We would never say that extra features aren’t worth pursuing, but sometimes they are worth delaying. The Latex app system demonstrated how effective the ground-level features were by themselves on the new project. Dedicating time to develop the extras, instead of rushing them right off the line, would pay dividends in the long run.
First impression is everything
This was a big project, with a big budget, and it was only going to get bigger if Latex had its way. Again, there is a lot that goes on during any given pipeline construction process, and the peak function of the app was to collect all of these going-ons into a simple Progress Report for the company to review. That simple report was the sum of many additional complex tasks, however. We needed to create separate reports for all of the users in the field, which in turn needed to accept manual data entry while ingesting geographic and weather information, and also connecting to the user’s phone camera. All of this information needed to go to the right place and be organized into a digestible report. It was one of the most involved projects we’ve ever committed to, already.
And then Latex said that it needed a Fuel Tracking function as well.
It’s not an unreasonable ask. After all, any construction company that uses as much heavy machinery as Latex does is also spending a truckload on fuel. Using an app such as this to track the use of fuel is logical. So we started looking into the solution.
The problem was we were already well into the six-month project window, and the time it would take to design, develop, and test an entirely new functionality was cutting significantly into the time we spent perfecting the Progress Reports. So we went to Latex and we told them the truth (if not an outright ultimatum): If we add this to the scope of the project, the Progress Reports will suffer. We can’t afford to push back the deadline, and we never push back deadlines. We need to push back the scope. That isn’t to say that Urbity couldn’t create the fuel tracking functionality later, but it shouldn’t be done now.
Basically, we hoped Latex would see the difference between what they wanted, and what they needed. Thankfully, they did.