Development best practice vs. best value

This week we’re talking about something a little controversial… Best practice vs best value in development.

Anyone who’s spent any significant time around developers and coders, often hears the phrase “best practice”. In the industry, there are generally accepted guidelines. These cover how to approach and solve problems, write code, and deliver a product or service. This is what best practice is.

There is, however, a fine line between what’s best practice and what delivers the best value within the most appropriate timeframe. 

Clients often don’t have time or interest in what is best practice. Understandably, they want their project delivered on time and on budget. Usually, as long as the end product works, they don’t much care how you get there. It’s here that there is a massive responsibility to provide a deliverable that is of sufficient quality to be sustainable, future proof, and fit for purpose.

The point at which “best practice” falls over is when this turns into a defining motivation of a team – rather than the value the client is receiving. 

So, how do you ensure you strike the right balance? Let’s look at how you can nail the argument in development of best practice vs. best value.

Pick the right tools for your projects 

This could be choosing the right text editor, picking a reliable content management system, email provider, hosting & domain provider, and/or your choice of cloud software packages.

Establishing good processes 

Make sure you have proper processes in place before you hit the ground running. For on-boarding clients and delivering projects, make sure you have contracts, requirements documents, proposals, and change request documents nailed down before you begin. This will make sure you are always ready to structure every project properly, increasing its chance of success.

Have an established & replicable method for creating solutions to common requirements 

Having a series of solutions and software packages that provide the basis for your projects will ensure a baseline level of quality for all your clients. Using WordPress as an example, have an arsenal of common plugins that you know are excellent and will be supported for years to come. Use a quality base theme that is regularly updated and works perfectly with WordPress core.  

Truly understanding and empathising with the needs of your clients 

This is arguably the most important point to stress. Empathising with your clients means you’ll know exactly what is going to provide their business the best value, and where the most effort should be spent.

Never reinvent the wheel 

Just because something isn’t quite how you would do it, doesn’t mean you should redo it yourself. Just like life, development’s all about compromise and weighing the pros and cons. Don’t waste your client’s budget on your own biases and personal preferences. 

These aren’t hard and fast rules, and there are businesses that value best practice above all else. But it’s fair to say the vast majority expect their service providers to be able to strike the right balance. 

For Sox Digital, pragmatism has always been and always will be key. Our processes are in place; we have the tools, and our solutions are future proof and scalable. This means we can deliver value as quickly as possible. Drop us a line if you’d like to talk through any areas you feel you may need help.