November 2nd, 2020 • Custom Software Development Resources: E-Books

The Ultimate Checklist for Custom Software Projects

So you need new software. How do you start the process that will help you frame up and deliver a great project?

Start here: this handy quiz will help you determine if a custom software solution is right for your project. Then, check out our Q&A below to ensure your custom solution is a success.

Determine your project’s goals and ideal outcomes.

COVID-19 and the global pandemic, which forced so many businesses to change the way they operate, has been a catalyst for digital transformation.

If your business is going through a digital transformation process, it is key your organization aligns internally on the platform or applications use cases, business purposes, goals, and ideal outcomes for the solution.

So before any coding starts, hold a meeting with internal stakeholders to ensure you are all on the same page before you embark on your custom software journey.

Figure out if you should hire an internal developer or outsource to a development firm.

When it comes to outlining your resource and support needs for any new business project, decision-makers or project managers are often tasked with determining whether they need to create a new role within a team to support the project or an outsourced development firm is the right answer.

There are many variables to keep in mind when going through this decision process. From budget and existing team bandwidth to the project’s specific skills and technical expertise - every project is different. A few key pros and cons to keep in mind as you weigh your options:

 

 

In-House Developer

Outsourced Developer Firm

Pros

  • Pre-Determined Cultural Fit
  • Background Knowledge + Company Familiarity
  • Quicker Turnaround on Revisions
  • Cheaper in Short Term

 

  • Fresh Thinking / New Perspective
  • Cost and Timeline Flexibility
  • Broader skillset and technical expertise pool
  • Team with Full-Range of Service
  • New Technology Exposure
  • Tuned-in to ROI and Performance

Cons

  • Limited Skillset or Technical Expertise
  • Turnover Risk
  • Too Close to the Project + Company to Provide Fresh Perspective
  • Potential Security Risk
  • Lack of Internal + Company Insight
  • More Costly if Project Drags Over Many Years


While we can’t say for certain your specific project is best suited for an internal developer or outsourced development firm, we have a quiz that can help you determine the best step forward: check it out here.

Have a clear understanding of your timeline and budget.

Setting a budget and timeline for software development projects is never easy or the same from project to project so we recommend going through this process every time you embark on a new custom software project.

It’s important to remain realistic when setting your budget and timeline so a couple of factors to keep in mind include:

  • Clear insight into what the project entails
  • Any additional resources such as new technology solutions your team will need access to
  • Staffing and external agency support your team will need to create the application or platform
  • Specific external and internal factors that may impact the deadline of the project (i.e. a new website launch date)

Be sure to connect with the champion of the project to better understand the goals of the project (as we noted above this is key to any software project) and determine who they will need buy-in from on the proposed budget and timeline you are recommending. It’s always best to be aligned across the board before presenting the proposed budget and timeline to the c-suite.

Think about how you will update and iterate your software application post-release.

Once your new software has officially launched and you’ve celebrated with your team, it's time to start thinking about the next steps for your software. Here are some key questions we recommend you start thinking through:

  • Where (or who) do you go for additional or guidance or information on the future roadmap of this project?
  • How do you manage vendor relationships to ensure security updates and other patches are in place?
  • What metrics are being used to measure the success of the software? And how do those metrics evolve and change over time?
  • What worked and didn’t work from the first software release, and what steps will you take to improve the development process and launch moving forward?

Every custom software project is unique. The process can seem daunting. But we are here to help. Set up a call with us today to talk through your custom software needs.

 

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