Hi, welcome to this lesson where we look at different organizational requirements even within software development.

What content is covered in this lesson?

We’ll talk about in the next few minutes:

  • the development of software solutions based on individual software, which is developed from scratch according to customer specifications,
  • and software solutions based on standard software adapted to the needs of a company.
  • We look at the differences together,
  • the different requirements for the project organization,
  • the reality we are confronted with in the process,
  • and the questions of how we make the best of it.
How does the organization differ in software development projects?

When organizing software projects, it is certainly also significant whether new individual software is written or existing standard software is implemented in a company and adapted to customer needs as required.

While a project team is basically allowed to use all degrees of freedom once in new individual software – apart from company-specific standards – the implementation of standard software contains many functional limits and frameworks that can only be eliminated and extended with considerable effort – if at all so desired by the manufacturer.

While the team know-how for new individual software is made up of readily available programming and project knowledge, the knowledge required to implement and customize standard software often comes from the supplier of the software or from far lower potential expertise on the labor market.

While pure software developers have a common basic technical understanding and can therefore contribute to the team regardless of their specialization in programming languages or areas such as frontend, backend, UI, databases, etc., product specialists of standard software often lack this common basic understanding – and software developers, on the other hand, lack the expert knowledge of product specialists.

Of course, this has a major impact on project organization.

  • When a supplier is involved, you do not have end-to-end control over the project organization.
  • You have no authority to give instructions to external project team members.
  • You’ve got friction and increased collaboration overhead. And the alignment meetings set up for this eat up a lot of time and productivity.
  • For each task requiring expert knowledge for the standard software, the appropriate expert must be actively involved, which can easily lead to bottlenecks in the project.
How can external resources be integrated into software development projects?

On the other hand, there is hardly any software project today that would only access internal resources. The involvement of service providers and freelancers is common practice – also because required expertise is difficult to find on the labor market or is only needed for a short period of time.

The question at this point is which agile project method and which tools are suitable for the development of individual software and which are suitable for the implementation of standard software.

In the following lessons, we describe some agile methods. In the process, you should become clear with the basics conveyed therein, at least in rudiments,

  • why pure Scrum works well when creating custom software, but has significant weaknesses when implementing and customizing standard software, and
  • why the choice of the agile project method that fits the project is absolutely relevant for success.

And ultimately, every project is unique. The ideal standard project method configuration does not exist. And that’s precisely why it’s helpful for us to know as well as possible the toolbox of established project methods for our area of expertise.

Now let’s summarize what we have covered in this lesson:

  • we have learned the differences for custom software development and standard software customization,
  • we have accordingly also recognized the different requirements for project organization,
  • we have taken a brief look at the reality,
  • and then asked ourselves the question of how we make the best of the circumstances.

In the lesson that follows, we will cover the Kanban method. So, see you soon.

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