The Businss Owners Guide to Getting What You Want

How to get quality software solutions that solve your business’ problems on time and within budget.

  1. Be clear on what you need – No one knows your business like you do. Software developers need to understand what you mean when you describe something so make sure you use examples and diagrams to explain the process to a software developer. Even written specifications can be interpreted in more than one way if they are not written corectly.
  2. Specifications – Every tried to build a house without written plans? Even the most detailed verbal descriptions will not result in the right plan being built. Do not underestimate the time and effort required to get the plans completed to the level of detail required so that every member of a team has a good chance of having the same understanding.
  3. Working out a budget – Custom software development can be expensive – everyone involved has to get paid enough to make it worth thier while. In short you will get what you pay for. If you needed a heart surgeon are you going to pick the cheapest of the best? Well your software project might be the heart of your business so be careful how you decide to spend your money. The aim is to minimise waste whild getting a quality product and this will require good business decisions both on your part and the developers. Unrealistic development budgets will simply doom the project to failure when you realise that you simpley can’t get a top quality product at below cost.
  4. Selecting suitable technology
  5. Keep the projects short – The risk in a software development project will rise the longer it goes on. Wherever possible break up a large project into several smaller, say 3-4 months, projects where the result of each of the smaller projects will deliver an independently useful module. Once each of the smaller projects has been completed you should have the original, large and complex product you wanted. This approach means that you get your product delivered in chunks that you can start using along the way, thus delivering a return on your investment much sooner.
  6. Agile developmenthttp://www.agilemanifesto.org/principles.html
  7. Making changes as you go – No matter how well you plan and specify what you want, ‘change happens’. Whether its a change in legal requirements or a change in market conditions or you just came up with a better way to do it, you might need to change your product while its being built. Understand that some changes will be simple and some can be very complex. Each and every change will need to be documented and the Project Manager will facilitate the change with everyone involved. The cost may also change, or in the best case when changes are made early enough, there may be no change (or even a decrease!) to the cost of the project.
  8. Testing – All new software needs to go though a rigourous testing phase before it gets release to a business for use. This testing will be broken up into automated and manual testing. Much of the technical validation can be performed automatically to give you confidence that each field in the database is being stored correctly. But its only when humans get involved that the final testing can be performed. Some programs may appear simple to complete a given task yet much of the programming logic is there simply to stop users from doing everything else that is not allowed!
  9. Turning it on – The final phase of implementing new software in your business is ‘turning it on’ and using it. Perfectly good development can be ruined if the implementation is not performed correctly. This includes: staff training, backup and recovery plans, user manuals and documentation, modifying all your other business processes that interact with the new software…
How to get quality software solutions that solve your business’ problems on time and within budget.

So, What’s Your Next Step?

Call our office now on 1800 468478 (INTGR8) to Contact Us to discuss how we can assist you with your software development and integration challenges.