Looking for software to solve your particular problem, you may not find one? But custom software seems frightening because of heavy investment. So, how can you increase chances for a successful outcome of your custom software project?
Points to consider before starting your custom software work
To succeed with custom software, find out how you can influence the software development process. Study the following aspects that are under your control.
Custom software provides a good opportunity to improve your business outcomes provided you address the development process properly. Start with prioritizing features you want to see in your software. It’s reasonable to implement the core features first, postponing those with lower significance. This way, you can release your product earlier and start to benefit from it. After that, you may gradually add other features improving your software. By getting user feedback on the go, you will be able to avoid expenses on the implementation of unnecessary features.
Optimal Software Development Model
Make sure your project follows an optimal software development model. The two most commonly used models are Agile and waterfall. Agile supports early product delivery by Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with the core features necessary to satisfy users. The other features are gradually added in every iteration. Define important project milestones and document them in the contract. Your project milestones may look the following way:
- Requirement Gathering
- Application Prototyping
- Project Design & Development
- Testing Phase
- Project Delivery
- Support & Maintenance
Set a target date for completing each milestone, and you will be able to control the project team’s performance. This is especially useful if the team works under the Time and Material (T&M) pricing model where the overall time they spend on the project is not fixed. Monitoring whether they manage to meet each milestone deadlines helps reveal any attempts to prolong the project flow.
Sustainability implies that the software functionality you use today will be available in the future and will continue to be improved and supported in the future. The first thing you should consider is the technologies your software is built on. To get a product that can be used without any significant investment for a long time, use technologies that will not get obsolete in 1-2 years. This way, you will avoid the necessity to revamp your software completely later on.
Choose a reliable Software Development Company that is ready to provide you with support and maintenance from the technical team familiar with the development process of your product. They will assist you in resolving any troubles quickly and efficiently. On average, software lives for 5-10 years, so fix the corresponding maintenance period in the contract.
Although software development costs may grow far beyond budget, there are some ways to control them. The longer the project flow, the higher software development costs. So, make sure the project team chooses an optimal software development model and meets the project milestones to do their best to keep to the planned project duration.
You can also reduce your expenses commissioning software development to the companies located offshore, for example, in India or Eastern Europe, as their employees usually have lower labor rates compared to those of the US specialists.
You should address several risks while working in custom software. One of them is a lack of budget, which may be caused by numerous reasons. For example, too many features may be missed at the beginning, which results in low software value. Trying to improve it, the project team may face a shortage of funds to implement the required functionality. The way out is wise financial resource distribution and reserve funds for unforeseen expenses. Besides, ask the project team to adhere to the budget allocation approach you’ve chosen from the very beginning.