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Road To Innovation: Building and Maintaining a High-Functioning Software Development Team in Transportation and Logistics

In today's fast-paced world, technology plays a crucial role in the success of transportation and logistics businesses. Once a company has decided to build proprietary software, it is critical to have efficient software development teams to facilitate this. In this blog post, we will explore how to build and maintain a high-functioning software development team specifically tailored to the needs of freight brokerages, trucking companies, 3PLs, and freight tech vendors. We'll delve into the benefits of a hybrid software development team, common challenges faced, and provide valuable insights for improving development team quality and output.

Challenges for Freight Tech Software Development Teams

Transportation and logistics businesses often face common challenges when it comes to building software and improving their freight tech. Some of the main challenges we see in the space are: 

  • Legacy technology systems 
  • Messy processes
  • Not practicing agile properly
  • Bandwidth, bandwidth, bandwidth

These obstacles can hinder progress and slow down innovation. Overcoming these challenges requires a strategic approach, including investing in modernizing systems and streamlining processes to create a solid foundation for development initiatives.

Go hybrid! Combine In-House and Outsourced Talent

When it comes to building high-functioning software development teams, transportation and logistics businesses should consider a few key factors. First and foremost, a hybrid team model (in-house and outsourced talent within an organization) can offer significant advantages. By combining in-house and outsourced talent, companies gain flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Hybrid teams enable businesses to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, reduce costs, increase profitability, and access valuable insights for improving operations.

A hybrid software development team offers unique advantages compared to fully in-house or contracted teams. By combining the expertise of in-house developers with the cost-effectiveness of outsourced talent, your software development team should see benefits and improvements in:

  • Flexibility
  • Efficiency
  • Expertise
  • Costs
  • Coverage
  • QPR (Quality-Price Ratio)
  • Velocity

Overall, the hybrid team model differs from the current state by offering increased flexibility, diversification of skill sets, scalability, collaboration, and adaptability. It enables businesses to leverage the best of both in-house and outsourced resources, optimizing costs, accelerating project timelines, and delivering high-quality software solutions more effectively.

Defining Success; KPIs

To ensure the success of a hybrid software development team implementation, transportation and logistics businesses should track specific metrics. One common problem that transportation and logistics businesses face in software development is the lack of clear metrics to measure success. Without defined KPIs, it becomes challenging to assess the performance and progress of a hybrid software development team. By tracking these metrics, companies can make data-driven decisions, identify areas for improvement, and ensure the success of their software development initiatives. 

Key metrics to consider include: 

  • Budget adherence
  • Project timelines
  • Project effectiveness
  • Business objectives and key results
  • Deployment frequency
  • Lead time for changes
  • Change failure rate
  • Mean time to recovery from a failure

These metrics provide valuable insights into the team's performance, project efficiency, and overall product quality.

Embrace Agility on your Freight Tech Development Team

One common problem in the industry is the resistance to change and the lack of an agile mindset within their development teams. Without embracing agility, organizations may struggle to keep up with evolving customer demands and market dynamics.

To improve the quality and output of their development teams, organizations should embrace an agile mindset. Agile values and principles promote collaboration, transparency, and adaptability, fostering an environment conducive to innovation. Conducting an honest assessment of the current state of the team is essential, identifying strengths and areas where external help can be beneficial. Clear goals should be established, and companies should be open to seeking external expertise to fill any gaps and accelerate progress.

Building and maintaining high-performing software development teams is critical for transportation and logistics businesses seeking innovation and growth. Companies can enhance their freight tech, streamline operations, and achieve their business goals by adopting agile values and principles and embracing DevOps. 

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Metafora is the leading consulting & software development firm for transportation, logistics, and supply chain businesses. Metafora partners with carriers, shippers, and freight tech vendors to help you optimize your business and build software to fuel their growth. Welcome to the new way forward. Welcome to Metafora.

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