How to build a digital product? 5 steps to achieve it

How to build a digital product? 5 steps to achieve it

Perfect formulas do not exist, but having suitable, disciplined and avid professionals allows us to get very close. The future of work has arrived, the world has become digital and IT talent is the king of this new scenario. 

 

New technologies have opened new horizons in the universe of freelance and on-demand work. Today we can find a wide range of disciplines and specializations  that are developed exclusively in the online world dedicated to the creation of digital products focused on satisfying and / or solving different needs.

 

The start-up world evolves very fast and if you do not have the necessary flexibility you can be left out of the market very quickly.  The key of a digital product is to find the moment when it is known exactly the added value you bring to the customer and  they  perceive it in the same way. It is at that moment, in which you understand how to talk to them, what to say, how to sell and what really matters to them, when you can start to devise a digital project.

 

Designers, programmers, data experts, developers and project leaders are the necessary links to develop a successful digital product. However, talent alone is not enough; it is recommended to follow a series of ordered steps, without avoiding any, to achieve a successful digital product.

 

Many software companies tend to aspire to develop their products as quickly as possible in order to release them to the market immediately. However, the hurry sometimes causes skipping some of these elementary stages, which could provoke some misfortunes in the short or long term.

 

Talent validation is a very important preliminary step that acts as an efficient filter to lay the solid foundations of the project. 

 

Now, what are these steps to achieve an effective, agile and successful digital product? The following are the 5 unavoidable and unalterable stages through which a product under development should pass:

 

  1. Product thinking: in this level  the focus must be on devising and clearly defining the scope and functionalities of the product you are looking to develop. Thinking about what to communicate to users and what technical requirements to consider should be the first part. In addition, it is essential to identify the audience’s problems in order to create meaningful solutions that add value to customers. Also, the scenarios in which the product will be used are defined as a result of a research process and competition analysis.

 

  1.           Product design: in this step, UX and UI experts explore different ways to achieve a fluid and dynamic interaction between the product and the user. Ideally, different mockups are created to simulate each interface of the product before starting to develop it. The ultimate goal of the product designer is to create the best version of a requested product, with the available time and resources.

 

  1.           Software development: it consists of using the best practices and technologies to create a consistent product based on what was defined in the previous stages. The software developer is the one who translates into programming code what has been previously agreed with the rest of the team.

 

  1.           Deployment: this is the last level of the process. It consists of making the final adjustments to finally launch the digital product to the market and enable its use. It is here where all the previous steps are executed by the action of the users.

 

  1.           Maintenance: the final and key instance. This analogy helps to understand this stage: digital products are like living organisms that change, evolve and require a lot of attention to take care of them. Based on user interaction, changes that can be made to further improve the consumer experience are defined. Everything must work perfectly. Flexibility and strategic vision to define future steps derive from a thorough analysis of this level.

 Creating a digital product is not easy, there are many professions that converge and work simultaneously, remotely and asynchronously, all in pursuit of the same goal. So following these steps help to order and achieve good results.

The Flock: the digital platform of validated talent where everyone wins

Ramiro González Forcada and Nicolás Castro are 29 years old and founders of The Flock, a freelance validated talent platform that matches technological projects with Latin American freelancers.

 

Its beginnings and the pandemic as an opportunity

It was in the midst of the pandemic and socially isolated, as almost everyone, when they started to brainstorm about their current enterprise, which is present in more than 10 countries and manages more than 20 projects at the same time with 50 #flockers working on that. The confinement played in their favor to have greater availability and thus be able to work, almost exclusively, in the project they trusted so much.

They make up a seamless team and they complement each other. They foster remote, independent and asynchronous work. Nico states that Rami has a good mix of strategic vision, leadership and critical analysis. On the other hand, Ramiro declares that they have both the same desire, objectives and values but from different perspectives. “I encourage the team and always challenge us to go one step further. Nico does short-term oriented management and has a good trade-off between moving on and experiencing the current moment, he knows how to enjoy every step.”

They met when they were children, as they used to live in the same neighborhood and their schools were near. They had many people in common and they met again at university. “We started to get to know each other little by little, at first in study groups, then in social meetings and later on we set up different projects. In that moment we realized that we enjoyed working together, we had similar ideas and dreams and we wanted to create something big. We made some things before that did not result as expected but we never gave up. We had the feeling that we had to work together and we finally got to this project which joined many objectives: global outreach, technology and impact,” say both of them.

The pandemic was a breaking point for the start of The Flock.That context helped us a lot when trying to demonstrate that it is completely possible to work with people from many parts of the world and focused on meeting objectives instead of schedules,” states Nicolás. The arrival of the pandemic showed people’s potential to the world and that they could be able to develop their tasks from anywhere. Ramiro also claims that “it was a reality before the pandemic but with this phenomenon, everyone was forced to do it, and even some companies that would have never taken the leap are now experiencing positive results.”

 

The challenging world of startups

They are versatile, skilled and passionate about technology and they argue that the start-up world evolves really fast and flexibility is needed in order not to be left out soon. The most challenging is to find the product-market fit. That is to say, to find the moment in which you know exactly the added value that is provided to the client and they perceive it in the same way. That moment, when you understand how to speak to them, what to say and how to sell, which is really important, represents the starting point where more growth can be obtained.

They work with elastic teams which is a win-win scheme where both parties win.

Although there are many similar platforms, the added value of The Flock is that every #Flocker who joins the platform can work in a comfortable way, as they forget about dealing with clients, they have an income in dollars and on time, they have predictability regarding potential projects and it is fully remote. Every talent can decide when and where to work, which gives a real balance between their jobs and personal life. Moreover, they state that it has great benefits for companies, as they have motivated teams, they invest in the necessary skills for every product stage when they need it and they improve their return of investment in the labor force, among others.

The founders highlight communication as an essential aspect in order to be able to work with elastic and remote teams both for the clients and the Flockers. That’s why in The Flock we put a lot of emphasis on following the project implementation methodology.

 

The importance of reliability and curiosity

According to their experience, talent must have reliability in people in order to develop themselves professionally within remote teams. The idea is to know that when they say they will do something they will actually do it. This is very appreciated in The Flock and it adds a lot of value to the profiles. Regarding this, Ramiro mentions a key concept: curiosity.

“Working in remote teams makes you relate to different cultures and languages; you must be curious in order to be constantly learning from others.”

“We are very strict when validating a talent, we permanently look for the perfect manner to make up an IT team.” Therefore, in The Flock they create a rigorous process, by means of which they quickly detect the level of every applicant. Their objective is to become the biggest validated talent platform in Latin America that searches for the perfect match between talent and project.

They affirm that Latin America is a high-quality pole of talent attraction, they are really motivated to grow in a professional way. Besides, they underline the good level of English, which is the universal language in the digital product development world. Nowadays, this region possesses a lot of skilled people, not only in the technical field but also in languages and social skills.

Finally, how do you see TF 5 years from now? We expect The Flock to be the leading digital talent platform worldwide. They see themselves working with more and more quantity and variety of people and enterprises, with increasingly ambitious projects and improving the work-life balance of many people. That’s where we’re headed.

 

#TheFlockTip

What would you advise someone who wants to quit their permanent job in a company and start working as a freelancer? “We consider that nowadays talented people, especially from the digital product development world, have more opportunities than ever. Indeed, enterprises are the ones that are concerned about getting good talent and not the other way round. They argue that it is the right time to take the leap towards the independent and freelance world. “Companies like ours help in that transition and accompany the freelancer’s life.”

The founders made a short, random and a bit nerd quiz so as to know more about their vision and the way they are when working in The Flock.

 

 

Bonus track!

 Does contact beat CV or does experience beat studies?

  • N: This has changed a lot. There are CTOs from huge companies who did not go to university or do not have any degree. I think experience obtained by working and the desire to learn beats any contact or degree.
  • R: Experience without a doubt beats studies. But studies plus experience is a boom.

 

Which is your favorite Google extension?

  • N: https://glossarytech.com/. It is really useful for those who do not know too much about technology and would like to understand and learn a bit more.
  • R: Google Docs Offline → To have access to everything when the internet goes down.

 

Which was the last app you downloaded?

  • N: A customer’s one. I can not tell you too much because of privacy policies 😉
  • R: Bird.

 

Your favorite emoji?

  • N: I really like the rock hand emoji 🤘🏼.
  • R: The upside down face 🙃 .

 

Your last search in Google?

  • N: Rock hand emoji haha
  • R: Upside down face.

 

Working day or night?

  • N: I love mornings. I wake up early to work or work out.
  • R: Free! No fixed schedule preferences.

 

Physical books or eBooks?

  • N: I am old school regarding books, I prefer the printed ones and their smell.
  • R: Both, it depends. When studying I prefer the physical one so as to take notes on it.

 

Which is your mantra on a busy day of work?

  • N: I try to prioritize and deal with one issue at a time.
  • R: Order and prioritization.

7 Essential Steps in IT Talent Recruitment

The digitalization of the labor market started some years ago but nowadays and after the boom of virtuality during the pandemic, worldwide enterprises are facing the new challenges of this modality, not as an option but as a necessity of continuity and growth in the business world. 

In order to be competitive within the market, an organization must bring up to date with the digital world, as it is a reality that different areas of work are experiencing because no matter the specialization, companies rely on any kind of technological solutions. Far from causing problems in the functioning, employees’ productivity, and goal fulfillment, this supplies new tools with which it is possible to create different and more enriching working experiences. The range of possibilities that is provided by the online work is something that an enterprise can not ignore in order to be updated. 

Rather than being an obstacle to development, digitalization of work gives solutions to some issues related to the worldwide economic situation, which makes companies face some difficulties when hiring new talents. Budget cuts reveal the urgent necessity of optimizing the resources. This forces them to revise the way of recruitment and the working modality that promotes a decent, genuine, and high-quality workplace. However, this becomes a difficulty due to the lack of time and the long traditional recruitment processes. 

According to TechUK, around 58% of people want to develop and expand their abilities by working in a digital way. And regarding IT employment, as claimed by ManpowerGroup, every year it is increasing about 20% and it is expected that this figure doubles and triples as more agile and effective recruitment strategies are invested.

By virtue of the increase in the use of digital channels, the technological industry makes it possible to maintain new ways of working between employers and employees, to go into new projects of greater significance and, at the same time, to generate more technical skills and abilities. 

The incorporation of talents to work for teams in companies strengthens internal communication and promotes theoretical and practical skills and competencies in order to design customized solutions for each project.

The chance of offering unique, new, and efficient proposals to the client portfolio as well as the possibility of planning every step more quickly depends on the performance, commitment, and decision that an enterprise can make so as to invest in other options of talent recruitment. Working together with professionals specialized in recruiting skilled staff enables them to increase their outreach and visibility in the market. When the exact talent is chosen for meeting specific goals, the success of the project is a fact. 

In this context, IT talent outsourcing recruitment becomes a challenging task for companies. It is essential to mention some keys related to it:

  1.   Search process design: understand the goals, know which is the available budget, and the technical necessities of the project to give the best option for that organization.
  2.   The specific knowledge of those who are in charge of the search. In relation to the technical specifications, it is important that the recruiter is aware of the tech trends so as to understand what is needed. 
  3.   Validate IT talent: through a series of questions and tests as a kind of exam, it is possible to recognize the best-qualified candidates, those who have the abilities and technical and soft skills that are required in order to be part of the projects of the company.
  4.   Strengthen the integration processes: it promotes experiences that make it easier to incorporate new people and the makeup of working dynamics among them and with the previous members of the team. The idea is to provide resources and opportunities to obtain a better adjustment. 
  5.   Generate high-quality employment: the chance of getting a new job position improves the employees’ self-esteem and attitude. It is also beneficial for goal and project fulfillment through great common achievements.
  6.   Create a database of the available talents according to the required profiles: no matter if they are temporary or long-term jobs, the idea is to make a register of the specialized people in each area of the scientific-technological industry.
  7.   Offer a training and professional growth space for the selected talents: the organization intends to train and accompany their new employees so they can make available their training and past experience. The training and growth stage is motivating for each member and for the whole team.

The IT talent recruitment makes reference to a necessity that has been coming on by leaps and bounds and, many times shows the obstacle that this causes in the development of an enterprise. Therefore, IT recruitment service is undergoing a full consolidation moment and has become a crucial tool for companies, as it enables them to reduce costs and optimize time.

Having adequate personnel and the most appropriate talent is a plus when meeting the working objectives.

Outsourcing Software Talent: a trend that is here to stay

Work structures and recruitment methods are changing and this creates new opportunities for businesses.

Moreover, the fact of choosing the more adequate professionals for a certain area, within an increasing variety of possibilities, opens up new prospects full of many advantages.

When going through these talent recruitment processes, the supply of candidates increases worldwide. Therefore, companies are forced to update and renew their working dynamics.

Although before it was more complex to work with external participants, nowadays many organizations prefer to hire other enterprises, teams or IT specialists so they can be in charge of the software development outsourcing for their projects.

It is known that large companies around the world have kept this idea for a long time. However, small and medium-sized enterprises now understand that this is also beneficial for them, so that they can obtain better results. This leads to an important question: which are the reasons for this phenomenon taking place more and more frequent and at macro level?

The global market of these services has a value of US$600 million. The companies must think of a new investment due to different reasons: the lack of time to make a recruitment process, the increased pace because of the boom of new technologies and finally the expansion of the outreach of the projects related to those tech tools.

This enables them to reduce not only the costs of doing those tasks but also the time spent by doing them. So they can use that time for other priorities. Also, they try to avoid the expenditures coming from this process being higher than the budget assigned to each project. That’s why the outsourcing is considered to be so viable. The fact of outsourcing this task to external and specialized professionals also helps the internal employees of the companies to focus on deciding which abilities the talents must have. These talents must show that they possess the adequate potential in order to offer customized and more efficient solutions.

The companies who outsource IT experts provide a wide range of web development workers, according to each project, with great time availability and an impeccable career path.

It is essential to take into account that enterprises need agility and willingness towards change and innovation, which means more flexibility and openness at work. Regarding this, having a team that works in a freelance way has important benefits.

The idea is to optimize the delivery time of projects. This makes the marketing processes to happen in shorter times, which provides a greater customer satisfaction and makes possible the increase of the competitiveness on the market.

Moreover, by outsourcing skilled professionals for the software development, companies make sure that those talents put their abilities, knowledge and techniques at the service of the project fulfillment. The aim is to improve the work quality by respecting the required outlines and the fixed delivery times, so that it can work properly.

It is essential to be aware of the past outsourcing experiences of such organizations, as this will be useful when looking for new software developers or when creating and executing new projects.

On the other hand, it is true that by hiring other software development outsourcing companies or IT professionals, the enterprises obtain more credibility. The reason is that when their employees meet the deadlines of each project, there is a chance of improving and surpassing its planning, development and delivery to the specific customers.

In this area, there are great leaders who provide the service of external software development outsourcing. This removes some previous tasks of the companies while they develop their potential of the projects hand in hand with great experts.

 

Beyond the reasons that cause the boom of this service, it is relevant to mention its benefits:

1. The enterprises which have more trajectory always ask for information about the past experiences of the recruited staff, so they can focus on the customer’s area of interest. They work with responsible, committed and enthusiastic developers.

2. They hire a team made up of different talents which must have the required features according to the project.

3. A worldwide database of contacts is used in order to choose the best web developers.

4. They give the chance to work in the long term with the external developers, which makes the internal employees know each other better. At the same time, it permits a deeper knowledge of the details of the project as a whole.

5. Outsourcing enterprises respect the software developers’ values, cultures and ways of working by agreeing on some specified dynamics to fulfill the projects.

6. This kind of companies establish a communication plan, so that they can assure the normal understanding of every aspect of the project. They also pay attention to the dialogue with the experts to keep the fluency at work.

7. A joint working plan is defined. It is also divided into stages and levels of scalability.

8. They take responsibility for data security and confidential data related to the project.

9. Indicators are measured to check if the project is successful or not.

10. They control the quality of the products by avoiding mistakes or failures before marketing and selling them.