October 16th, 2020 • Buildable News & Resources

A custom software build can be intimidating. Don’t worry – the following guide is proven to prepare projects for success.

Validate the vision.

Custom software is built to solve problems, but it does much more: it creates value for your business. Before scoping a project, make sure you know what you’re trying to accomplish with your new software and calculate the ROI.

Determine ahead of time how you will measure that ROI. What is most important to you; increase in productivity, increase in sales or both? Does one need to come before the other? If your new solution is built to promote sales, be sure productivity is ready to handle those sales.

Refine the scope.

Are your expectations realistic? Use this checklist to get real:

  1. Define your priorities.
    Ask yourself and your team which features, and functions will have the largest ROI. Filter out features that are not critical at launch.
  2. Identify possible roadblocks.
    Roadblocks will arise from both internal and external forces – it’s inevitable. Consider any 3rd party applications and any potential onboarding hiccups. Be aware of and prepared for roadblocks before they occur and be strategic about when to tackle them.
  3. Establish your timeline.
    Work with your software development partner on this. They will be the best source of realism. An Agile development firm like Buildable can quickly ramp production up or down as needed. Make your launch goals clear and your developers will let you know what features can realistically fit into what timeline.
  4. Build iteratively.
    First, deploy your minimum viable product (MVP), then iteratively improve it, and add new features. An iterative build increases speed to market, creates a solid technical foundation, and promotes financial wellbeing.

Establish a budget and secure funding.

Building the proper budget and securing adequate funding are essential to any software project. In developing the project budget, be sure to encompass the entire software development lifecycle. This will include pre-development research costs, implementation, maintenance, and hosting and licensing.

A well thought out and thorough budget will serve you, whether you’re in the process of courting angel investors, working to get buy-in from your stakeholders, or looking for long-term budget approvals. Use your detailed budget to create compelling project proposals and presentations. Lean on your software development firm for help with designing winning proposals. They have a vested interest in you securing funding and getting your development project off the ground.

Make the commitment.

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably the project champion. If that’s not the case, you’ll need someone from your company to truly champion the project from beginning to end. This will include communicating regularly with your software development partner as well as motivating participation from your internal team.

Communication is critical to building successful software solutions. And where there’s communication, there are people committed to the success of the project.

Plan for:

  • Weekly standup meetings with your software developers.
  • Occasional meetings with developers to address specific details, or work through user interface designs.
  • Internal meetings to capture user stories.
  • Internal meetings to review and test the software after deliveries (every 2 to 4 weeks.)
  • Responding to frequent emails and be generally very available, as your development partners will need frequent communication to make the project a success for everyone.

Our commitment to you.

Are you ready for your next project? Do you need help with defining the scope and budget? We can help.

At Buildable, we’re in the business of making software that works, and we’re invested in the success of every project we take on. We understand that project readiness is critical to a project’s long-term potential. As part of our commitment to your success, Buildable does not charge for any pre-project planning activities. Whether we’re working to secure funding or consulting on business analysis, we’re always available and eager to help.


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