Tips for a successful project in 2021

By: Guillermo Crisóstomo


The beginning of a new year is always a good option to do things differently. That is why we want to share the following tips:


1. Know your user, but really:


To have a successful product or service, it is necessary that it is truly appropriate to the needs of a customer. To achieve this, it is of absolute priority to know them in detail.


But not only having identified who they are, if not, knowing how they think, their preferences, and their tastes. This type of deepening is not achieved through a survey, nor is it an immediate process. It is recommended that it be done continuously since people are constantly evolving and there are even times when they are not aware of their needs. An empathy map is a great way to start this.


For example: What would you have answered if 10 years ago to the following question?


  • Would you travel in the car of a stranger who does not have a public transport permit and pay him for it?


Probably the answer would have been that no, that you would prefer to travel in authorized transport. If the entrepreneurs of the different transport applications had kept this information, perhaps now they would not exist.


Working with an agile mindset suggests that there is such flexibility and it is also necessary to have a valuable product over time.


Probably the answer would have been that no, that you would prefer to travel in authorized transport. If the entrepreneurs of the different transport applications had kept this information, perhaps now they would not exist.


Working with an agile mindset suggests that there is such flexibility and it is also necessary to have a valuable product over time.


2. Fall in love with the problem and not the solution


The focus of the development team has to do with finding the problems we want to solve and from there have a pull of solutions. To identify this you just have to ask yourself if what you are doing is a solution or an improvement to the processes.


Continuing with the previous example, if the creators of the transport applications had focused on the solution of travel in Europe, perhaps they would not have reached the success of their ideas, let's see why:


The solution for displacement in the capital could be the bicycle due to traffic, however, what happens in cities where it rains a lot or there is no infrastructure for cyclists?


Perhaps a solution could be the authorized taxis, but there are many complaints about the irregularities of these or perhaps that their trips are in limited areas.


In short, when analyzing the options of the problem and not the solution, we are becoming aware of factors that are making the problem more complex and therefore new and more innovative ideas arise.


I identify the problem, therefore I exist.



3. Fail fast and cheap


When discovering solutions, the idea is that you fail as quickly and "cheaply" as possible. One key is to think about the functionalities that you are implementing as a Minimum Viable Product: constructible, viable and that allows you to have as much information as possible with the least possible effort.


To achieve this, it is essential to test your progress from time to time, so you can understand early the errors that the implementation of the proposed solution could have and make the necessary changes to make it a success.


Exemplifying with the case of transport applications, they came onto the market with basic functionalities such as ordering a car. Then, when detecting possible errors, they were correcting, testing, and later adding greater complexities such as dividing the fee or the cash payment option.


4. Focus on objectives and not the scope


Try to measure how you are going to solve that problem and develop what is necessary for that. It is about meeting objectives for the solution and not deadlines. These can be adjusted according to the needs of the product. The use of OKR's is an excellent option against this.


It is very simple to differentiate them: if it is something you want to achieve, it is a goal and if it is something you want to do, it is scope.


5. Measure, measure, and measure


Sometimes much of the process is defined by intuition or by copying the competition without acknowledging the context. The way to know if the implementation of a solution is appropriate is to have arguments associated with a meditation on that hypothesis. That is why you must be continually measuring everything you can and need. The best way to deal with a request to develop something that you don't think is necessary is to have information that indicates as clearly as possible what the priorities are for your users or clients. And remember, what you implement are hypotheses to solve a problem, so you must also make sure with data that you are really solving it.



To achieve a successful project, as well as the fulfillment of the previous five points, it is important that you remember that these are carried out by and for people, so it is essential that you give a human approach to your challenges. Putting the team at the center, made up of motivated developers is the starting point for any type of work. I leave you some recommendations on how to do it here.

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