Building custom software can get bogged down and off course fast. At Praxent, we’ve created safeguards against wayward decisions that misdirect a project and interfere with its ultimate purpose. One of these safeguards is project principles.

A custom software process that gets the job done

Project principles serve as guiding lights for your design and development teams. They are similar to core values, which guide a company as they face difficult decisions or celebrate wins.

For example, at Praxent two of our core values are “Care Deeply” and “Always Deliver.” With these in mind, we are able to make decisions in accordance with what best serves the client and what helps us deliver on our commitments. Intentionally stating and adhering to these principles keeps us on track with the direction we want to go and helps bring focus to our work.

Project principles for a design process work in a similar way. For example, we recently did some work for a company whose number one goal was to become more efficient. So we established the project principle of “efficiency over readability.”

project-quoteWith that project principle stated and agreed upon, we were able to navigate paralyzing decisions that involved conflicting values. For example, when setting text on the website, we dropped the font size down several pixels to fit more text onto the screen. This way, users could scan the data quickly to gather information at a glance and ultimately be more efficient.

Without emphasis on the project principle of “efficiency over readability,” we would have defaulted to the industry standard, which is a font size of at least 16 pixels, instead of the 10 pixel size we chose. Armed with our project principle, we broke that rule intentionally and successfully met the client’s requirements.

Identifying project principles

The process we use to establish project principles is similar to the approach recommended by Clay Christensen in his “Jobs to Be Done” theory of innovation. According to Clay’s theory, many consumers don’t know the reasons behind their purchasing decisions. A simple example is, “people do not want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter inch hole.” In order to create effective solutions when developing or refining products, innovators need to take the time to identify the “job to be done” in the consumer’s mind.

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Similarly, we take the time to help you to set core principles that will ensure your software product gets the job done. First, we sit down with you to find out as much as possible about the job you’re hoping to accomplish with the digital product we’re developing.

We ask targeted questions and host brainstorming sessions to cover your main concerns. This helps us prioritize the pressing problems and the must-have features for the project. From there, we identify, state, and agree upon the core values that will serve as project principles.

As we encounter crossroads and hurdles throughout the development process, we will resort back to the project principles to guide us. Both you and our development team can be confident that we’re creating a solution that will get the job done.

Learn more

If you are actively seeking a software solution to deal with a problem or expand on an idea, schedule a free consultation with our design team and we will walk you through the process personally.

If your company is struggling to manage data, you could be reaching an opportune turning point in the life of your business, and not even realize it. Check out our free webinar, “Nail Your Platform Design.” We’ll help you connect the dots between your current organizational challenges and the opportunities they present for transitioning to a hyper-scalable platform model.

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