Software Product Development: Choosing the Right Partner, Strategy, and Processes for a Successful Product
Everyone knows how coca turns into chocolate.
But how does an idea turn into a software solution?
Well, that’s the narrative of product development.
Software has become part and parcel of our everyday lives, in fact, it’s hard to imagine carrying out our daily activities not being driven by some kind of software-related application or process. According to a study, custom software development has reached a significant $70 billion valuation and is growing at a pace of 5% year on year.
Today, developing high-quality, resilient, and market-ready software that meets requirements and overcomes challenges can involve a complex process that would need to be adapted if your business was to reap the full benefits of software development. From ideation and development to market launch and maintenance, it’s essential to follow the right process, in fact, almost 14% of software projects fail because they do not adhere to proper software product development, and a whopping 75% of business and IT executives foresee their software projects to be a failure.
The right process involves proven methods and actions that are utilized to bring new products to a market or to modernize existing products to help enhance the market value and create a new business. To ensure you success with your custom software development needs, it is vital that you have a development partner who understands the ins and outs of your business and can help develop the right strategy roadmap to achieve business success. Product development involves the coordinated effort of many teams, it includes by is not limited to development, design (UX/UI), testing & QA, maintenance and support, marketing, and more.
This blog will help you understand the importance of adapting the right software development process with a reliable software development partner who will leverage the right technology and enable the development and execution of a seamless strategy for a healthy ROI.
Software Product Development Strategy – Why’s it good to have a plan?
The software product development process is a methodical tool that aims to bring a large number of people to work together on a collaborative project, business purpose, technique, or goal. It involves a step-by-step plan that enables teams to swiftly proceed with product creation across each stage from requirement gathering to market release, with the goal of delivering fewer defects, shorter delivery times, and better value. By structuring, formulating, monitoring, and regulating the process of development, the software product development process empowers businesses with the following benefits:
Seamless collaboration between cross-functional teams: Putting a strategy in place and creating a roadmap ensures that all cross-functional teams are on the same page, eliminating any possibility of discrepancies and delays. Experts from different teams can work in sync when managing, developing, and executing development projects.
Prompt feedback at every stage of the development journey:
Feedback and effective communication are a crucial mechanism for project success, enabling swift and seamless feedback or criticism can help in problem-solving at each stage of the process, ensuring the product forward effectively, on time, and on budget.
High performance and efficiency of the development process: Proper guidelines, robust project management practices, and a comprehensive roadmap allocate everything from resource allocation, budgets, and timelines to help with task prioritization, process documentation, and to avoid any delays in product delivery.
The Software Product Development Process
1. Ideation and Brainstorming
The first step creating a comprehensive vision for the product or service, followed by an analysis of the problem statement as defined by the customer. Consider formulating the idea or concept by organizing a brainstorming session or ideation workshop with your team and the software agency you’re planning to work with. Such an activity can help you extract the key requirements, identify the solution the product seeks to offer, and how to differentiate yourself from the competition. Once the scope of the project is defined, a list of preferred design features and functionalities is then created.
2. Product Roadmap
A product blueprint is essential when executing your action plan. Following the customer requirements analysis and validation, it’s time to conduct a feasibility analysis and comprehensive roadmap. A product roadmap is developed to help you prioritize the major areas to be addressed, schedule date-based milestones, estimated ROI, and defined targets that deliver value in meeting product goals and validation-based KPIs. In addition to this, it is important that you conduct a thorough study of both technical and business factors that can all influence project outcomes. Ensure future requirements can be addressed and accommodated, key elements such as hosting networks, the development environment, and data modules may later affect product development.
3. Design and Development
It’s time to implement your product strategy, after everyone has agreed on it. Now that the requirements are clearly detailed, technical resources are identified, and tasks have been allocated, individuals can begin the design and development process. Based on the key documents such as the design document, the functional requirement specification document, and coding standards, your designers will begin drafting initial visual concepts for your product, followed by high-fidelity prototypes, which they will then they will pass on to the development team after each design module is finalized.
From here on out you are faced with the endless cycle of examining data, aggregating input, and constantly revising the product roadmap, all while monitoring the product backlog to ensure the development life cycle is incorporating important functionalities that derive value.
4. Quality Assurance
Now that your software product is built and ready for launch, it’s time for it to undergo the QA testing phase. In this phase, you need to thoroughly examine the software product, quality and user experience is key to the success of any software product. The quality assurance stage involves system continuous integration, build installation, functionality testing, bug fixing, interoperability testing, user acceptance testing, and test report generation all done by the software testing team. Once you complete this, you can integrate all the features of the application into one resilient system, the development and testing phases are performed iteratively as issues are found, corrected, and verified.
A balanced mix of manual and automated testing can fasten the release process. The primary purpose of the QA phase is to be sure that the code is clean and that the end product meets business goals, ensuring a stable product with minimal issues is ready for deployment.
5. Implementation and Launch
This is where the newly built and tested software is deployed, this refers to the process of preparing an application for market delivery. You’ll want to ensure that everyone in the organization is on the same page as planning, development, and operation must all work in tandem to enable smooth deployment to production, where the product will be available in the market for users to use. If product iterations are required, only specific changes will be deployed in a single release or done in stages.
The next step is to launch the developed product and begin creating a marketing strategy or a product promotion plan. Ensure you put forth its wonderful characteristics, features, and differentiation benefits, you could even consider testing the market with a minor product launch.
6. Maintenance and Support
Think the job is complete? You’ll have to rethink that notion, maintenance is the final stage in the software product development process, with the aim to keep the software up and running. It’s more than likely that your software product will demand constant upgrades and services, you will need the support of software development services providers and a fixed resource team allocation to resolve the issues, conduct process and software updates, and manage modifications based on user feedback.
Companies invest considerable time, resources, and effort in developing software, yet there are most commonly at risk of failure, the significance of the software product development process is irrefutable. Following a proven software development process, backed by a dependable tech partner and an organized, cohesive project plan can help in simplifying any development project.
Just remember to conduct a comprehensive project feasibility analysis, evaluate market conditions, understand how your product differentiates from the competition, and estimate the budget, timeline, and expected return on the investment.