It is easy to be overwhelmed with decisions when it comes to software projects. Teams can start to feel like they are doing a vast amount of work but getting nowhere. The situation can become worse when faced with the number of solutions available. Let’s face it: there is a vast amount of software products on the market.  

Searching for the right data solution can be a daunting and time-consuming experience. It can sometimes put the entire project at risk. Teams can be left feeling like they are spinning their wheels if they are struggling to make a decision.  

There are ways to overcome this hazard. It begins with knowing what problem you are trying to solve. This requires some analysis of the situation. As with any data issue, you should take it slow. Understand that there is no single product on the market that can solve all your problems. 

Here are some other tips to keep your team moving forward on a data project. 

Tips to moving past the spinning wheels stage 

If your team is doing a lot of work but not getting closer to solving the problem, something has to change. Here are some practical ways to prevent your team from becoming stuck. 

  1. Baby steps: Break down software projects into small increments. This way, everyone can keep focused and motivated. Begin by identifying the micro steps you need to take to get to the next stage in the project. When we approach a project, NBS often will attempt to identify the smallest useful item that, if solved, could establish the value that a larger project could deliver.
  2. Identify early wins: Encourage your team by keeping track of the visible achievements that have immediate benefits. It can also help the team see how far they have come. The boost in morale may give everyone the energy they need to keep at it. Even better if these wins are metrics or KPIs that update regularly, and continue to be visible to the team through a dashboard or reporting system.
  3. Accept there will always be a better system: We have worked with companies to procure the best possible solution only for another vendor to release a major upgrade the next week. The truth is there is no perfect software. All you can do is identify the best solution today then move forward. 
  4. Big process: Software projects are usually long-term ones. As it unfolds, it can help to keep the big picture in focus. NBS uses a variety of tools to keep track of tasks and to document the results as they are produced. Some of these tools are specific to roles e.g. a continuous integration tool for data engineering. Losing sight of the overall plan can cause confusion and missed deadlines. We often find when the team understands the value in each step they can make decisions in the best interests of the larger goals at stake. 

Data therapy

At NBS, we view ourselves as data therapists. We understand that clients can be anxious about data. A big part of our job is to help you talk through your data issues. For example, one client approached us after they had been spinning their wheels for some time. In this situation, there appeared to be about a dozen ways to move forward. We worked to understand their challenges and goals. NBS was then able to define the two main ways to move forward for the organization. With our vast expertise, we have become skilled at counselling clients through their data issues. 

We work to establish plans that empower both managers and individual contributors that are overwhelmed with data. Our strategies present information in ways that accurately reflect what the data means or represents.

We like to start small when we work with a client on their data issues. That means we begin with small prototypes to demonstrate how it will work. Essentially, we need to find the right combination of software solutions. These solutions will grow together over time. 

Conclusion

Teams can easily feel overwhelmed because of the magnitude of software projects. Often times it can feel like there is a lot of time and energy being invested but very little accomplished. Moreover, teams can become indecisive as the feeling of spinning the wheels grows.   

Yet, it is important to take small steps forward, identifying early wins, recognize it will be a long-term process and that no software solution is perfect. Adopting this strategy can help your team keep moving.

If you feel like you are spinning your wheels when it comes to your software project, why not let NBS come in and get you going again? Contact us today.

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