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By Mikel Lindsaar

The Axioms of Software Development - Part 4

This is part of the series on the Axioms of Software development. If you haven’t read the previous posts - you can see them here.

Axioms are self-evident truths. These axioms build on each other. Understanding the first one will aid your understanding of the subsequent ones. The axioms of Software Development isolate key basics underpinning successful software development.

It’s my aim that by helping you understand these axioms, it will allow you to resolve the problems associated with coordinating developers, time and resources and ensuring your software project will be successful.

Fourth Axiom: Design - Validate - Build

The success of your project depends on validating the plan or idea for your software application BEFORE you invest time and money into building it.

The last thing you want is to find that you have spent buckets of money on something that wasn’t what your users wanted anyway.

When building software, work toward getting some version of the idea or application in front of someone as soon as possible for feedback. Creating this quick mock-up, wireframe, sketch or ideation of what you want to build first and showing it to the end-user is an important initial step.

How fast you can get something in front of the end user and show them the goal of what you are building is proportionate to the potential success of the project.

If the end user can see the final product they will be able to give feedback earlier. Based on end-user feedback, the plans can be easily and quickly altered at the design stage and for a much lower cost.

If you are waiting to get feedback after tens of thousands of dollars of development, you are likely going to end up spending a lot more money because to change anything, first the developer has to undo what they have already built before they can start to do what you want.

Changes cost less the earlier they are made. This is a fundamental truth of design and development.

So Design - Validate - Build is the right sequence, and it is a continuing sequence of constant iteration. The stronger the development team, the faster you can tighten this loop. If you currently only do one of these every month or so, one of your top priorities as a manager should be getting this loop tighter and tighter until it is really flying at a high whirl.

Let me know what you think.

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