Clarifying Transparency Within And Outside Your Software Organization
By Boris Kontsevoi, President and CEO of Intetics Inc., a global software engineering and data processing company.
Originally published in Forbes.
The word “transparency” denotes a lot of things as you move from one context to another. Take the business niche, for instance. Here, transparency is a term used to show sincerity, predictability, and oneness.
Every business out there has a secret side that isn’t visible to the public, and this could lead to vagueness, which can complicate things in the near future. At the moment, only a handful of companies can say they are transparent. When it comes to a business and its processes, being transparent plays a significant role in determining whether a firm wins or loses out on a partnership deal.
In software development, specifically outsourcing, transparency gives your company an edge over others. Technically, the resources needed for outsourcing projects are rare and hardly found in facilities near the clientele. This provides a breeding ground for fraud and later translates to a client receiving a bottlenecked, out-of-place budget and below-par deliveries laden with complications.
The ability to stay transparent and trusted for years is a massive differentiator — not just for a software company, but for any enterprise at all. What are the ingredients of the hidden recipe?
Transparency Beyond The Organization
Transparency beyond your organizational confines is one pertinent area that must inevitably be covered. But why are companies in a dire search for clarity in the outsourcing business? They are seeking transparency to cement:
• The expertise and experience they offer as a service provider.
• The commitment of their team to the clients and project.
• Discretion, privacy and data safety.
Customers need assurance in regard to the authenticity, timeline, reach and contract of your business. Entering into a partnership with an outsourcing firm in software development and service provision, clients like the guarantee that there are well-thought-out risks and issue-tackling strategies in place. As a matter of fact, a backup plan of this kind can substantiate your company’s transparency policy. Alongside this, it is vital to adhere to guidelines that establish transparency as a standard.
While most companies are aware there isn’t a sole route used in all software development, it is clear that vibrant, responsive patterns enforce improved levels of transparency. This isn’t just about developmental projects. It is about agility behind the scenes.
You can hardly find software providers with clear and detailed reports. The need for proper reporting by your project manager can’t be overemphasized. Impeccable reports are an integral part of every project because these software providers are on the scene working.
There needs to be synergy between your client and your team. You must chart the stages involved and check off each task as it comes into play. Appropriately detailed reports give a general overview of the status of your project without causing further confusion.
Situation reports aside, your development team must ensure that they employ diverse tools that will enable them to check and make sure your project is high-quality. Some of the instruments you can use to accomplish this include unit tests, frequent integration, regression automation, product metrics accessed via mobile devices for delivered projects, static code analysis, crashlytics and firebase, among others.
These tools provide internal support for your product. If your development team is clear on how, what and where to employ specific tools, your client should be equally familiar with the tools in use — in order to obtain lucid KPIs.
Project Or Customer Portal
In order to stay up to date on central project indicators, customers need a top-notch instrument to supplement the tools above. This can be accomplished with a web- and mobile-inclined portal. With a company portal, clients can stay in contact with your company’s management team and gain swift access to all project artifacts.
Process audits are an internal process where your company ascertains if your project is well-documented and reported in line with the highest standards. At the same time, you must check that all activities associated with your project are being done correctly. The auditing process is generally optional for clients to partake in, but they can have access to the results if they so desire.
Proactive Project Monitors
One way to ensure your project is high-quality is to employ a proactive project monitor. Your monitor must work with a clear set of guidelines rather than being actively managed, and they generally report to the CTO in your company. This way, your company can analyze projects, detect potential risks and actively try to curb them.
Again, this role has nothing to do with the customer in most cases. However, upon the discovery of a potential threat, your company should report the occurrence immediately and ensure its resolution in the most transparent manner.
This practice comes in handy when you need to tackle possible or pre-existing challenges. The following scenarios require on-site visits:
• During the project’s inception.
• Any time there is a bridge or shift in the communication process.
• Any time the client meets with the entire team.
• Any time there is a significant software delivery and the client’s location is more ideal.
Some clients may want to receive live footage from the provider’s location. This will lead them to request the installation of cameras. By doing this, they have greater control over the project. Nevertheless, this practice is fizzling out quickly due to the outstanding performance of existing tracking tools.
Infrastructure For Security And Data Protection
Security is the core of any transparency policy. If any organization really wants to be as transparent as possible, they must follow security rules and standards to the letter. An in-house security policy should include a specially designed infrastructure that maintains the privacy of the client’s personal and business data.
With these tips, you’re well on your way to establishing clear transparency for your organization. In my next article, I’ll cover even more ways to make this vital aspect of your business a reality.