In my previous blog posts in this custom application development series, I talked about custom software development vs. a package software solution and what to look for in a custom software consulting partner. In this final post in my series, I’m going to talk about four guidelines to follow so you and your team can ensure success with your custom software solution.
Look for a custom software solution and vendor that has this approach, values and these key points in respect to working on software development projects:
- Start on the right footing
- Choose the correct subject matter experts
- Collaborate deeply
- Communicate often
Start on the right footing – Ensure that all stakeholders are aware and involved enough to allow them to participate in goal setting for the project. Ensure that all stakeholders feel that the project will benefit them and their team or department. The level of participation varies per project.
Choose the correct subject matter experts – Ensure that you select subject matter experts (SMEs) to participate in the custom software development process that understand the overall business and especially the functions pertaining to and supporting the system under development. The worst SMEs are usually technical managers and staff. This is not a slight to the technical team, but when building custom software from scratch, the most important first step is to understand is what the system must do, not how it is done. Once we understand what the system should do, we are able to define a technical design which specifies how to implement the functionality technically, usually in collaboration with your technical team.
Collaborate deeply – Deep collaboration with our clients is so critical to a successful project that we often feel we are “partners” in the effort. Project teams often blend key stakeholders, business analysts, network engineers, and project managers from the client’s team with project managers, analysts, software architects, and developers from the Tribridge team. This situation typically leaves our clients with better internal project methodology, work product samples to emulate, and the experience and knowledge to allow the client to support the developed product with little to no long-term support reliance on Tribridge.
Communicate often – During the custom software design phase, we often work on-site in order to have easy access to our clients and decrease the duration of the design phase. During the custom software development phase, we establish weekly status meetings, but often have ad-hoc meetings, emails, screen sharing sessions or phone calls with our clients to ensure that we fully understand each nuance of the system. There can never be too much communication in a project!
Have any questions, concerns or feedback regarding finding the right custom software solution for your business? Please feel free to comment below.