Software development for a start-up represents a significant investment, and whether you’re an Investor, Founder or CTO, you’ll want to maximize the amount of return and minimize the time it takes to achieve that return. For anyone working with software development teams, either internal or external, there are tools available that play their part in ensuring your time to market is as efficient as possible – the end result is increased team and stakeholder alignment, quicker market validation of your software product, reduced risk of product-market fit, and overall better quality delivery.
Here are five tools that you can make use of today, and they’re all free to get started with:
Slack – A free messaging tool, Slack is designed for quick and organized communications between team members and teams as a whole. It’s designed to provide instant messaging capabilities through channels (groups of members) and one-to-one direct messages. It also integrates with many third-party applications to provide a one-stop communications mechanism for your entire organization
Confluence – Made by Atlassian, Confluence streamlines all documentation in your organization in a powerful Wiki that is easy to navigate. It’s easy for anyone in the organization to view and collaborate on information, and it will soon become the central repository of knowledge. Like Slack, it also integrates seamlessly with other applications in your ecosystem
Miro – A lot of great ideas started with scribbles on a whiteboard. Miro allows you to digitize that, providing real-time remote whiteboarding that allows multiple participants to work off the same canvas. It comes packed with several templates to provide you with a head-start to many well known problem-solving and brainstorming frameworks and provides facilitation controls to allow for structured workshops
Jira – Also made by Atlassian, this powerhouse of software provides easy and customizable access to best practices workflows to ship great software. From the initial cutting of code to the triage and resolution of bugs and defects, you’ll find what you need in Jira whether you’re just starting out or you’re a multinational enterprise. It plays nicely with all the tools mentioned so far and is free for teams of up to 10 members
HubSpot – although not directly related to developing software, as anyone in a startup would know engaging with your customers is pivotal to soliciting feedback and achieving product-market fit. HubSpot is easy to get started and integrates with Jira and Slack, and provides an excellent starting point for everyone looking to establish a system for Customer Relationship Management, Marketing Automation, and Customer Service.
These five tools are great on their own, but having them work in sync will pay dividends when your software gets more complicated and your team gets busier. Taking advantage of these tools is a great way to ensure everyone in your organization, including internal and external development teams, delivers the right product in the right way – and ultimately delivers value to customers, users, and shareholders.
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