Co-development / co-creation @ Kapernikov

Published on: April 29, 2021

At Kapernikov, we are currently running many projects in a mixed setting: we work in teams consisting of our customers’ employees, Kapernikov colleagues and, occasionally, even other subcontractors.

We have completed quite a few projects this way over the years. With all this experience under our belt, now more than ever, it is our firm belief that co-development can be very beneficial for a company, and that Kapernikov is an excellent partner to team up with.

Why co-development makes sense

When starting a new software project, you basically have 3 options:

  • Manage the project purely internally with your own staff. Perhaps use body shopping if your internal capacity turns out not to be sufficient.
  • Subcontract the entire project to a third party who has the required expertise and capacity.
  • Co-creation: run the project together as a mixed team.

At first sight, co-creation seems cumbersome. Won’t it lead to a badly aligned, inefficient team? Will anybody take the final responsibility for the result? Clearly, there are risks associated with co-development, but we do believe that, when organized and executed properly, the benefits outweigh the risks by far.

Why?

Because it helps to build your own team

You have your own team in place: you hired a data scientist or a team of developers. They are smart, they know the company, and most of all, they are ambitious. They are eager to learn and are motivated to do their part when it comes to improving your organization.

On the other hand, your developers might not yet master modern software development methodology, or they could use help in getting started quickly. Your data scientist could use a sparring partner and would benefit from receiving input on methodology or industrialization.

You would be astonished to see how much more your internal team is capable of with just a little nudge from one of our experts.

Because it is your core business

While it is absolutely fine not to build your own website, CRM or ERP, sometimes, the product you are developing is part of your competitive differentiator. It might be your core business today, or it could have the potential to become so at a later stage. It could improve your operations to such a degree that it gains your company a substantial competitive advantage.

Co-creation is a very good match here: you retain and grow your internal knowledge, while the external experts you bring into your organization give you input on best practises at every step of the way. A good co-creation partner has the potential to bring fresh insights by putting new technologies and methodologies on the table. This enables you to innovate quickly while you continue to deliver quality.

Architecture and technology

Making architectural choices requires a lot of expertise and experience. Best practices and technologies change quickly. New products emerge all the time, and while some of them are here to stay, others vanish as soon as the hype wanes.

What’s more, there are several other aspects that are equally important to take into account. Technology is a main factor, but your team and/or culture should not be ignored either.

All of this is what makes it hard to take decisions on your architecture. And once they are taken, they are quite difficult to reverse.

The experience of an external partner who has seen (and taken) many of these decisions in different organizations and who has made it their business to learn from successes and failures can then prove to be invaluable. Finding the right partner can be hard and requires striking a balance between technology independence and technology intimacy.

Being good at co-development

Whether you are building a data platform, a data-intensive application based on micro-services or a tool that employs machine vision to do inspection, we are convinced that we can be a good match for you. We identified some skills that make the difference here. They are part of the Kapernikov DNA.

We truly collaborate

Co-development means working together and building a trust relationship with your team members, ranging from developers over scientists to project managers. It means attaining a clear understanding of the situation quickly and determining the optimal division of tasks.

We listen carefully so that we get to know your business, context, history, team… until we fully grasp what really matters to you. Technology, budget and the human factor are all equally important to us. We understand the importance of respecting and leveraging the roles your team already holds: your architect is still your architect, even if we assist him in laying out a new architecture.

Building a trust relationship can be challenging, especially in crisis situations. We make it our business to involve you and your team in envisioning the solution that we will set up together. Getting organized quickly around a certain topic while listening to each other in order to make decisions together is something we do all the time, and we have demonstrated that it works over and over again.

We are versatile

It takes a lot to build an application, ranging from machine vision and automation, over DevOps for cloud or embedded scenarios, to latency-free, lightweight data integration and cloud scenarios. We are a very diverse team with people from many different backgrounds. Check out our cases.

Even so, we are the first to acknowledge that no one can be good at everything. We know our own limits well. We will never hesitate to communicate them and seek external advise if needed. In addition to being a versatile core team, we have a great network that we can call on to fill the gaps in our own expertise.

We communicate

We work at the core of your business and aim to establish long-lasting relationships. To support this, we keep you posted on our progress, your options and any risks or opportunities we can see at the horizon. We believe that, in the long run, transparency & honesty always pay off, so we’ll bring you the news early and straightforward, whether it be good or bad.

Author

Frank Dekervel

Frank is one of the founders of Kapernikov. Together with his business partner, Rein Lemmens, Frank started a web services agency in 2004. But with the addition of a third partner, ...