How to successfully build software at your firm

Successful, modern companies leverage software in almost every aspect of business. As technology advances, demand increases for intelligently designed and well-integrated solutions. Businesses gain a competitive edge by offering innovative web and mobile applications that streamline internal processes or provide value to customers.

However, not every company is configured to handle the complex nature of software development, even though they have a need for custom solutions. Be prepared for your next project by understanding these six issues and how to deal with them.

Identifying your users

Having a clear target audience is the cornerstone to successful software. Knowing how to group them into personas and then design software based on their needs is somewhat of an artform. Map their core needs to features and then integrate real user feedback into your design and development process.

Knowing what your users need

Software exists to help users accomplish a set of tasks, yet most users don’t know what they need until they see it. Involving users from the earliest stages of conceptual design will help validate your business goals. Including users in acceptance testing helps catch issues and fill in gaps prior to launch. By implementing based on real-time user feedback, your product is more likely to achieve higher adoption rates upon initial release.

Understanding your integrations

New and existing technologies are expected to work together seamlessly, and third-party applications offer the promise of pre-packaged functionality without doing the heavy development lifting. By understanding your business needs and clearly defining your requirements, you can decide how and where to integrate technology components and reduce complexity.

Finding skilled team members

Each project demands skilled team members who understand the complex tools and environments required for implementation. Highly skilled resources are often difficult to find and tend to be costly. If you choose to hire a digital agency, be sure that their teams understand all facets of your business, requirements, and user experience needs.

Duplicating the production environment for QA

It is difficult and costly to create a controlled environment for testing that adequately mirrors the real world. It’s impractical to think that all possible user environments can be tested prior to deployment. However, a skilled QA team can isolate critical testing needs while adhering to a budget.

Nailing down requirements

It’s easy to get caught up in the creative nature of the design and development process. New ideas are great and should be captured and detailed, but scope must be fixed so budget can be met and team members can stay on pace. A solid project management team understands the difference between identifying requirements gaps and tacking on additional features. You need an expert Project Manager to avoid the latter.

From the planning stage to deployment, understanding and mitigating the issues of software development ultimately ensures a productive project experience for your team and a satisfying experience for your users. Before a single line of code is written or the first wireframe is drawn, make sure that your IT team or outsourced agency understands your business goals, project scope, and core functional needs of your users.