As LeanCode was named the Clutch Leader for B2B Companies in Poland in the first half of pandemic driven 2020, we couldn’t be happier. In those turbulent times proving ourselves as the reliable and worth recommending partner meant tons for us. However, it also made us think about the reasons why are our clients willing to refer our services in such a competitive environment, with dozens of other great agencies working just behind the corner.
We are entrepreneurs. We had startups before. We’ve exited.
We are well familiar with the product development phases and service design methods (more here). We know how to progress with our clients from the pain/problem setting to the actual solution which is understandable, viable, achievable, and compelling for the persona representing the targeted beachhead market. The famous Lean Startup by Eric Riese and the idea of repeating the loops until you find the perfect market fit is so familiar to us that we’ve included that in our brand name. We know which tools should be used for measuring the results of your MVP (Minimal Viable Product), when should you try to develop RAT (Riskiest Assumption Test), how to construct the PoC (Proof of Concept) to validate new ideas with your early-stage prototypes and how to release the product for your early adopters. We know which problems you will be facing after advancing from the early adopters’ group and “Crossing the Chasm” (as writing by Geoffrey Moore) when looking for scaling opportunities.
Warren Buffet famous quote says “never invest in a business you cannot understand”. We believe the same goes for the technology and product development and we never start the development efforts until we understand what we want to accomplish and why. Why it is said that development is expensive? Because the product teams don’t fully embrace what they want to build. Our clients are domain experts. We always learn a lot from them. Yet, sometimes we need to fight hard with our clients to convince them to the solutions which are clearly a better fit for their desired products. During the creative service design workshops, we sketch the workflows, draw customer journey maps, build prototypes, experiment with different approaches so that to find the best possible solution and we are all aligned to that. This streamlines the communication, builds engagement among the entire team and releases the creativity from the team.
When should you outsource software development? Why clients are outsourcing to the software houses at all? It happens because they want the best developers, with a wide set of skills and broad experience in building similar products. Product managers who want to disrupt their markets are making the right decision to outsource when they are trying to build the innovations way beyond the capabilities of their internal maintenance team. Yet, when this creative team needs to deliver the particular scope (understood as a set of features) within a particular budget encapsulated with the particular timeframe then all creative sparks that can happen are burned into ashes. And this is not what the client wants. This problem is typical for inexperienced team leaders and product owners who feel that “pressure creates diamonds” and by adding the stress factor they can get better results which in the long term perspective is not true. Therefore at LeanCode we are super transparent in our communication and decided to adopt SCRUM, which allows us to showcase the results of our efforts every two weeks with the new product demo so that the client witnesses which problems have been solved already and can prioritize next issues for the development group. This framework also allows us to monitor the budget against features so that to properly allocate the resources on the most needed parts of the product in the first place. Eventually, the team is the most valuable asset in the agency business.
Being awarded the Top Developer Prize by Clutch we now in retrospect understand that those three ingredients: empathy towards the client, great business analyzing skills and amazing team working in SCRUM were decisive to where we are right now and are the fundaments of our culture.