Looking to improve your business? Custom software may be a good place to start. And if you’re reading this post, you’re probably already on your way to getting your own software development project off the ground.
Not only does custom software often cost less than its seemingly cheaper off-the-shelf counterparts, but it can also be more smoothly integrated into your existing practices, while saving you time and money that can be spent elsewhere.
Unfortunately, roughly 37.1% of software development projects fall through the cracks, says the Standish Group. Some factors that lead to project failure included a lack of resources, inadequate planning, and unrealistic goals and time frames.
So, how you can ensure that your project succeeds rather than fails?
Most roadblocks to project completion can be easily circumvented by taking the right steps from the get-go. Follow these five steps, and you should be able to successfully complete your project, and maybe even see a return on your investment.
Step 1. Develop a plan for your software.
If you haven’t already done so, the first step in building any type of web or software system should be to develop a plan. Especially if multiple parties are involved, it’s all the more crucial that everyone is on the same page, even in the early stages of development.
Some important questions to consider when going custom include:
What is your budget?
What is the software’s purpose?
What are your present vs. long-term goals?
By asking yourself questions like these, you’ll be able to refine your vision of your ideal custom software. Also, unless you have unlimited funding, you’ll want to consider your budget alongside those expectations.
Step 2. Find the right software dev. team.
Another reason many software development projects fail is disharmony between clients and developers. While finding a team with the skill set to build your software is important, it’s often just as valuable to find a team who can see the big picture and select the right tools to get the job done.
When looking for the right team, some questions you might ask are:
Have you worked on similar projects with similar features?
What is your development process like?
What are your terms and fees?
Remember, your software development team’s answers should make you feel confident in their abilities. They should also demonstrate that they value your business and goals, as well as respect your budget.
In many cases, you’ll need a team who you feel comfortable partnering with in the long-term--keep this in mind while selecting your ideal team.
Step 3. Determine your software’s MVP.
The reality is, budget often plays a crucial role in determining what kind of software you can get your hands on. That’s why it can be helpful to determine your MVP, or minimal viable product.
Forbes describes a minimum viable product as ‘a product with only a basic set of features, enough to capture the attention of early adopters and make your solution unique.’ In terms of software, your MVP is the most simplistic version of the software required to accomplish your goals.
Your MVP provides a basis for what features are absolutely necessary, so you know what you can and can’t live without. Some important factors to evaluate might include: functionality, scalability, and flexibility.
Step 4. Flesh out your plan for your software.
Once you’ve selected the best team for the job and determined what features your software can’t do without, you’ll probably need to work with your developer to iron out the finer details.
You should provide your developer with the information he needs to get started, from the minimum functionality necessary to valuable information about your users. In response, your developer should provide you with a detailed plan of your software’s architecture and a proposed development schedule.
After that, you and your developer should know exactly what you need from your software, what it’s going to look like, and when it should be complete.
Step 5. Collaborate throughout development.
Just because you’ve put a plan in place, and your developer has jumped full force into the coding process, that doesn’t mean your partnership has come to an end: It’s just beginning.
Once your project starts coming together, it’s all the more critical that you see it to completion. For example, you might make sure your developer is adhering to their development schedule and communicating with you along the way. Likewise, if any roadblocks arise, work together to find a solution.
Before you know it, your software will be complete, and you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of custom software.
But how do you even get started?
Getting started is often the most difficult stage to overcome in software development. But once you have an idea and a tangible plan for your software, all you need is the right team to build it for you.
At ClikFocus, we’ve built custom software for businesses like yours for over a decade. We value strong project management, flexibility, and starting your project right from the get-go. By partnering with us, you’ll have the chance to experience the benefits of going custom for yourself.
Are we the right fit for your project? Contact us to find out.