that would address aspects such as performance testing, automation testing, and design. When I'm writing this post, the team is fixing the last bugs and improvements for a soft launch in June.
Key Lesson: "Think Big and Start Small"
Throughout this project, the underlying philosophy of "think big and start small" remained a guiding principle. We appreciate the client's effort to think, write, and share their big picture. As project managers, we had to evaluate the project's feasibility, not only in terms of its potential business opportunities or technical complexity but also considering practical project management factors such as time, budget, cost, and quality. Striking a delicate balance among these parameters proved challenging but crucial for success. In our case, prioritizing time and budget control led to reducing the scope of requirements and minimizing certain quality aspects. However, we remain committed to addressing these aspects in future iterations, ensuring continuous improvement.
The journey of developing this edtech software showcased the importance of effective communication, meticulous planning, and adaptability from both sides, the client and the server. Balancing the client's vision, budget constraints, and project feasibility required thoughtful decision-making and compromise. As the launch date approaches, we eagerly anticipate the positive impact our video learning application will have on children's graphic skills, and we are excited about the possibilities for launching a good edtech product to enhance kids' technology skills, a domain that I personally love.
#SoftwareDevelopmentJourney #EdTechSoftware #ProjectManagementLessons #BalancingVisionAndBudget #StartSmallThinkBig #ClientEngagement