When you’re coming up with some app idea, you’ll probably look for someone to partner with, who has experience in the industry you’ll be working in. But first, you’ll stumble into the question of how to start a software development project right? When “right” means getting a stress-free experience for you and your team, low developer turnover, well-coordinated work and thought-out process.
If evaluating a software development partner, you may use dedicated resources for this reason, including Clutch.co or GoodFirms. Through these resources you can sort prospective contractors by ratings, countries, reviews and hourly rates. Unlike the official websites, the main advantage of these directories is utterly correct information - companies can’t moderate the reviews and affect their rates. It is impossible to post false information since the administration of portals verifies everything.
When you select a few companies, you can check their websites, explore their previous projects and get in touch to make sure they look professional, well-thought-out, and provide users with a crowd-pleasing UI/UX and the highest quality code. In this way, you’ll get an exhaustive list of software development companies, besides that’s only a first step.
Let’s take a look at some of the main points you should consider.
Software Development Planning: Transmit Your Expectations
All successful software projects start with setting up the right expectations. Essentially, the objective can be achieved ONLY if the right expectations have been pointed out, conveyed and perceived by your software development partner correctly to the last detail. It’s a basement.
As a client, you need to communicate with your development team about a problem you want to solve or an experience you want to provide for the world - first of all. Your team should totally understand what you want to get as a result of cooperation - what functions should be covered by your application or what product idea has to be implemented.
As a Project Manager, you should always communicate with the client about his vision of the solution and help him with pieces of advice on everything that is in your team competence. You have to explain how to develop a software project step by step, ask about must-have features, offer optimal solutions for different problems, provide your customer with the right technical stack, etc. Software development planning is totally your obligation, so all the customer’s whats, whys, and hows should be covered by your profound expertise.
Starting a Software Project: Define the Scope of Work
Write down all the thoughts regarding your idea. Specify a problem that you want to solve. Use the brainstorming practices: alone, and then with the team. Point out three most important things and work on them: create a User Stories, user flow diagrams, BPMNs - whatever that allows you to describe your thoughts in a way YOU see it. Work on this with your team: Business Analyst, UX Designer - they will help you to shape the idea and find an optimal way to implement your idea.
Please, don’t try to explain your concept just verbally, always rely on the documentation, otherwise, the result may be unexpectedly surprising 🙈
Don’t focus on the design - start with wireframes, using tools like Balsamiq Mockups. Why? Because if you start working on designs without having wireframes ready to go, you’ll think more about a visual, about beauty, about colors of the buttons. Let’s admit, it’s a secondary goal - who needs a professional-looking design of the biased, fragile product? Remember that an awesome book cover plays a bad joke on a meaningless content. Creating wireframes first allows you to focus on functionality - not on the visual representation. And, it’s easier to make changes on the wireframes - so as a result, you’ll get a prototype faster!
Unfortunately, not all the companies put your success first. Some non-professional agencies or developers may omit the discovery stage to proceed straight to development itself . By the way, that’s your money playing roulette if getting a half-baked, jerry-build solution, concocted in a hurry. You should derisk the process by your own - choose a reliable software development partner, who offers (or even insists) to start from the concept development stage.
Plan Your Budget Carefully
Having the scope defined, you want to understand how much it will cost. While working with a client, a Project Manager should always communicate with him/her regarding each feature and required efforts. So, if you’re not an expert in development technologies - Project Manager and the team will also specify all the details of a feature/technology/implementation plan and explain how to develop a software product. Being clear and transparent is one of our main values.
When you’re about to change the scope (add new/change existing features for example) - discussion with the team of experts will help you to get better understanding of your needs from the development side - how much time and budget will take an implementation and what are the options to make it faster - if it’s a priority.
Forming a Team to Create Your Own Software
Primary, your software development partner will define the specific skills of a development team you need. Implementing AI or Big Data? You definitely will need an appropriate person with related experience here.
Also, it’s handy to have a designer, even when you already created the first version of the layout. A designer will make sure that designs were implemented in a way he imagined them. Also, if you’ll need to validate a new idea - it will be faster to delegate that task to a designer you have already partnered with.
Setting Up Optimal Infrastructure & Architecture
While you’re not a technical person, it will be hard for you to define the right infrastructure and architecture by yourself - but your team will always help you with it. Don’t be afraid to ask why AWS but not Azure? If you choose the right team, they’ll always describe and argue the choice in simple words - software is not a rocket, the basics are pretty easy to understand. Ask your team for technology comparison - why not?
As a Conclusion
Every single time you’ll be starting a new project - your software development partner will play a solid role. So choose with confidence. Ask the right questions, look for good arguments - and you’ll find the right one. Probably, your dream software development partner is even closer than you think 😉?Business growth