Today we’re talking about some useful insights to think about when choosing the right team to assist you with your software development. Software development can be a bit of a mine field because you’re talking about big projects and big dollars. Use these quick guides as a good rule of thumb for the team you invest with.
1. Choose a friendly team
You’re going to be spending a lot of time together talking about requirements, testing your product. You’ll want to be able to have a laugh with your software development team because investing in online software always has an element of risk and investment.
2. Choose somebody local
Just like you’ll want a friendly, fun software development team, you’ll want somebody local. There is nothing like dropping past their office to test your product, work through a spec, or communicate face to face. It just makes the experience easier as the minimum lifetime of a software build is 7 months. We do software development in Brisbane, and being able to walk next door, or drive 20 mins to touch base with our clients makes things so much easier.
3. Partner with a team that talk in terms of risk, benefit, cost & importance
If your current provider nods and tells you ‘yep we can do that’ without breaking things down and explaining them in terms of risks, benefit, return on investment, and layers of priority, chances are you’re heading down a dangerous road. Folks like this may know how to code, but they don’t understand business. You need a software development team that understands business, because at the end of the day, that’s the ocean that your product is set sail in.
4. Get an up front ball park figure
Even if the ball park figure is way out, having the guts and knowledge to put even just preliminary figures together means your software developers understand that conversations are conversations, not hard written specifications and that you need to know what you’re in for.
5. Requirements phase is the most important phase… Really.
We can’t stress this enough, if you don’t spend the time drawing up the plans for your house, when it comes time to build it will be a renovation disaster. We’ve had several stories where clients have not reviewed their own requirements, gotten to the end of their project and realised the product does what the requirements ask, but isn’t what they were looking for. We’ve heard and dealt with stories here clients have skipped this phase altogether, and halfway through the project with the budget fully extinguished, finally decided to document their requirements.
Don’t make the same mistakes, your software development will only ever be as good as the requirements and documentation that goes with it. With properly documented requirements you’ll get:
- Abilty to update future changes easily
- A measuring stick to keep your developers accountable
- If you break up with your developers, somebody else can step in
- You’ll feel more sane and in control
6. Understand that your needs may evolve once you start testing
Because you’re not a programmer, you don’t have the jedi mind powers of understanding what you’re in fact imagining. No matter how detailed you work through requirements phase there is often usually room for a few variations to pop up that may increase the budget, but increase the usability of your product, & make it more attractive to outside applications. It’s always worth anticipating so that you’re adapting to your market or business needs.
7. Don’t skimp on the extra’s
The worst thing you could do is go 80% of the way there with a software products. The optional extra’s in the business industry is what can help your product (which will generally do 2 or 3 things really well) move towards to generalising allowing your product to do 5-6 things really well, and give you a marketing edge.
We do software development, web app development and online systems right here in Banyo, Brisbane. If you’re keen to talk to a team that has been around the traps long enough to learn what works and what doesn’t, talk to the team at Creative Curiosity.