If you do custom software development and work with customers, you know it's sometimes challenging because everyone has a slightly different idea of how the result should look like. The same applies if you work in an internal team where your boss or other department are your customers.

Yes, you can try to write down the best specification ever, ask every question and try to find a solution for every problem. But it works only in theory. Then you start coding and very soon reach a situation which was not covered by the spec and will not work. And that's practice.

The role of a feedback

When you realize you cannot cover all the situations ahead of time, you stick up with the remaining option - get feedback and reflect on it. It means when you find a problem, you solve it. When the customer sees the result, she will give you feedback, and you will make the required changes.

But the feedback loop, especially in big teams, is very slow. It's like the Chinese Whisper game - a customer talks to a manager, the manager talks to an analyst or team leader, and finally, the information gets to the developer but is already distorted. You lose the context.

If you have the opportunity to work directly with a customer, it's much better but still not ideal if the feedback loop is not fast enough.

The solution? Make it fast

So how to meet your customer's expectations? Make the feedback loop fast as you can.

At Adapptio, we've discovered this fact in practice while working with one of our early customers. During our meetings, the customer was describing to me what she wanted and the reasons for that. I was writing down not only the facts but also the motivations. And the best thing came in the end. My colleague was also present at the meeting, and while I was talking to the customer, he implemented all the UI requirements immediately. So when we ended up, our customer could see her requirements done and could give us additional feedback.

After the meeting, we were able to deliver the required features in days. And always, when we had something new, we sent it to our customer and asked her for feedback.

This way, we iterated to the final product much faster while meeting our customer's expectations.

You need the right tools

Make it fast; nicely said. But how? It's simple. You need the right tools.

Our web development platform Adapptio offers a zero-compilation live preview while you are developing an app. And it's connected to real data sources. So as you are developing, you see the results immediately in real-time.

This way of development is addictively fast and convenient. Forget waiting for a Webpack to re-compile, forget reloading the browser and even forget waiting for hot-reload to refresh the page itself. In Adapptio, you click, and that's it. Instant preview of the final result.

And with one-click deployment, you can put your work online and send it to your customer for a review without any hassle.

This is how you can make the feedback loop faster, get your customer into the process, and deliver what she expects.

Bonus effect of a faster feedback

Also, there are additional positive outcomes of a faster feedback loop. You don't need to overdo your analysis or project specification because with better communication and faster feedback, you are eliminating the risk of delivering something your customer doesn't want.

It means you are eliminating the risk of arguing with your customer if this or that feature was requested and ordered and if she is gonna pay for it.

After all, there is no software project without any trouble. And in the end, it's all about your relationship with your customer. If it's good, you can overcome almost any problem and be long-term business partners.

So, make the feedback loop as fast as possible and talk to your customers.