Development Team

Between the brackets: MichiganLabs’ approach to software development

February 12, 2024
Between the brackets: MichiganLabs’ approach to software development

When you’re thinking about building a custom digital product, there are plenty of software development companies available to you. Frankly, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

Any development team you hire should have, at minimum:

  • The technical chops to build what you need: Do the developers have experience building the type of product you seek? Are they diversely skilled in programming languages? Are they proficient in the specific technologies and frameworks required for your project?
  • Strong communication skills: Will the team listen intently and collaborate willingly? Are they proactive in providing updates and seeking clarification during the project lifecycle?
  • Plenty of business savvy: Can the team demonstrate an understanding of your industry and its specific challenges? Have they previously worked on projects that required integrating business requirements into technical solutions?

Do you see how we didn’t stop that list after technical expertise?

That’s because true success in custom software development is about more than writing code. It’s about crafting digital products that solve:

  1. Real user problems and
  2. Deliver tangible business value.

Custom software development is a multifaceted journey, requiring careful planning, collaboration, and execution. At Michigan Software Labs, our development practice is rooted in a deep commitment to our clients' success.

That’s why it’s built on a foundation of thorough product strategy, thoughtful design, and effective delivery—all tailored to ensure that your software solution aligns with your business objectives and user needs.

5 key ways MichiganLabs solves user problems and delivers business value

We demonstrate our approach to development through five key qualities, each carefully crafted to deliver significant business value.

1. Product strategy:

Product strategy is a bite-sized chunk of work that produces a shared understanding between a company and their digital product partner.

While product strategy is led by our principals and delivery leads, developers play a crucial role.

We appoint a developer to serve as tech lead on every project. And, in the product strategy engagement, they articulate our team’s technical expertise and advise on what’s feasible within the given context.

By aligning business objectives with technical capabilities, we lay the groundwork for a successful development journey.

“As a tech lead in project strategy, it’s crucial to embrace humble curiosity to grasp the client's business model, priorities, what’s currently effective, and areas for improvement. I enjoy getting to dream with the client about how technology can improve their business and better serve their clients,” said John DeLong, development practice co-lead.

2. Technical excellence:

Our seasoned developers bring a wealth of technical expertise to the table. MichiganLabs has an almost 15 year track record of successfully delivering more than 130 projects across various platforms and devices.

We’ve built for all the major modern devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android phone, and Android tablet.

Our team is proficient in multiple programming languages, catering to both the visible parts of websites and the backend operations. This means we're equipped to handle both the user interface (front-facing) and the behind-the-scenes tasks (server-side).

The bottom line: If you have a current platform or programming language you’re using, we can adapt to serve your needs.

3. Transparent communication:

Collaboration is at the heart of our development process.

We begin by gaining a deep understanding of your business goals, intended users, and key performance indicators.

Then, through detailed discussions and iterative feedback loops, we ensure alignment with your vision and objectives every step of the way.

4. Routine delivery:

Our iterative, Agile approach to development means we deliver value throughout the product lifecycle.

By breaking down your project into manageable increments, we’re able to ship regular feature demos. These serve as checkpoints where clients can see tangible progress and provide valuable feedback.

Our developers take ownership of this process by asking the right questions early on—to ensure they’re building a digital product that will meet (and exceed) your goals.

5. Continuous improvement:

The software development landscape is constantly evolving—with new technologies, methodologies, and best practices emerging all the time. That’s why we place a strong emphasis on code quality and continuous improvement.

After each sprint and project, we conduct project team retrospectives. These retros allow us to celebrate successes but also learn from challenges and identify opportunities to enhance our processes and practices moving forward.

We also foster a culture of knowledge sharing within our team. We invest in professional development opportunities for every developer—plus lunch and learns and practice-wide retrospectives to learn from each other’s experiences.

Our curiosity drives us to continuously refine our skills and stay at the forefront of technology—all to deliver the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Client reviews of MichiganLabs

Don’t just take it from us. See what our incredible clients have to say about partnering with MichiganLabs:

  • “Michigan Software Labs was very thorough and attentive throughout the development process. They’ve been faithful to the project timeline and identified solutions quickly, even when we’ve had delays due to unforeseen issues.” —Professor and researcher, Rutgers University

  • "They were in tune with our needs. This project was more about meeting our business needs than just building an app." —Senior IT manager, PADNOS Recycling

  • “When we began, we had a laundry list of things we eventually wanted to see built into a mobile app. Rather than trying to bite off everything at once, MichiganLabs helped us create a storyboard and figure out what was going to be most important to our clients and the biggest win for us.” —Vice president, ATBS

Michigan Software Labs’ people-first approach

This is one of a four-part series about Michigan Software Labs’ people-first approach to custom software development.

Curious what it would look like to work with the rest of a MichiganLabs project team? Explore the other articles in this series:

Ready to discuss your custom software idea? Let’s schedule a discovery conversation!

Nicole Zwiers
Nicole Zwiers
Marketing Lead

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