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How to run a successful software development process

If you don’t have a business plan that outlines your specific goals prior to starting a new development project, then you may wind up wasting quite a bit of money and time.

woman programming on a laptop
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It’s no big secret that the use of custom software can help your business operate more efficiently and become much more profitable. However, the development of custom software is a process that’s often demanding and lengthy – both for the developer and the customer.

While your developer can bring adequate expertise to this process, it’s also important to note that you (the customer) has a significant impact on the way the process progresses. Why? Because the development of custom software is dependent on the following factors.

By getting to know these factors and using error message tools, such as Loggly, you can ensure your software development project is a success.

Begin with the End in Mind

The very best customers are going to be the ones who already know what their software needs to look like and how it needs to perform. Take some time to think about this. What should your software accomplish? How is it going to look?

Take some time to sketch your vision on paper. Take this initial concept to your developer.

Understand How this Software Fits with Your Overall Business Plan

Custom software is an investment, and therefore, it should serve your business in some way. This is the main reason why factoring in your business plan is so important when having it developed.

If you don’t have a business plan that outlines your specific goals prior to starting a new development project, then you may wind up wasting quite a bit of money and time. Being able to define the value the software provides to your company is absolutely essential.

Have In-Depth Knowledge of Your Market

How is the software you are developing going to serve your customers? Regardless of if you are going to use it externally or internally, understanding your actual market is going to help you during the development process.

Deciding on this is going to help you in clarifying the specific objectives and help you define the projected return on the investment you make in software development.

Have a Single, Appointed Decision Maker

In most cases, the development of custom software isn’t going to be a single-person project. In most cases, there are going to be members of your staff who are going to be needed for their opinion on certain aspects of the software being created.

While acquiring input from everyone about the project is a good idea, there still needs to be a single person who has the responsibility of maintaining a focus on and for the project. If there are multiple decision makers, it may cause the project to go off track rather quickly.

Treat Your Developer as a Member of Your Team

When hiring a software developer, you may consider this to be the traditional supplier/customer arrangement. However, if you opt to view this process as a team effort, then the process is going to wind up being much more successful.

To treat someone like a member of the team, you need to be completely transparent through the entire development process. Be sure to hold one another to deadlines and help meet deadlines when possible to keep everything on track.

If you are having custom software created, it is crucial to use the tips and steps found here. Doing so will help ensure that your project has the best chance of success and that there will be minimal speed bumps along the way.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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