EXPERT SERIES – Think Big, Build Small

 

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Written by Jeremy Jorgenson, CEO

As one of the senior developers at Robintek, one of the things I’m regularly tasked with is to help develop technical project plans and quotes for projects. Most projects start with our marketing team meeting with the project stakeholders, listening to their needs, and then putting together a quote. The quote has to take into account the project complexity, timeline, budget, staff availability, and all sorts of other complicating factors. All of these things are really important, but by far my favorite part of working on project plans is trying to find opportunities to think beyond the problem at hand.

Too often, we as developers want to exist in a binary world. Problem A will be solved by implementing Solution B. The real worldabstract_building almost never works that way. Problem A probably has dozens of possible solutions, each with its own advantages and pitfalls. To narrow the field a bit, we like to present our clients with what we feel are the “good”, “better”, and “best” options. Often we’re able to meet the minimum project requirements with the “good” option, but the “better” and “best” options are more robust solutions.

What I find most helpful about approaching projects this way is that it forces us to look past the needs of the moment.  By looking at and discussing the “better” and “best” solutions, we’re able to anticipate what needs may come up down the road. I often think of this in terms of a home constructions analogy. If you’re building a single story ranch house, but in the future you’re going to add an Olympic sized indoor swimming pool, you’ll probably pour the foundation a little differently.

Often, our clients opt to go with the “good” solution, and that’s fine. Not everyone needs an Olympic sized indoor swimming pool… but if we can lay the foundation for the pool without any additional time or expense, most people start making plans to do some laps.

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