At Atomic Object, we are in the fortunate position of having many individuals and companies reach out to us for our software development and design services. However, this high demand sometimes puts our company in a position of choosing which projects to take on out of a field of many great opportunities.
In some cases, the choices are limited, which makes our decision easy. First and foremost, we want to make sure our business is generating revenue and keeping our colleagues gainfully employed. However, the process of making the “right” choice becomes more complex and nuanced when there are a lot of great projects to work on. Along with a few others at Atomic, I’ve started considering three basic principles when evaluating a project.
The ideal project will fall in the sweet spot between business health, employee satisfaction, and customer success.
Business health defines how a project maintains or improves the vitality of your organization. It’s affected by four factors:
We typically like projects that will last two months or more and have a well-defined end date. This type of project tends to have a well-defined scope and offer a healthy amount of work for us to do. It’s also much easier to plan future work when we’re not trying to manage many short-duration projects scattered among 8+ teams.
Not every great project is the right fit for Atomic and the customer. Factors that come into play are our role on the project (staff augmentation vs. project team), the kind of work you need (full-stack design/dev, custom software development vs. CMS specialization, etc.), cultural fit, and whether can we deliver more value than our competitors.
We typically target at least two to three developers and one designer per project team. A team of this size and composition are ideal for creating custom software products where we can provide value on the technical, management, and design fronts.
We want to ensure that we are working on projects that can sustain and improve the financial health of our business. Since our rates are, for the most part, standard across most projects and competitive within the industry, we typically don’t choose one project over another based on rate.
Our people are our business—they’re the ones creating all of the wonderful software in our portfolio. It’s important to us that people on our team can work on projects that they enjoy and that further their technical, design, and management growth. We can’t always work on the perfect project. But satisfaction is a very important factor when choosing a project to work on.
As an organization, we need to work hard to ensure that the projects we work on provide real value to our clients and their businesses. One of our value mantras is “Give a Shit,” and we certainly care about the success of customers. Another obvious reason for caring about our clients’ success is that we want repeat business, referrals, and a solid industry reputation.
At Atomic, we currently have the luxury of choosing amongst a field of great potential projects. Unfortunately, it also means we have to turn down or defer great projects. That’s why we have to be diligent in picking projects that maintain or improve the health of our business, are a good fit, are fun to work on, and allow us to provide value to our clients and make them successful. These are the kind of opportunities that turn into Atomic Object projects.