Software development project team, software development, software product
The world has seen the most abruptly prevailing technology in past few years. Mobile phones, the internet, mobile apps, and software have become an integral part of human daily life. Giant businesses tycoons have established their entire business industry around software development and software-based products. But if you as a business or as an individual are planning to develop your software product then you need to know where to start from scratch. Today you will be bombarded with tons of ideas but a lack of industry knowledge and expertise can make you fall into several glitches. So the question is, where to start developing your software product?
Software product vs. software solution – You need what?
The biggest difference between a product and a solution lies in the usage and their purpose of development. For example, a desktop clock is an example of a software solution running inside the computer that general people can use often. On the other hand, the editing software is a solution to your editing problem and it has a specific purpose and usage.
Some software is generally available as a product and they cater to small public tasks and they do not need any experts to run them, like word processing software. While on the other hand, there are software solutions that solve specific and complex business queries and process the data in insightful and meaningful terms, they are called software solutions. We assume that you are planning to develop your software product and below is how you will do it in the right array.
Screen out the idea
When someone starts thinking about the creation of something new, ideas, thoughts, and suggestions prevail. To screenshot the best idea that would possibly be converted into a final product, you need to make a list. List down all the ideas and then scrutinize. The best idea will fulfill all of your requirements along with its purpose of development. Then you as a project manager need to make a blueprint of this idea (from idea to product).
Defining the target user audience is one of the major moments in defining the actual use requirements for this product blueprint. Also, analyzing the key competitors in the market will get you to dive deeply into the market and make rational decisions. If you are not sure about the monetization model also called the revenue model for your product then this is the time to call out business analysts and consultants.
The first and most critical phase of any software development is planning. In this phase, the major requirements to meet the three ends (customers, business, and stakeholders) are gathered and processed in a meaningful form.
Ø Enter in the software planning phase with the right persons
To note, process, and then verify the requirements you need to gather the right type of resources around you. Business analysts who gather the requirements at every end and project managers who will communicate requirements to the development team are core essentials to have. Other than that a development team and testing team (QA) is a must-have on hand so that they intermingle with the requirements at a very early stage.
Ø Create the right type of software documents for the right development
Before starting any true work like coding, in the first place, you need to craft software documents. These documents start from the business case (a statement of purpose demonstrating why we need to build this product), software requirements specification (a detailed document that categorically describes the business, product functionality, and stakeholders’ requirements), and flow charts as well.
After the approval and editing of these documents, they become the pre-requisites to start software product development from scratch. Data models work as the road map towards the final destination – deployment. Then comes the use case scenarios that help in two ways. One to verify the requirements and secondly for the QA team to verify the functionality tests after running the code. You need to put the requirements gathering team and QA on the same boards to make use of case scenarios so that they align with what is needed and what is done in the testing phase.
CHOOSE THE DESIGN AND ALIGN IT WITH THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT LIFECYCLE
So far the planning phase is done and you are in the middle of your product development phase. Now is the time to talk about design because after deciding the design you align it with user requirements and non-functional requirements (usability, experience, and time). As we all know user interface (UI) is all that users experience while using the product so it matters the most. User interface roughly adds more than 30% to the overall product experience.
PUT ALL THE DOCUMENTS TOGETHER AND START CODING A PROTOTYPE
The prototype is a small specimen to test and run. A shorter but working form of the product is developed to see if it works according to requirements? After testing and passing all the tests, this prototype is approved. Prototype at least preserves all the basic and core functionalities needed for the final software product development.
TEST THE PROTOTYPE AND FORWARD THE TEST RESULTS
Now comes the prototype testing phase where the use case scenarios we built in earlier stages are run by the testing team. If the prototype passes the tests then it is good to go. Otherwise, you need to revise the prototype development phase.
If the prototype is good to go then the development phase will get the green signal to the software development team to start developing the whole product. Now, this depends upon the chosen software development lifecycle. If this is an incremental life cycle then the small portion of software will be deployed at several intervals for testing and after testing a new increment with value addition is deployed. If it is a waterfall model then small portions will be deployed at different intervals but with added functionalities. And the final phase is deployment, in which the final product is presented to stakeholders.