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Claudia Gronemeier
Project Manager at RepairConcepts GmbH
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5 lessons from 9 years of building software for DEKRA and what you can take out of it.

25 Feb 2022 posted by Maciej Krajewski

We’ve been developing software solutions (like DEKRA i2i video solution) for DEKRA since 2013. In recent years, we’ve helped them in achieving their goal – improving and implementing their i2i solution into their branches worldwide. Over the last 9 years, we had an opportunity to provide solutions for them, which gave a lot of satisfaction on both sides. DEKRA is a company that seeks out innovation and isn’t afraid to take a step into the unknown. As a software development partner, it’s been a pleasure to work with the passionate and enthusiastic people at the DEKRA Service Division.

However, we’ve learned a lot through these last 9 years – we’d like to share some of the valuable experience we gained.

 

Prioritise business cases above use cases

Why is this important? While it’s important to have working use cases to be able to move forward with developing the process of the final product, focusing on them may be counter-productive in the end. That is because the use case approach focuses solely on the chain of events that are expected to happen when a user comes into interaction with the solution applied. Business cases focus on system interactions and the final results we want to achieve in the “real world”; therefore, it focuses on the consequences of implementing the solution instead of it working on a paper (new client attraction, more revenue, and so on). 

Throughout the time spent with DEKRA we’ve learned to differentiate between use and business cases, and as a result, learned which features to prioritise, and what solutions to implement to deal with challenges in business cases. When a satisfactory result is achieved in developing business cases, there’s always time to shift focus to use cases.

 

Importance of the non-technical 

As developers, it’s easy to overlook the fact that many users may not be as skilled in using tech as we do – we’re creating a solution, not for ourselves, but for others. That determines exactly how important it is to have clear and meaningful communication with non-technical personnel of the client. Sharing information, updates, and progress reports in an understandable way with project managers who are not skilled in technical aspects is crucial.  

The same principle applies when it comes to employees – we have to keep them up-to-date with new features being implemented and be ready to explain their function in a way that’ll be easy to understand. By keeping the language simple and not boring them with terminology, while focusing on the value-benefit aspect, as well as their daily work, we were able to implement those solutions with ease, while gathering invaluable early user feedback. The goal of this was to ensure high adaptability and usability, which meant bigger success at the end of the project!

 

Immerse yourself in user stories

While working with DEKRA we’ve met many extraordinary people and that gave us a chance to learn from their experiences regarding the challenges and hardships of using the tech in their industry. That allowed us to broaden our horizon by including user experience stories from all walks of life – from field agents, lower management to branch managers. All these different perspectives, recommendations, and proposals regarding our product during the development stage allowed us to paint a full picture in our work – a much-needed holistic approach allowing us to stay ahead of the competition in these trying times.

 

Proactively seek feedback

During our cooperation with DEKRA, we’ve got a confirmation of how important is the well-known principle of working together towards mutual understanding blooming in an inevitable success – Feedback. As we shouldn’t practice alone – not to repeat mistakes – we shouldn’t work blindly according to the plan. During our journey with DEKRA, we’ve asked employees as well as managers regularly and consistently for feedback regarding our work and gave our own back accordingly – as this is a two-way street. That allowed for constant improvement through learning from our mistakes and suggestions for future-to-be users of our product. Monthly evaluation sessions with management, built-in app feedback forms, and scheduled meetings with employees gave us insight into challenges and everyday hardships of the industry – in turn allowing us to make the best-suited product possible.

 

Show what is possible – be assertive

By thinking outside the box and being ready to propose unconventional solutions, while being open to conversation and prepared to make mistakes, we discovered how big of an asset we can be to DEKRA and their business cases. By showing a full range of possibilities, technologies that can be used, and ready-to-use demos, we were able to grab the full attention of our client and include him in the development process hundred percent. We also provided insights regarding the cost benefits that our innovative and not ready on-the-go solutions will bring. That built trust, which in return gave space for discussion about DEKRA’s goals and plans for the future – a matter in which we’ve ofcourse advised and recommended possible solutions.

 

So what can you learn from our experience?

Well, it’s all there. In our opinion, we’ve gained a lot of invaluable experience from our 9 years of partnership with DEKRA. We have developed, scaled, and established a global video solution within their group. We’ve learned to be more than just a development partner, but also a leader in innovation and feedback partner. It also showed us how being proactive in every aspect of collaboration is a mutual benefit. 

Don’t just believe us, read how DEKRA views our partnership.

Yameo effectively supports our needs and ideas. If we come up with ideas for innovative solutions, they help us translate them into opportunities — they do this quite fast. Overall, the support that we receive from them in this rapidly changing market is outstanding. The feedback of our internal and external stakeholders proves that.

Christian Ritter
Vice President Service Development Division Claims & Expertise

We work with IT companies a lot, and many of those big IT and software companies promise everything and it ends up being a disaster in the end. I have never had that experience with Yameo as they always deliver on what they promise, and it is always for good money.

Reginald Vogelzang
Vice President Innovation and Member of Board of Directors at DEKRA Service Division.
Interested to read their Case Study? Why not click here.
Maciej Krajewski

I am a Software Engineer and Software Manager myself and I know what bothers you. Doing robust software is fun if you have enough experience and work with serious people.

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