A number of parties can benefit from an assessment of a development project: Prospective investors, companies acquiring software teams, VPs/Directors recently in charge of an acquired team, clients about to take over responsibility for software developed by a supplier. To this end, ZeaLake can review and evaluate the soundness of the project’s technology, tools, team and processes. We have conducted several of such technical assessments for clients in Europe and USA.

Technical assessment
The technical assessment identifies strengths and weaknesses as well as future focus areas. Examples of such areas are: Performance and scalability, for server-side and client-side. Maintainability and intelligibility of the source code, and flexibility to future development. Version control, branching, release tagging, database migrations to support parallel development, frequent integration and traceability. Build automation, unit testing, integration testing to ensure fast, robust and precise feedback. Product customizability, ease of use, attractiveness to ensure positive market adoption.

The ZeaLake consultant will examine code examples, assess current software platforms, tools, test procedures, etc., and interview representatives of the development team. The conclusions of the technical assessment will be summarized in written form and discussed at a meeting with the client, preferably including representatives of the development team. The technical assessment will be the client’s basis for deciding necessary improvements, which the ZeaLake consultant may help implement or refer to an expert in the particular area(s).

Read about one of our clients, Connecture, where we conducted an initial assessment of their software development.

Assessment of team and processes
Complementing a technical assessment, we offer to assess the team and their processes. The consultant will interview team members and project stakeholders, be a “fly on the wall” in a few project meetings,  and examine key project documents. The assessment will identify strength and weaknesses in the team’s skills, internal communication, organization, overall work processes, communication and reporting to their stakeholders to ensure transparency, efficiency, adaptability and ongoing improvement.

The results will be a prioritized set of recommendations that will increase the overall efficiency of the team and their delivery to their internal and external “customers”. The recommendations will be communicated in a short report and a presentation for the team and project stakeholders.

When hiring
If you are starting up a team from scratch and recruiting for a new technology or product, you may want to enhance your internal hiring assessment.  A senior ZeaLake consultant can interview and test your candidates for positions such as CTO, VP or Director of software development, Lead Software Engineer.