Most of us don’t commission the development of a new application (software) regularly. There are many things to consider, but five things jump to mind as the most important.
Understand the difference between a software product vs. a custom software solution. Many off the shelf products exist able to accomplish the goal you have. Look around at the applications readily available for sale. Going with an already developed software product can save you a lot of time. The drawback, however, when going with prebuilt software products is they are often designed to solve problems in broad strokes. If you are looking for something more tailored to your specific needs, a custom software solution may be the best option for you.
Brainstorm. Nailing down exactly what you need a piece of software to do can save you time down the road in the development phase. Looking at tools you already utilize and envisioning how they could serve you better will help you design your perfect tool. For example, you and a handful of people you work with may each log pieces of information after completing a review. These logs are stored on each of your personal computers or smart phones. You currently meet as frequently as you can to try updating one another on what you’ve logged. A brainstormed solution would be to share logs automatically with everyone as they are updated in an app. There are many other potential examples. Taking the time to brainstorm what works best for you will result in a final tool that serves you.
Communicate your ideas to a developer. The developer can then create a mockup. This is simply a quick sketch of what the final application will be. It’s a great way to refine your expectations and make sure all the functionality you’re looking for will be present in the final custom software solution. Some may view this step as optional; although having it present creates the opportunity for a rehearsal to make sure everything comes out as you envision it.
Test the developed software. Testing is a valuable time for the developer to show you what your software can do and help train you on how to use the software most efficiently. As you start learning to use your completed software solution, you can apply it to your daily workflow.
Determine what post development support looks like. As time passes and the completed software is used on different machines, new bugs might become apparent that were not present in the initial testing. It’s handy to be able to have updates rolled out to keep your final app working correctly. This can also allow for the development of additional features into the future as you brainstorm more and come up with more ways the custom software solution could save you time.
If you’d like to learn more about custom software solutions or website development, reach out to us at RFX Technologies via firstname.lastname@example.org. One of my teammates or I would be thrilled to share some of our expertise with you.