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Custom Software Development 10 steps to engage with the client.

We are the Custom Software Development Company NJ business depend on. Software development is often a lengthy process requiring meticulous attention to detail. The process consists of a multitude of chronological phases that must be performed and executed effectively. The first phase of custom software development should include giving consideration to the requirements and putting the primary focus on the overall objectives.

The idea is to automate manual procedures, get any supporting documents from the client, and interview the employees when possible.

In many cases, a client does not have any notes nor a wish list (the optimal method of communicating the requirements to the development team). The idea of this article is to provide any potential client with guidelines for creating detailed requirements. You’ll also learn about the process of transferring the needed info to the software developers.

Software Requirement Specifications are crucial to the success of application development. These specs make it possible to determine the system development life cycle (SDLC) and to outline the phases of the custom software development process, which are listed below:

This is the process how to start a successful application. We need to have written specs and Mockup screens, while the database could be designed in the process.

1. What type of business the client has?

To start, we ask the client to start with a summary of the type business they operate.

2. What issues will the new software resolve?

What kind of problems need to be solved by the software development. This is a general description.

3. What are the most important features of the application?

What are the most important features that we need to focus on during the development process? In some cases, the application is very large, and the question becomes which part of the application takes top priority for the development? This way, even though the entire application is not completed, the client can take advantage of the new technologies and gain productivity as soon as possible with a partial application.

4. What processes can be improved?

It could be that, based on the free initial consultation and the discussion we have with the client, we realize that we need to get a handle on the inventory control for that software solution. The final proposal will then include this recommendation.

In some scenarios, when we meet with the client, part of the solution will be an inventory control system that will be included in the overall design.

In other cases, it may have to be integrated into an accounting system, or we may need to develop a specific accounting element as a part of the final development project.

5. Can the client provide a step by step outline?

We will ask the client to provide steps of business processes to use as an outline. The more descriptive each step is, the better. If there are multiple steps for the application process, we want to understand the sub-processes as well, including potential formulas.

6. We will ask the client to enable us to review any existing application.

We review a client’s existing application in order to expand our notes further and to get a deeper understanding of the application to be developed as per the various business rules we must consider.

7. Does the client have notes on their current database?

If the client has existing data, then we use reverse database engineering to see what kind of data the client has and explore the existing database. If the client is computer savvy, then he or she could provide us notes of the tables, descriptions, and much more. All notes that were created by the previous development team are a great help. This allows us to get an idea of what was done before and to learn further the business rules from the previous software developer’s point of view.

8. Does the client have a wish list?

When we are dealing with an older application which is currently run by the client, we will ask the client if he or she has a wish list of items to be improved on. If they don’t, then we will request that you prepare one. Such a list will be extremely helpful for the successful development of a new application.

9. Can the client invest time to describe their business process?

One major point is to listen to the client and write down detailed notes on the company’s business process. The client needs to be prepared to invest the time to discuss business rules that are in place. With some clients, we brainstorm different scenarios in order to find the ultimate solution.

10. Is the client computer savvy?

Some computer savvy clients can also work with us on the database design while we create the software Requirements Specification Process Services. For database design, we use data modeling tools like xCase, which is crucial for our discussion with the client. When we get enough information from the client, then we start to create the need analysis in as detailed as possible manner. Plus, we write down specs to the micro detail level. In this process, we also design the database and get a global view of the entire system.

The above process aids in the selection of the right tools for software development and assembly of the right team for the success of this process.

Database design while we work with data modeling tool, to get a global view of the entire database.

Conclusions:

As a client, you may provide us a detailed specs and mockups when possible. That should be done professionally by an IT person who can create detailed specs for you. If you do not have anybody on your staff who can do so, then we will be glad to create detailed specs and cover the options as described above. At this point, we design the database using a data modeling tool. A data modeling tool will enable us to have a global view of the entire database.

You can learn more by exploring this process in detail as highlighted in the above link. Part of the process could also be Reverse database engineering, and this allows us to see what exists in your current database. That includes stored procedures, tables, views, indexes triggers, and database relationships. Software Requirement Specifications is a process on its own for the specs preparation, and you may explore this further on our website.

The bottom line is that communication is crucial to the success of the project. In any project, the client needs tell us what they expect from the application and how it can be tweaked or improved. It is an ongoing process, and if business rules are changing all the time, then these improvements will continue to be implemented while the software developers maintain the application after it has been completed.

One of our clients had issues providing any feedback on the progress we made with their software development. Our suggestions were as follows:

Since your staff has not provided any feedback, then you may approach this in a different way. You may sit down with each one of the employees and run different scenarios in the software and then discuss with each one of them the results. This will help you to see if the application is meeting their expectations. That may be done on a weekly basis until every point is resolved.

Our Services:

We are database experts who provide software development services. In addition, we provide website development for marketing purposes. We offer remote database services (also known as Remote DBA), and we have a staff member who has been awarded MVP for the MS SQL database engine.

Database optimization is a key element in the process of developing an efficient software application that can provide quick access to data anywhere in the world.

About Technologies which we are Using in Development:

  • ASP.NET
  • .Net or also known as dot net
  • Windows PowerShell
  • Azure PowerShell
  • Java / JSP
  • JavaScript
  • AJAX
  • Adobe Flash / Flex Rich Internet Applications and Animation
  • C#
  • VB.NET
  • HTML / CSS
  • Alpha Five and also known as Alpha Anywhere

Database that we use in our software development:

For questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at: 732-536-4765

Written by: Doron Farber - The Farber Consulting Group, Inc

There are 2 comments for "Custom Software Development 10 steps to engage with the client."

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By Lorenzo | November 05,2017

Hi Doron,

Definitely you have described very well what we consider the most critical points when dealing with a client. I think it can also be “very informative” to a potential client, in addition it shows you do work using the correct approach!

Well done!
Regards,

Lorenzo

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By Bryan Merrison | November 06,2017

Our company is a current client of FCG and in my view this reinforces the approach that must be applied to achieve successful project outcomes I would submit that this blog post should be printed out [IN A LARGE FONT!] and stuck on the office wall as a constant reminder for every person involved on the client side!!!!!!!!!!! The need to adhere to these processes cannot be overstated, not just at the discovery / investigation stage, but referred to and applied throughout development / testing / implementation of every project.

Thanks for this great article,

Bryan

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