Custom software initially requires a greater investment of time and resources than a ready-made solution. However, this quickly brings measurable results in the form of business development and an increase in the number of clients. There are many software developing companies that offer high-quality software tailored to individual business needs.
What is the custom software development process like?
The development of custom software or applications will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project, the specific requirements and the goals to be achieved by the system being created. However, it can be assumed that the entire process – from concept to implementation – will consist of 6 key stages.
The purpose of planning is to systematize business requirements and determine the goals that the system under construction must achieve. Good preparation for this stage is critical to establishing common ground with the technology partner and defining the bigger picture of the overall implementation.
Pre-implementation analysis will allow you to translate business needs into specific requirements and features of custom software. This stage will require you to have a good knowledge of processes and an accurate assessment of the needs of the organization.
As a manager, you have the right to have limited knowledge of the operational details of the day-to-day work of the system’s end users. In such a situation, it is worth attracting representatives from various departments of the company who will use the new system in practice.
The next step is to prepare a general plan for the solution being designed. By mutual agreement, the IT supplier will prepare a concept for you, which will present the target information structure and appearance of the system. You’ll get:
- global navigation project;
- consistent UX concept of the main screen and the most important areas of the designed solution;
- information architecture design;
- user experience concept design;
- graphical interface design for key screens (mobile and desktop versions).
At this stage, work begins on preparing the ordered software in accordance with the previously approved list of requirements and conceptual design. The tasks in this phase will cover different aspects of software development – depending on your individual requirements.
The implementation team will need access to technical documentation, detailed information regarding the integration of the designed system with other tools, necessary access, authorizations, etc.
Testing allows you to check the correct operation of the selected application and make sure that all the assumptions of the project are implemented. In the process of verifying the quality of specialized software, it is extremely important to conduct additional security tests. They allow you to assess the system’s vulnerability to threats. It is good practice to outsource such tests to a third party company that was not involved in the current project.
Creating a system that meets business assumptions is only part of the success. The real life of an application begins from the moment it goes into production.
For this process to be successful, your IT provider must provide you with support during this special period and take care of user onboarding.
No amount of testing will detect all errors that may occur after the system boots. Real users are best able to point out areas that need correction. It is therefore worth asking the supplier about their experience in this area and planning for adaptation.