Most of us can remember playing the “telephone game” at some point as children. If you never did, or don’t recall the experience, it usually looks something like this: one student is given a phrase on a slip of paper, which they have to recite from memory to the next person. That person passes the message along to another student, and so on.
What makes this game a fun tool for educators is the fact that the ending phrase hardly ever comes close to the statement that was originally written down. The lesson is that gossip, hearsay, and third-party impressions aren’t as reliable as we tend to treat them.
Why bring this up today? Because the biggest mistake made in custom software development usually doesn’t have to do with execution. If you hire an experienced team to program your next application, they aren’t likely to do a bad job. Instead, what causes so many delays, busted budgets, and project failures is a misunderstanding of a client’s actual needs. If your software developer thinks they’re making one thing, and you think they're programming another, the results are never going to be great.
Because this is so often an issue within our industry, today we want to give you a handful of tips you can use to ensure your programming team knows exactly what you want them to build…
Choose the Right Vendor
The longer you work in this business, the more you realize it’s important to listen and take notes. If you hire a software development firm that’s new to the business or charging rock-bottom rates, there’s a good chance they’ll rush through your project. Work with an experienced team, though, and the chances they’ll miss important details are slim.
Talk With Everyday Users
It’s a good idea to make sure that your idea of the perfect custom application matches up to what your customers, employees, or other everyday users expect. Otherwise, you could give your development team a list of features that means nothing to the people who will actually have to use your software. Get input early on the process so you can avoid setbacks later.
Focus on the Details
Once you have a firm concept for your software development project, start to fill in the details. What should the interface look like? Which features are most important? How could you expand your custom software in the future? By having written notes and the details in place, you can be sure you and your programming team are on the same page.
Provide Regular Feedback
Don’t just sit back and assume you’ll get the finished piece of software you need. As your vendor supplies you with designs, mockups, and test versions, give fast and thorough feedback. Don’t force them to guess about whether their impressions of your needs are correct or not. Give them revisions or a green light to move ahead if they’re doing a good job of turning your concept into a usable application.
Looking for the Right Software Development Firm?
If you can spend the time and money needed to have a custom application created for your company, then why not turn to a team of experienced professionals with a proven track record of success? Call the software development pros at WebRevelation today to learn more about our work to get a project quote!