Building and Managing Competitive Software Teams – Part 4 of 5

Part 4 of our multi-part post showing how David Ward and his team at Telegraph Hill are changing the way IT gets software “Done”.

Risks, Opportunities & Skills Required

Major risks in the software domain:

  • Competitive Risk: software needs to have features that are distinct from what direct competitors are offering.
  • Lack of in-house software expertise when needed can hamper or impede the development of the right product at the right time.
  • Poor decision-making around outsourcing vs. building in-house across the entire spectrum of software.
  • Cost is a risk factor in the development of any product, but too many companies are taking a CFO-driven approach to their software where they’re handing over the reins of their technology to managers who do not understand the best way to create high quality, competitive software.


Major opportunities for well-managed software development:
  • As companies become increasingly digital they discover entirely new ways of identifying prospective customers and bringing them into their company’s customer base.
  • Digitization allows companies to make knowledge-based, fact-based decisions in areas where intuition and judgment ruled in the past.
  • As software becomes the medium through which companies interact with customers, business partners, and suppliers, it opens the opportunity to create significant competitive changes in business ecology that can move enterprises ahead much more rapidly than in the past.
  • In particular, the right software creates an opportunity to improve supply chains, which could lead to new price points which were not achievable without the software component.


Skills required for competitive software:
  • Acquiring and retaining software talent at all levels: architecture, development, data management, operations, etc.
  • Understanding the entire software life cycle. for example its cost characteristics, maintenance, the triggers for the next iteration of the software etc.
  • Understanding the effect of cutting corners in terms of quality and functionality: it’s common that software that’s been developed to a certain level
  • Ability to respond to an app culture: building fast-paced releases of small, functionally focused applications.
  • Level of functionality and quality but in the rush to get it to market it was released earlier than a company might have hoped; high quality software developers know how to manage getting the right product to market against time and cost constraints.
  • Ability to make wise, evidence-based build/buy/reuse choices.

Please  comment here and join us for Part 5 – Best Practices in the series “Building Software Teams”. If you are facing these types of issues in your organization please Contact us.