Deciding to start a bespoke software development project can be daunting. There is so much to consider – how can you make sure it will be delivered on time? Will it be within budget? Will it do everything you need it to?
We are here to reassure you that you can achieve a positive outcome in terms of budget, functionality and timescales. The perceived risks are more than outweighed by the benefits of a successful, effective, bespoke software solution. Here are our tips on how to avoid common software development pitfalls.
It never ceases to amaze us how many requirements come to light during the development process, or even after coding has finished! Having a thorough understanding of your requirements upfront saves you time and money. It forms the basis of your project, determining how accurately your budget will be met and how successful the end product will be. When defining your requirements, we recommend speaking to all stakeholders and never assuming that you know how the system needs to behave. By speaking to everyone who is going to use your solution, you are more likely to have a full understanding of everything it needs to do.
It’s important to find someone with the right knowledge and experience for your project. You should spend some time deciding what is important to you and find a partner who can meet those needs. Do you want someone UK-based to avoid any language and time-zone barriers? Do you want a company close to your office to make it easier to meet face-to-face when required, or are you comfortable with Skype calls and desktop sharing to communicate requirements and progress? All these factors (and many more!) will make the project run smoothly, without costly delays or changes to the specification. For more tips, check our blog post on how to choose a software development partner.
It is vital to have a consistent feedback process that allows the budget, functionality and timescales to be continually assessed and discussed by both the customer and the development partner. This helps keep the project on track and allows the opportunity to adapt if circumstances change or new requirements come to light. Both parties can work closely together to decide whether to extend the project to incorporate any new features, or exclude them from the initial project and plan for future phases with new developments and enhancements.
As we have mentioned, it is common for new requirements to be discovered during the development process which can be concerning in terms of both timescale and cost. The way to avoid this challenge is to plan for it from the beginning. If you allocate extra time and budget from the outset, you are prepared when it happens, and any possible risk is mitigated.
By definition, a new solution will not have been used before and therefore needs to be thoroughly tested before it can be deployed in a ‘live’ scenario. The project plan needs to allow for this, and as the recipient of the new solution, you should allow extra time for your team to carry out acceptance testing, parallel runs etc. Failing to do this properly may lead to serious problems in your key business processes and consequential damage to reputation and customer experience.
If you follow our advice, you will be able to avoid the common pitfalls of bespoke software development and reap the many benefits of this approach. Look at our bespoke software development page for more about the benefits of developing your own solution and how KLOC can help.
For more information or to discuss your requirements, please contact us today. We are experts in software development and offer services for web, mobile and desktop. The KLOC team have years of experience developing software solutions for a wide range of companies.