Strong Software Development Depends On A Plan
Are You Set Up for Development Success?
You’ve got a great idea, you’ve found the perfect development team — but do you have a plan? Isn’t it obvious what needs to be done? It always seems that way when you have a clear vision of what is to be accomplished, but, as they say, the devil is in the details.
You wouldn’t build a house without an architectural plan — at least, a house that you want to remain standing. It’s not enough to know you want walls and a roof. You need a plan of what is to be done, when it is supposed to happen, and what will be required. In fact, your building plan is a guarantee you’re going to get a quality house at the end of the process.
That’s what a software development plan does for you. It’s your guarantee you’re going to get the functionality you need, on time, when you need it.
The User Story – Your Users are Your Customers
All software development begins with a list of requirements — what will the software accomplish? The user stories should be front and center because users are your customers. What do they experience — what do they do, what do they want? When we work with the user experience in mind, we ensure the user is getting what they really want – which means your product is on the road to guaranteed success.
To build a successful development plan we describe each function or feature of the software. The user story concept allows developers to know the why behind the software, which leads to a better product. Once we understand all the user stories that make up the software, we can create a methodology for development — and that ultimately leads to the creation of the software development plan.
Test and Adjust Early
The methodology determined from the user stories is the sequence in which each feature will be developed. After each feature or story is completed, testing follows — and that is where your insight and criticisms are crucial. Does the feature match the requirements set out in the user story? Are changes necessary? When we develop in the sequence we allow room for correction in the moment, which keeps the project on track and on time.
It is expected that as a result of QA and testing changes will occur. Again, this is where you, the client, have a role to play. Your development team needs your expertise to inform the changes. You know your market and needs, your clients and what you want your users to experience. Your insights are crucial to the successful creation of the product you envisioned.
Plan for Success
As we mentioned above — the devil is in the details. That’s why good software development always has a plan that is centred around the user story. Like building a house without a blueprint, you’re doomed to failure without a plan, and a house that isn’t built to suit your needs does not serve its purpose. That’s why detailed planning (user stories and methodology), in-the-moment adjustments (proper QA and testing) and client (your!) feedback are crucial. That way you make sure your software development succeeds — because you are set up for success.