Every day we witness new software, application platforms, and innovative solutions popping up. As a matter of fact, the global software market has amounted to over 200 billion USD in recent times with product and application development.
This digital transformation may seem like a challenge to new businesses and enterprises. You have a great product idea, but how do you begin? How do you proceed from the idea to the rollout of delivering a successful software product for your business?
Once you build a successful business product, there’s no going back. And to get you there, we have compiled an immersive guide to the software development process that covers the steps to take, the teams involved, and everything in between to get your project delivered.
Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
1. Identifying your business problem
A software product is known to solve a plethora of problems, from increasing efficiency to managing the workforce to tracking inventory and helping the business scale. Therefore, to create a software solution that truly works for your business, first sit down and determine your most significant business problem. Once you have clearly defined the issues, you can start looking for solutions that can eliminate them.
2. Validate your business software solution
Once you are clear with what you want, it’s time to validate your idea to ensure you are moving in the right direction. This research will take a considerable amount of time; however, it will pay off in your product planning stage. The validation process is also known as the product discovery process, where you seek your product demand. Here’s a list of questions you’d need answers to:
- How often would you use this software solution?
- How well do you and your business team understand the purpose of your software?
- How dependent are you on external resources?
- What size is the target market that would use this software?
3. Software product planning
This process is the foundation of a project’s successful delivery and performance. While we are talking about the planning phase, note that you would need an experienced and reliable custom software development company to guide you through the phases ahead. A development team consists of a business analyst that analyzes your business requirements and specifies a development plan. The plan includes market peculiarities, designs, product features, tech stack, API integration, etc.
Further, the team will need UI/UX designers to craft the wireframes and pages. Finally, the developers and testers will conduct the development and execution phase. Your development team must also have a project manager to supervise all the processes.
Enterprises and startups prefer to outsource their development team due to the quality and timed delivery factor. Once you get your development team, plan the product development thoroughly with them. Your planning stage also includes the tasks exhibited in the image below. Make sure you have a list of all requirements, market research, designs, and estimated software product deliverables by the end of the planning phase.
4. Design and Development
Your software development journey has begun, and it is now time to create the UI/UX designs and bring your project to life. From the budget and time perspective, this phase will take the bulk of your efforts.
When talking about design, you will need to define a software architecture and craft a design document with all your software needs. Following this architecture and requirements, your development team will build a wireframe or prototype to iterate the software project output.
Now, this is also the right time to consider the software development and management tools. Here are some options you can choose from to keep tabs on your workflow.
The list goes on. The above software solutions have a range of useful features to boost productivity. Choose the software that aligns with your needs well.
Furthermore, you will also need to decide on the development language. Remember that building with the right technologies can make your software product effective and scalable. Below are some standard technologies used for developing mobile apps and modern software products for businesses:
- Ruby on Rails etc.
There are more; this list merely gives you an idea of what options are available. Of course, you will have your dedicated software development team for expert advice.
5. Coding and testing
Once you are done with defining functionalities and design, you are ready for the software development phase. Typical software development should follow the “Agile ” methodology, which consists of a series of sprints where the software is developed in pieces while simultaneously incorporating the feedback.
Your development team will follow the specifications to release a quality software product for your business. Once the entire product functionality is ready, the quality assurance (QA) team gets in to test the product.
The QA team will perform various tests to ensure your software product runs smoothly. Even after the launch, testing is a continuous process. As long as you support your product, you will need to fix the bugs coming your way.
Usually, the AQ team performs the following tests:
- Automated testing
- Manual testing
- Smoke testing
- load testing
- Regression testing
Expert Note: Don’t overthink while trying to improve your product. Businesses often get carried away while pursuing the “perfect” product. If you are going through such a phase, you can choose to release an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) first.
The deployment process can be both exciting and stressful. There are certain things you can work on during the deployment process. With the help of your development team, create a checklist that contains all deployment steps, tools, and setups.
You might also need a strategy for safe execution, just in case your software product misfires. An automated process is the best way to ensure flawless software deployment.
7. Maintenance and updates
No successful software product lifecycle ends with a release. Maintenance is the next step that continues with the evolution of your business needs. This process consists of fixing old bugs, preventing new ones from popping up, and adapting to different operating systems and platforms.
Moreover, if you are willing to fuel your user’s interest in your product, keep offering them something new to interact with. Implement new updates to delight your customers, and do not forget to keep testing.
Software product development is a long-term commitment where you would need to take care of several factors. While it can be challenging, this guide will help you go through the successful software development journey with ease.