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10 Things To Remember When Having An Application Or Software Developed For your Business Or Community

When it comes to hiring an application development company, a good understanding of the business requirements is critical before venturing into the planning of the project. The following are 10 requirements that you need to understand with the developer when you are having a custom web application developed. Once these things are clear you can then get a timeline and Scope Of Work for your custom software development project.

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10. Business Goals, Project Objectives & Background

What we need to know before we can develop your custom application

Before embarking on any new custom application development project, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of your business and industry, and what you plan to accomplish with the custom software project we are undertaking. We invest a significant amount of time listening to you; before we begin doing what we do best, we want to educate ourselves in what you do best; gaining a meaningful understanding of your business, your customers, and what you are ultimately looking to achieve.

We typically begin by assessing and documenting the following:

  • How does your company differentiate itself from competitors?
  • Who are the primary stakeholders we are looking to serve?
  • What competitive advantages are you trying to gain with this project?
  • What is your overall project budget?
  • What are the plans for growing and evolving your project into the future?

9. Review of Current Systems & Processes

What kind of software systems are you currently using in your business?

As part of our application development consultation with you, we will want to perform a full review of your current software systems, and understand how this new custom development project fits within your existing environment. It is important to have a clear understanding of the different applications that any new software is going to touch, and review any documentation for APls or other integration points to see how a project can effectively leverage any data or software readily available.

We also draft and document all workflows to understand the complexities of how data should pass from one environment to another, capturing the intricacies of what should move where and when. Good documentation is necessary to provide the proper context for how a custom software development project operates within your existing systems.

8. Stakeholders and Intended Audience

Who will use your custom web application?

It is critical to understand who we are building the custom application or software for.

The following will be taken into consideration:

  • Who is your target audience for this custom web application or software?
  • What are the technical abilities of your audience?
  • What kinds of devices are your audience using? Do you want this application developed for mobile devices, computers, or a web application for any device?
  • Which technologies do your business’ stakeholders use?

By clearly defining your audience, we can get a better understanding of how to present the software to be built. This ultimately informs our wireframing and graphic design work, to ensure that the software presents itself correctly and clearly to your constituency.

7. Feature Description

What features do you want in your custom developed application?

We take an Agile approach to software development. The first phase of any agile project is taking your technical requirements, and breaking them down into a series of User Stories. These User Stories clearly outline tasks from an end-user perspective, detailing what they will be doing within an application and why. These User Stories should capture the totality of what functions a user should be expected to perform.

Once these stories are completed, we go through the detailed process of categorizing them based on precedence and importance, and planning the project. Our goal is typically to complete stories of highest importance as early in the project as possible, orienting our focus and your budget to the features that are going to provide the highest value and rate of return.

6. Interactive wireframes

See how your application will work before it is even developed

Before any application development services can begin, it is important for us that we give you a sense of what your software will look like, and how it will work.

We use prototyping tools so we can think through and wireframe the details of how software will work, and how an end-user will approach it. These wireframes capture not only basic screen layouts, but also the workflows implemented from screen to screen in your application.

This wireframing process not only helps us work out how your custom developed software will work; it also gives you the opportunity to get an initial sense of how your project will look and feel, providing you with visual concepts that you can interact with and click through just as an end-user would. This also gives us the chance to solicit your valuable feedback, creating opportunities to collaborate and ensure that your voice drives the direction of the project.

5. Hi-Fidelity UI Mockups & Design needs

How do you want your custom developed application to look?

By clearly defining your audience, we can get a better understanding of how to present the software to be built. This ultimately informs our wireframing and graphic design work, to ensure that the software presents itself correctly and clearly to your constituency.

  • What is your company's brand, and how can we best represent it visually in the project?
  • How should this project fit within the context of other software, materials, and visuals that you currently use?
  • Are there any branding guidelines that we can use as a reference, for typefaces, colors, and logos?
  • What current design trends are prevalent in the industry?

Our experienced design team is focused on developing clean, modern designs for your application that will best represent your brand to your target audience.

4. Technical Architecture

What language will your app be built in?

After the requirements for your application or software development project are captured, and the workflows and designs are finalized and approved, we need to identify the best technology solution to fit the problems that the project presents.

We have a diverse group of app developers & programmers highly skilled in a few key technologies, such as:

  • MEAN Stack/MERN Stack
  • Cross Platform Mobile App Development – React Native and Ionic Framework
  • Microsoft Stack (.NET Core, MSSQL)
  • Java, Spring, Hibernate

Being a technology agnostic solutions provider, we ensure that your requirements dictate the technology solution, and not the other way around.

Once the proper technologies are identified, our development team gets to work to research and document the technical approaches required for executing your project.

3. Project Assumptions

What do you WANT your application to do?

In the process of documenting requirements and creating technical solutions, we frequently are required to make assumptions as to how a feature will work, or how our software will be interacting with other systems.These assumptions are documented and shared with you, as they inform how the project is estimated and approached.

As a project unfolds and our assumptions may be challenged, it is important to have this initial documentation to show how a specific decision was made, and why an approach was taken. This level of transparency helps both parties understand if a project deviates from its original scope, as requirements may change as a project unfolds.

2. Project Plan & Roadmap

What does it take to get your application developed?

All of this upfront work in collaborating with you and documenting your requirements helps us to most realistically plan the project, and commit to a timeline that can be confidently shared with you. The timeline captures all phases of the project for a clear picture of what you can expect:

  • Discovery and Documentation
  • Software Development (broken into 2-3 week sprints, where progress will be periodically demonstrated and your feedback solicited)
  • Training
  • User Acceptance Testing (2-3 weeks dedicated to your review of the project where we collect and incorporate your feedback)
  • Documentation
  • Application Deployment

We take our project planning seriously. We take communication and adherence to timelines very seriously when developing applications so that you can meet the expectations of your stakeholders and customers.

1. Maintenance and Support requirements

What do you need once your application is developed?

Almost as important as executing the initial software project is determining how it will be supported going into the future. Software is not static- technology is always changing, and it is important to ensure that your project has the durability to sustain into the future.

Maintenance and support could include:

  • Upgrading Frameworks to ensure they are secure against security exploits
  • Maintaining the hosting environment
  • Ensuring proper functionality as technologies evolve, such as mobile operating systems, browsers, and underlying technologies
  • Resolving any bugs that users may encounter

Keeping an eye to the future when planning your project ensures that your initial investment will be protected going forward, keeping your software fresh, modern, and usable for years to come.

Getting An Application Developed For Your Business

Knowing everything that is required before you hire an application developer

In most cases, our clients need help coming up with a requirements document. We gather requirements by conducting an elaborate discovery phase, which involves a series of meetings between our team (comprising business analyst, project manager and a solutions architect) and the client team (comprising stakeholders and end users). When we develop a custom web application for our customers we take into account their needs, their customers needs, and what is required once the application launches. If you need an application developed for your business or you are looking for custom software development we are here to help. Feel free to download our Whitepaper below, or contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION regarding your businesses application development project.

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