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The key to successful software development campaigns

The key to successful software development campaigns

posted by: admin date: Nov 26, 2014 category: Software Development comments: 0

As more and more business is handled online, the demand for innovative software products is growing at an exponential rate. The challenges that software development companies face are getting tougher as time progresses. In order to meet the ever higher  expectations and exacting demands of the burgeoning marketplace, software developers need to be innovative themselves, in the way that they handle new projects.


The value of an innovative approach


Innovative approaches as to how the Web development process is handled result in better quality software products coming out of the end of the “sausage machine.” Software products that are more stable in design, more reliable in operation, and that as an overall package, exceed end users’ expectations.


Identifying the areas that underpin best software development practice


In most industries, companies rely on outsourcing various aspects of any project. The same is true of the software development industry. Making the right choice of company to partner with, to entrust your software development project to, therefore, becomes critically important to any project’s successful completion. To help you to go about finding the right supplier to outsource your development project to, there are several areas you must consider. These same points will also be applicable in terms of evaluating how good your own internal software development team is if you prefer to carry out the work “in-house.”


Carrying out thorough marketing research


Conducting effective market research is essential no matter what the proposed software development project is. People come up with some seemingly great ideas which on the surface sound as if they could be market toppers. But assuming something is so, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is, or will be so.


To be truly effective market research needs to be carried out on a large scale. The smaller the sample of the user base that’s tested, the more erroneous the results could be. Therefore both software designers and software developers must be prepared to invest substantial amounts of time and money. This investment is in not only in terms of carrying out research, but also in terms of evaluating the feedback from the research. This analysis is crucial for two reasons:


  • To interpret the data correctly and act accordingly. Products that get shelved at this stage, although disappointing, can save thousands or even tens or hundreds of thousands worth of dollars of investment and development, in projects that are doomed to failure. On the other side of the coin, they can confirm software products that will be in greatly sought-after.
  • The other reason that in-depth market research is essential is that it can reveal changes that are needed in the programs to make the more user-friendly. That’s not all however. A thorough market research campaign can also uncover or throw up new ideas for other products.


Pilot testing software products and software product developers


You must never assume anything. As with the previous example regarding market research, you need to apply the same logic to product design. If you’re going to outsource the development, you need to also apply that logic to selecting the right development partner to work with.


The best way of doing both, is pilot testing. Rather than plunging ahead and fully committing yourself from the off; it’s best to conduct trials on a small, sample-type basis. This will help to identify any flaws in the basic software product creative design, (if any) or if you’re outsourcing, will highlight any shortcomings in your chosen development partner before you fully commit.


Managing the software development department or partner


Software development engineers are often not very commercially aware. They are passionate about the technicalities and the”nuts and bolts” of the development process. Sometimes to the extent of totally disregarding the amount of money the development is costing, and the time it is taking. No, more than any other department, a design and development department needs to be astutely and diligently managed to remain on track.


The same is true of an external software development company. Even though such a company will likely have its own managers in place, these managers may have more than one project they are responsible for, and resources can get split and stretched. It is, therefore, important that the company who commission the development should appoint their own manager to keep tabs on progress with the external partner It’s not just enough to do this remotely however. These types of projects need hands-on management. It’s therefore important that whoever is appointed by the owners of the project, to liaise with and manage any contractors, should pay the contractor regular visits to review progress at first hand.


Biggest is not necessarily best


It is often wrongly assumed that biggest is best. Yes, it does sometimes have some advantages; for example larger corp orates have deeper pockets and may find it easier to invest in the latest gadgetry. But sometimes, size means that is easier to lose things within the organization. The focus and motivation that is prevalent in smaller organizations, where employees can make telling contribution on a day to day basis, is often lacking in larger companies. It’s because in larger organizations employees often feel they are just another name on the payroll. You are more likely to get better results, (more hands-on), from a smaller organization where your project is more strategically important.


Customization v modification


Rather than developing a completely new concept, some companies prefer to modify existing blueprints. The main advantage to this approach is the fact that it is often much cheaper. Large investments have already been made in the original development, and any extra “tweaking” an existing program may need costs far less than developing something from scratch. The problem is that modified developments are never as versatile as custom built designs. Any upgrades are often more involved and less effective. So even though a “new build” is more expensive in the short term; in the long term it will almost certainly prove to be a better ROI.


Reaching a successful conclusion


Developing a product correctly and carefully will lead to a better finished product; whether that product is a new software package or a new automobile. Considering the points outlined above will help to ensure you launch and manage the development phase more effectively and reach a successful conclusion with the best quality, fit-for-purpose product.

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