When you arrive at the hospital for a doctor appointment your goal is to leave the hospital pain-free. You, as a patient, have little interest in the inner workings of the pharmacy preparing your medicine, the administration of the hospital, the diagnosing process or the methodology of how it’s done. You’re looking for a particular outcome and you’ll be satisfied when you get it. Unsurprisingly, same thinking is gaining traction in the world of software development. The deadline-based, stressful culture of rushing to get the product finished is seeing its last days, giving way to the age of customer satisfaction and mutual understanding.
How does outcome-driven software development work?
With outcome-driven model, clients and developers will be empowered to change, innovate and provide the best possible service and establish long-lasting relationships.
From jet engines to software databases
The idea of outcome-driven business models is not exactly new. Harvard Business Review first published an article outlining the general concepts and ideas for outcome-driven models as opposed to output-driven back in 2002. Since then it has gradually trickled into different industries, with giants like Rolls Royce pioneering the model with Power-by-the-hour program, where Rolls Royce billed their customer, not for the time spent on maintenance of the engines, but on the times their engines actually worked proving the quality of the product.
In software development, outcome-driven approach restructures the relationship between the software developers and their clients. Based on the idea that the client shouldn’t be bothered with how the developer does perform their “magic” and only care for the quality of the ongoing software-as-a-service services provided to, the clients will have to leave behind the notion of hard deadlines and accept that the development now is an ongoing process. More importantly, this model requires total transparency between the parties - for determining the total cost of service, the needs and expectations of the clients and resulting accurate chargeback.
On the other hand, developers have got to change their ways too. More flexibility is essential – both with costs, that have to be variable and aligned with the portfolio and changing usage patterns driven by the business strategy and with the methodology used by the developers. It’s easy to dwell on the established practices, but the times demand change. Also, since the relationship is built on trust predictability is vital. The cost of introducing new services must be clearly and transparently outlined and there must be an easy and intuitive way to ensure that future costs are at least as competitive as current ones.
With outcome-driven model, both the clients and the developers will be empowered to change, innovate and provide the best possible service and establish long-lasting relationships, no longer encumbered by the details and misunderstandings.
Change from the Top
That Harvard study determined that the change towards the outcome-driven business model begins with the shift in the leadership. That’s why the Tentacle Solutions team works closely on their bespoke products from the very top to the developers, testers and marketers to understand the needs of their clients and provide the best quality services.