Lunatech has started working with Happy Melly to build a collaboration platform for their new business. Although we’re building software, CEO Jurgen Appelo thinks we’re more like food.
Jurgen writes that you should Treat Your Suppliers Like Potato Wedges, in which he explains the benefits of not planning ahead when it comes to suppliers, even for important things like food. And your business’ software.
Creative and technical products are so important for me that I prefer to see them as daily food, not as big products. I need them every day, and I prefer not to plan too far ahead. That’s why I pay Bravebox (websites & design), Robo MG (videos), and Lunatech (software) per month. No paperwork. No negotiations.
As an author I can’t work without the support of great suppliers who charge a decent fee. But they know I won’t waste time haggling over price and details because I trust they’re simply trying to do a good job. Why wouldn’t they? I could go somewhere else next month!
This goes against common practice in the IT business, where suppliers push for bigger contracts and longer-term commitments from their customers. This might be great for sales commissions and revenue forecasts, but it can distract the many stakeholders from focusing on building software that delivers business value to the real customer, and tends to make agile software development impossible.
For us at Lunatech, this is a refreshing approach, because it means we can spend our time on software development instead of contract negotiation. It’s also refreshing to have a customer tell us that he’s always more agile than his suppliers.
It probably goes without saying that this has to be an agile software development project. When the project plan doesn’t include being able to predict the future, either in theory or in practice, then other approaches aren’t an option.
Perhaps this approach wouldn’t work for everyone, or for every project, but if Melly’s happy then we’re happy.