A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a strategic position for any organization. First of all, for start-ups with their structures just created, such a person must make many decisions of strategic importance for the development of the company, even in areas where he or she is not a specialist. One of the CEO’s responsibilities is taking care of the quality of the product, so, consequently, of the software.
CEO - a multitasking job
Being a CEO is a very responsible job. People in this position set the direction of the company's development and are involved in many processes. I noticed that, especially in the case of start-ups, CEOs also organize the software development processes. This is interesting because, in general, the Chief Technology Officer should be responsible for these issues. However, if the start-up structure is not yet fully developed, it's natural that such important and strategic processes are supervised by the CEO.
I know that from the CEO's perspective software development process management is a big challenge. First of all, such a person usually does not have sufficient skills to independently manage software development. In turn, recruiting an in-house team and a tech manager who would be responsible for those is usually very time-consuming and expensive. And, as everyone knows, time is money. That is why (I believe I am not biased in this matter) start-ups above all are looking towards external partners more and more often.
How to manage a software development process of your product?
If you do not have a technical background and your team lacks a person with appropriate technical and technological knowledge, the best solution is to establish cooperation with a software development agency. This solution has many advantages. I think it's worth starting with cost-effectiveness. Consider the budget you would have to spend on investing in the recruitment of developers (and believe me, they are not cheap!), their maintenance and management. Add to his equation your precious time, though I guess you have a lot of other things on your mind as well.
Also, if your product requires immediate development, you won't find a faster way than this. The only challenge here is finding an effective software house. Do your research, contact a few companies and try to find a partner that best suits your needs. And remember – the cheapest does not necessarily mean the best.
Setting the rules of cooperation is another issue. If you are concerned about the daily exchange of information, simply clear everything up right at the very beginning. Currently, most software houses work in accordance with Agile, which ensures the highest standards of communication and quality in relation to software development.
A short case study
Here is a real-life example, from our recent experience, to show how effective targeted communication can be. I once contacted a CEO of a start-up and asked if there was a possibility of cooperation. I knew their product was based on the Ruby programming language, so it perfectly matched Codest’s technology stack. Initially, I was met with a very polite refusal. I didn't want to be pushy, so I just thanked them for their reply, and in the next message included a short case study of our cooperation with a similar start-up (under 50 employees).
As it turned out, this follow-up message was sufficient to interest the CEO. He asked us to call where he shared his needs and challenges related to software development. We had a few developers who could help him immediately. So, our cooperation after that call started within the next 7 days! What's more, we still work together to this day. The client is satisfied with the type of cooperation we provide. As a CEO, he has more time for other responsibilities, and has entrusted us with the entire scope of the company’s product development.
End your nightmare
If you have a problem with the successful development of your product, or are wondering what the optimal solution would be, just try cooperating with a software development company. If you have any doubts, you can always arrange a short test period, during which you will be able to assess the effectiveness of the software house and see if their offer meets your expectations. Good luck!