Customers aren’t buying, they are deciding what to cut: Focus your dev teams well

As consumer confidence has plummeted, wooing new customers with exciting new features is less likely. However, engendering loyalty among your customers as they look through their subscriptions and decide what to cut seems a very wise plan.

Not only do your customers not really care about snazzy new features, but it’s the kind of work that does not flourish within the remote environment. Well done feature development requires communication across many different roles that is good, frequent, and fast. You need the product owner, sales, development team, and customer all bouncing with quick iterations.

But if we’re not shipping features, what should we develop?

From Snazzy to Loyalty

While we don’t know how long the quarantine effect will last, we know it’s not forever. We have x months to perform work that is suited well for remote teams and increases customer loyalty. 

What is the best way to build loyalty as a technical team? 

Loyalty does not come from things going well. It comes from things going wrong and having an excellent experience of it getting fixed - fast!

  • Improve capabilities for faster response
  • Work down the technical waste for faster response
  • Eliminate frustrating bugs (clean the complaint backlog!)

These are in order. Fixing bugs requires reducing tech debt, which requires specific technical capabilities.

Where to start? Cleaning technical waste is like saying we need to clean the ocean. 

One Plastic Bag at a Time

Quite simply, it’s the everyday habits. The product you deliver is a direct reflection of developer habits.

A classic response to technical waste is to try to shift process and culture. However, while culture is hard to change, specific coding behaviors and habits on the micro level are not. Getting different business results is easy when these habits can be changed and aligned to the business needs.

So how do we change those habits?

  • Awareness is the first step towards change. This begins in workshops that introduce the habits.
  • Experiencing the new state helps the brain start recognizing new patterns. This begins in the mobbing experience within those workshops.
  • Practicing the new state helps the brain build the neural pathways that build new patterns for the long term. This begins in the daily practice that focuses on one micro-behavioral shift at a time.

Whether your ocean, I mean tech waste, cleaning needs are about improving quality or legacy code, Deep Roots offers habits that fit the needs for each team uniquely. And our workshops and coaching have always been virtual, so this may be the best time to spend the next x months developing the ability to quickly and effectively respond.