Friday, May 14, 2010

New blog address

Dear readers of our blog.
On 1 June our blog moves to the new address
We will be happy to see you there too.
Thanks for reading and following us.

Warm regards,
Ainstainer Group team

Fixed cost does not work…

Our software development company esteems the agile approach. We work in Scrum and have come to regard it as a natural approach to managing requirements, releases, and changes in a project.

We believe that bids and fixed cost are bad idea. Here I’ll try to explain to you why.

First, you will never get an accurate price. Developing software, especially new systems built to individual needs, is a creative, inventive process. It is not possible to accurately say how long developing “Feature A” might take. It is possible to make a prediction, an estimate.

Secondly, every software developer knows they can't accurately predict how long a particular feature will take, so they guess.

In fact you get the following consequences of fixed cost: Because if the project is over budget but a contract is on a fixed price every sane company will do all they can to limit their losses. In other words, they’ll finish the product as quickly as possible. And besides it is always time stressing.

To further reduce costs, the company may replace senior developers with interns, working overtime.

Why is it bad to write a list of wants? Because in the end you end up putting many things there which are not needed, It’s worse, you won't put there many things that will be needed only because you haven't thought of them yet.

What do you think about fixed cost/fixed price model? What model do you use?

Your feedback will help.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Top 6 Benefits Every Start-up Shoud Know About Outsourcing... But Probably Doesn't

  1. Focus on your core business. Do not spend time doing projects which take you away from growing your core business, jobs you dislike or even are not good at. By outsourcing you get to focus on your business, while they complete the project, you have been dreading for months. Time is money!
  2. Reduce staff costs. When you outsource you do not have to deal with tax laws, desks and office space, superannuation, sick and vacation pay. You also have the benefit of hiring someone for a short term project that otherwise may be too expensive for a fulltime basis.
  3. Increase flexibility. Have the flexibility to decide how long you need your remote developer(s) for, what hours and days the work. You can attract the whole team for specializing projects which are selected especially to meet your requirements.
  4. Control capital costs. Cost-cutting may not be the only reason to outsource, but for startup companies with their limited budget it is certainly a major factor.
  5. Start new projects quickly. Handling the same project in-house might involve taking weeks or months to hire the right people, train them and provide the support they need. And if the project requires the capital investment the start up process can be even more difficult.
  6. Increase efficiency. By utilizing the existing infrastructure of an external provider you get the economies of scale which can increase your efficiencies and give your business an important competitive advantage. You also get the knowledge and skill set of a professional.

The new way out for startups - outsourcing

Small businesses have got a small budget but large needs. For small business owners one of the biggest challenges is wearing all the hats and the smaller the business, the more aspects of it you need to look after yourself. Startups originally go into business because they have a passion and skills for a certain product or service.
However, the skills may not include the operational, marketing or financial end of the business. Every small businesses have got some essential but non-core activities which take much time and could be better spent servicing existing customers or developing new ones.
In the past startup businesses were limited to two choices:
Wear every hat; fill every role, to the best of our ability, hoping that there will be time to seek new clients or cope with the existing already ones. But as they say grasp all, lose all.
Or hire the employees to fill those roles so that to focus on growing our business. In this case you should bother about searching for the personnel, selecting, hiring, establishing the team and what the most important - to wade through the red tape.
However, the third choice, which is growing popularity is outsourcing. This is when you engage the services of an external provider who is an expert in a particular field.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Outsourcing. From the origin to the present

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SCRUM for Housewives

When I get to know something new and complicated I am trying to explain by comparing with resembling process from day-to-day life. So when I’ve heard about SCRUM I tried to compare the technology with something that I knew very well. Thereby here is a new explanation: SCRUM or sewing a dress.
When I want to order a dress I do it like this:
There is a Scrum master-the owner of the atelier, which was chosen
Product Owner –this is me.
Team- they are the tailors, that will sew the dress
Product Backlog – it is my preference in material, color, fashion, and others.
We are making a Sprint Backlog on the first meeting and the Team is beginning to make a sprint. I will see the results on the first fitting. If something doesn’t fit-we just discuss the problem and find the decision, just like in SCRUM.
Another example of SCRUM methodology is cooking. Dividing the process into iterations (time for cutting, boiling, adding the ingredients etc).
We have to add everything during the process and we have to taste all the time what have we cooked. (the only difference with SCRUM is that we are not able to playback, when we overdid the salt or pepper=))
Any other ideas?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Scrum Advantages