Building custom software can be a big undertaking depending on the requirements of the project. Many times businesses begin building software only to have the project fail because the process was not designed or managed properly. Here are 4 key items you should strive towards when starting a software project to get better software.
1 - Spend time designing your software:
- Talk through business processes to include
- Detail the behavior of the software
- Create detailed workflows
- Mock up interface layouts
- Identify portions of the data that need to be queried or pulled into reports
- Identify users of the system and permissions to system tools
- Clear up assumptions - If you ever say "the system will handle that"… STOP and make sure you detail exactly what you expect the system to do.
2 - Use an agile approach to software and build code in iterations (sprints) - 2 to 4 weeks. When you develop in iterations, the development team can more easily identify issues and handle them. You are able to review the software product at the end of each sprint and drive the direction of future development by giving feedback between sprints. Agile software works well for change.
3 - To accomplish #1 & #2, make sure to have an experienced team with the following skill set:
- Project Manager - Oversees the entire project from start to finish. Point of contact for the project. This person would be involved in the understanding of your business processes and how you would like the system to behave.
- Developer - experienced in one or more coding languages, able to design databases, account and security knowledge, and understanding of software hosting
- Software Tester - Oversees the software end-to-end testing. Identifying and communicating system issues to the developers.
*Size of your team will depend on the size of the project. The important point here is to have one or more persons with these skills.
4 - Get involved! Don't sit on the side line and expect your software to magically work. Be involved in the design, testing and reviewing of the software often with your Project Manager or Development Leader. Only you and your team truly know what you want so your feedback is critical to the evolution of your software.
If your business is looking to begin a software project, Method Development is here to help - contact us today!
Method Development is a software development company based in Omaha, Nebraska specalizing in website design, custom software, database design and ecommerce solutions for your business.