Today I’m going to answer a question from Ibrahima, the co-founder of an electronic payment solution for Africa. His question is… 

What type of technical team does a high-standard production require?

Before answering this question, let’s add a bit of context.

Ibrahima and his co-founders hired a few freelancers to develop their solution. They went through a pilot phase where they sparked the interest of several banks. But before they partner up with them, they need to establish themselves as a reliable company. That means structuring their development process and team to reach high standards.

First off, what does “high standards” mean for software development?

“High standard” definition

  • Security
  • Reliability

Reaching high standards means providing the reliability and the security required to protect your customers.

In some cases, we are talking about money, but it can also be personal information security or even physical security.

So for a software company, reaching high standards requires spreading the responsibilities across the organization. This way, just one person doesn’t have the power to create a negative impact. For example… 

Company organization 

  • Sales team
  • Customer support team
  • Development team
  • Production or infrastructure management team

Depending on your industry, there are plenty of best practices to apply which help you comply with certifications like PCI DSS for payment, ITIL and CMMI for software, or simply ISO 9001 for the quality management.

As a software company, your focus is more on the development and production management side of things because this is where the customer data is managed. Remember, the principle is to not allow anyone fulfill bad intentions with the customer data. 

To do so, it’s pretty simple. 

Team structure 

Developers and production managers need to be in different teams. 

  • The developers will provide source code for the application and test it, but they will not have access to the production environment.
  • On the other side, the production manager will only be able to deploy the application, but won’t be allowed to do any changes on the software nor on the databases.

This principle entails regular checks and audits of how employees work, of the internal process, and of basic security rules that need to be applied.

Conclusion

So to conclude and answer Ibrahima’s question: if you are a startup that needs to reach higher standards, it might be time for you to delegate the production management to another company—one that already has all the quality certifications required to run a high-standard production environment. That way, your company will be able to focus on what’s the most important for you, i.e. your business and developing new features.

Next week I will go deeper into the process of providing high-standard solutions as a startup, so you can sell it to bigger companies.

In the meantime, if like Ibrahima, you have a specific question for your project, just go ahead and post them on myctofriend.co/ask.

I will do my best to answer your question in a video or redirect you to any existing content that will answer it.

Also, be sure to go through our other content at myctofriend.co to learn more from real startup growth experiences and better manage your startup development.

I’ll be waiting for your questions, and I look forward to seeing you in other videos.