How to win RemaDays Prize in 120 days? A short story on why agile management and sharing code saves start-ups.

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24.05.2017

4 turning points in the process of building application for Vector24 start-up – how thanks to LEAN methodology and code-sharing technology we were able to create an ideal, prize-winning MVP.

We have recently celebrated a great success of a friend of ours – Krzysztof Gałuszyński from Vector24 start-up. The system for managing orders in a company, which we created together, has been appreciated and received a Gold Medal in Innovation category on the RemaDays international fairs. Before that happened, the start-up had almost been cancelled.
The beginning itself was quite surprising because Krzysztof Gałuszyński from Vector24 presented mock-ups of the programme on the first meeting.

We could see at the first meeting that the guys understand the needs of start-ups. Before we started cooperating, I had had a few meetings with other companies. None of the companies were able to present a more interesting offer and technology.
Krzysztof Gałuszewski 

We initially agreed that the project would be a typical fixed budget, that is without any surprises, corresponding to the demands of the product owner. Well, it didn’t happen like that.

Turning Point Number 1 – Go Lean!

We started working on specifications, but, as it often happens with visionary start-ups, in the meantime the requirements changed. Despite the time invested in creating specifications, the effects did not meet our expectations. So we offered a turning point. Our experience with other partners and business intuition led us to the lean methodology.

What does it mean?

We started adding subsequent functions in very short iteration and testing them on an ongoing basis. What is more, Krzysztof surprised us yet again. He completed another successful focus in the customers’ group, thanks to which we found out that most of them still uses Windows 7 and prefers a desktop application rather than a mobile one. This is an example of customer development.

Turning Point Number 2 – Welcome to Windows 7

Having received a feedback from our customers, we focussed on developing an independent Windows 7 programme. The Code Sharing technology which we know (based on MvvmCross framework) allowed us to quickly and easily deliver a functioning programme for tests. How did we make it in such a short time? Read what Rafał Linowiecki, the project leader who closely cooperated with Krzysztof, has to say about the technologies applied in development. In the Technical Aspects of Building an Application by Vector24 start-up, That Is the same Story from the Viewpoint of the Project Manager

Turning Point Number 3 – An ideal MVP

In the case of this application, the lean approach and a good use of customer development produced a positive effect. For the whole period of closely cooperating with the customer, we were thinking that we were working on the final version of the system, but it turned out that we were working on an MVP (Minimum Viable Product – a basic version of the product, only good enough to place it on the market).

In the meantime, Krzysztof was testing the MVP among his customers and was smoothly gaving us their feedback, thanks to which we were able to improve the project. Unseen, completely naturally, our version of MVP transformed into a complete product which was ready for the first meeting with the market!


Turning Point Number 4 – A Gold Medal!

The Vector24 team decided to go even further and in February of this year, they decided to show their product on RemaDays – prestigious, international fairs of advertising and printing. What happened? They got a gold medal in the Innovations category!

The system turned out to be a great tool for printing business, fulfilling all their needs. It easily minimises errors in placing and fulfilling orders. This potential was appreciated and distinguished in the context of new trends in printing and advertising. Krzysztof Gałuszyński left the fairs with a medal, and, more importantly, with a package of leads, and we celebrated his victory in Toruń.


Epilogue

When asked about plans for the future, Krzysztof responds that he plans further development of the application – apart from an Android version, there will also be an iOS version. What is significant for us? We have experienced all turning points on our road to success, and thanks to our lean methodology, optimising the final solution was not problematic.
It often happens that interesting start-ups are blocked on the stage of diagnosing the changes required by the first group of users. It does not matter what group that is – testers (the focus group) or the first clients (early adopters). What can help then? Two things related to different areas of creating a start-up, which complement each other.

First of all, agile management. Lean and agile management are key for the speed of taking business decisions and in the process of implementing changes and checking its functioning.
Secondly, modern methods of developing applications, which involve sharing code.

Since at least half of the code is common for all versions of a ready solutions, then a question of saving time and budget appears. It allows us to quickly and without any problems add new functions, which the customers demand. Thus, the business potential of an application is increased.

A start-up has a greater chance to be successful. And if it can add a pinch of automation to it, things are going even better! The development and deployment process, testing are the processes which we automate to the fullest. Tomasz Soroka has recently written about it. Why the last thing a developer should do is to commit to repo? The magic comes after.