The Quest for Efficiency In Software Development

Last week, I stumbled upon a pretty neat-o website called Basically, the concept is to match you up with people that can perform a task or service for you, and they’ll do it for FIVE BUCKS ($5)!  Hard to believe, so I continued looking into it.  I found people willing to take pictures with your products, people who will do a short video for you, people who will do sales pitches for you, and many more very interesting services….all for $5.

OK, so I admit, I was intrigued enough to find out what $5 would actually get me from someone with over 1000 5-star reviews, and I came across a guy who would write a 30-second elevator pitch for (you guessed it: $5).  Since we do so many different types of software projects here at Palm Beach Software Design, Inc., I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t know how to properly describe my company in 30 seconds or less in a networking situation, so I hired this person to write one for me.  I sent him the link to my website, and also asked him to look at our About Us page to see our Mission Statement, Value Statement, and our Values.

Today I received the work I paid for.  I ended up paying another $5 for him to come up with 5 taglines as well, so total investment was $10.  I think it was worth it, although I do need to tweak it a bit so it sounds like “me” speaking, but all in all, it was the start I needed.

What I thought was interesting, is that the word “EFFICIENT” and “EFFECTIVE” were used many times, and it’s not a word I’ve ever used in my 30 second pitch in the past (for whatever reasons). I went to Wiki and looked it up just to be sure I had a true understanding of the word:

Efficiency generally describes the extent to which time, effort or cost is well used for the intended task or purpose. It is often used with the specific purpose of relaying the capability of a specific application of effort to produce a specific outcome effectively with a minimum amount or quantity of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort. “Efficiency” has widely varying meanings in different disciplines.

The term “efficient” is very much confused and misused with the term “effective”. In general, efficiency is a measurable concept, quantitatively determined by the ratio of output to input. “Effectiveness“, is a relatively vague, non-quantitative concept, mainly concerned with achieving objectives. In several of these cases, efficiency can be expressed as a result as percentage of what ideally could be expected, hence with 100% as ideal case. This does not always apply, not even in all cases where efficiency can be assigned a numerical value, e.g. not for specific impulse.

A simple way of distinguishing between efficiency and effectiveness is the saying, “Efficiency is doing things right, while Effectiveness is doing the right things.” This is based on the premise that selection of objectives of a process are just as important as the quality of that process.

Palm Beach Software Design, Inc. is both Efficient and Effective! I can say that with confidence because we truly spend the time prior to beginning a project developing a strategy.  We select the technologies we’re going to use, then decide which of our developers are best suited to reaching the finish line quickest and with the best results for our clients.  Together we review the scope and requirements of the project, and come up with a plan and timeline.  The timeline contains milestones to allow us to check our progress and meet our deadlines with our clients, without sacrificing quality by rushing.  That makes us effective for sure.

So if you’re thinking about upgrading your current business software, creating new automation for your business, or you’re ready to follow through with the next “greatest software idea”, please give us a call so we can discuss your goals and come up with a great plan to help you achieve them efficiently and effectively, using the best technologies at the best cost.  We love the challenge, and we’re eager to help you grow your company.