The planning part of the process is often miss approached. We are not talking about planning the logistix of the project, that is assumed. Instinctively when solving a problem with software you fit your issue around the software available through the off the shelf offerings. However, having chosen to have a software solution developed for you it’s important that you take advantage of the opportunity to bottom out all the actual issues you wish to solve and any influencing factors first. From here it is your developer who is has to come up with a solution that fits those issues rather than the other way around.
This planning part of the process is the least effected by cost – getting out all the features and processes on paper before a single line of code is written. With having bespoke, ANYTHING can be considered. We can work out if it’s out of the realms of the budget later. Dream the dream.
Design by committee?
Normally this should be avoided but in our experience the more points of view you canvass in the early stages from the business the more chance of success the software will have of delivering the best result. Making sure a couple of representatives who will end up operating the resulting software are included in the initial scoping can save significant time and money further down the live. It can save future expense if the initial core development is structured with future requirements in mind, even if certain aspects are not scheduled for phase 1.
It’ll be all right on the night
Do not get into the mindset that you have to get it all right first time. Developing bespoke software is best approached with “let’s get the basics right first” . Unlike off the shelf software that is unyielding in its operation, your project can accommodate minor updates after launch or planned development phases. Here user experiences can be accommodated after the event to improve productivity.