Software Development Process

How the process of developing a new software system, from design to deployment, typically takes shape.

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7 Steps of a Bespoke Software Development Process

When it comes to bespoke software, there is no hard and fast formula for project delivery. Each software requirement and each client process are unique and as such the project will be mapped out a little differently. Very often our development plans will reflect our client’s project team and their ways of working.  

However, typically speaking we work to a 7-point plan, following the agile development methodology. This approach enables us to deliver working software with regular milestones and provide peace of mind throughout development.  

What is Agile Software Development? 

Agile software development is an approach built around flexibility and focus. Each aspect of the software product is broken down into key milestones or ‘sprints’ and delivered as working software throughout the process. Iterative development means that software teams can work efficiently, responsively and in close collaboration with clients.  

By working in an agile user-driven environment, there is always a great focus on usability, interaction, reviews and feedback. Delivering working prototypes regularly really helps the project to engage everyone involved, and to gain momentum. With the project being delivered in increments, risk is lowered.  

Here, we look at how the process of developing a new software system, from design to deployment, typically takes shape.  

Understanding Requirements 

With custom built projects, it’s super important we get to grips with understanding how our client’s business operates; defining how processes can be enhanced and business objectives met.  

First things first, we conduct a discovery workshop to assess and cover off all your objectives and team set up. We need to ensure we understand how your current business processes work and your user’s role and behaviours. This is also the time when we review current code and data so that we can understand technical limitations and recommend the best solution. 

Proposing a Solution  

The first week of the project will be to brainstorm and formalise our approach to how we will successfully complete each milestone and deliverable. We prepare a Statement of Work (SOW) which details the scope of work and key milestones to be delivered. This documentation will also equip you with knowledge and a clearly defined approach to help mitigate risk and gain stakeholder approval.

We will clearly define the system’s architecture, defining application flow, and how data will be migrated and stored. Consideration will also be given to key functionality, security, user behaviours, performance output, technical capabilities, amongst other key components. Once the SOW has been agreed, we will share access to our project management tool, which offers clear visibility to scheduling and progress.   

Designing a User Experience 

Before any styling or coding takes place on a bespoke software project, a user experience is defined and created. A complete user workflow is mapped out during the software architecture design process using wireframes. 

Dynamic wireframes are used in bespoke software development to determine an intuitive, logical structure, placement of links, and all the elements and familiar functions users expect to see. Once the user experience is clearly defined, styling for the UI can begin. Key aspects of UI design include the colours, typefaces, icons, infographics and illustrations that will be featured to make the piece of software visually appealing, alongside important call-to-action buttons for users to engage with. 

Developing and Integrating  

This is where the magic happens, the build of the product is now underway. Our highly skilled software developers will be writing, analysing, testing and refining code to connect all the back-end components. Import of live data and configurations will also be managed at this stage. 

We will keep you updated on all new development via a demo environment where you can see all work carried out and see the product come to life. Your designated Project Manager will typically arrange fortnightly review meetings. The further along the build goes, the clearer idea we’ll have of completion, so a launch date can be agreed upon and worked towards.  

Quality Assurance Testing 

Software testing aims to find errors, gaps, or bugs during the software development cycle. When running software, often there can be errors that appear in any phase of the cycle.  

Software testing and software development should run alongside each other, as they can quicken the development process and make it more efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective. QA testers are involved throughout development to catch any bugs as and when they occur. Being able to identify and fix them promptly will speed up the final processes and improve the overall quality of your software. 

Deployment and Going Live 

Quality assurance checks, ensures absolutely every function and detail is performing as it should and are carried out prior to going live. In the build-up to deployment, our project management team will also devise an implementation plan, working alongside your IT department to discuss user access, hosting and to arrange a smooth rollout. 

Users have been involved throughout development but if wider training is needed, we are able to provide this in the form of documentation and workshops.  

Ongoing Support and Evolutions  

Once your project has successfully launched you will be in the capable hands of our 1st line support engineers. They will be happy to assist with any query and will be the main point of contact if you need to raise an issue or have a question. Even after your new software is in place, we can continue to provide guidance on how to make updates and grow your application in line with your business. 

Building lasting software partnerships is something we love to do. We value being part of our client's business long-term, evolving systems, and collaborating closely to provide the very best software solution.  

Keeping it simple 

As an agile company, we promote working together in a way that engages with you and your team continuously throughout the design and development process. Our all-knowing project management team will expertly guide you through each development process. Our project management team work super hard to ensure both our team and yours can collaborate closely. 

Need our help with a bespoke software system? click here to contact us.

AccessAble

AccessAble

AccessAble is an online resource providing Detailed Access Guides all about a venue's access facilities ahead of their visit. The company's suite of applications used by surveyors all over the UK needed ongoing software support, data management and development as part of their rebrand and new website.

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