The elephant developer in the room: when to get the technical team involved (by Charlie Gavey)


The decision of when to get the development team involved in a project can be a controversial one. While many agencies and companies pride themselves on early involvement from the technical team, others prefer to keep skilled developers hard at work on billable or approved projects, rather than assisting in the early concepting stages.


With design-driven development increasing in popularity, designers are more welcome than ever around the boardroom table during project concepting phases, but if you’re still leaving your developers in the dark until a clear project scope has been determined, it might be time to think again.


The risks of late involvement


It’s easy to focus on the very real cost of having multiple developers sitting silently around the planning table, while deadlines loom on current projects. But the cost of introducing low-level technical understanding to your project too late in the game is just as real.


The basic project management tenet of “no surprises” holds true when it comes to briefing developers once scope, UX and designs have already been set in stone. If you’re encountering strong resistance from your development team when they’re briefed on project scope or designs, or if your developers are blaming delays on impractical designs or heavily customised feature sets that could have been avoided, it might be time to bring your dev team in earlier.