What Are Custom Software Development Stages?

Custom Software Development

Why are many companies nowadays choosing to create a dedicated IT solution? Often it’s because they need specialized products for the niche in which they work. Dedicated web applications also make scaling, security, and data management easier.

Why is custom software development significant? Many companies need to build software tailored to the specific needs of their business. There may also be a need to modify, integrate, or customize their products to increase their functionality. Furthermore, dedicated software helps meet customer needs and ever-changing market demands.

Software development suited for companies’ needs

As an experienced software development agency, we understand that every organization’s needs are different, so we treat each situation individually when developing custom-made software. It means that no matter how complex a client’s needs may seem, we deliver a solution with functionalities that will precisely meet business requirements. 

How do we match bespoke solutions to an organization’s development scale?

Below we will provide examples of what we can do depending on the scale of development of your organization. Of course, we select solutions depending on your needs and business goals.

Startup

The founder of a startup may have an excellent idea for a product but may find difficulty translating it into technological requirements or need a more detailed analysis of how the application works. In such a situation, a product workshop can prove very helpful.

A workshop includes an inventory of functional and non-functional requirements in the project, a document with a SWOT analysis and all technical recommendations, and a complete application architecture model with a user roadmap.

What sample activities might meet the needs of a startup?

  • needs analysis
  • product workshops 
  • POC (Proof Of Concept) 
  • MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
  • prototype
  • design UX/UI
  • comprehensive solution creation and subsequent support

Business in the development and scaling stage

On the other hand, another business may need a detailed analysis of an already existing product to fix existing software gaps and consider its technical debt. In such a situation, we provide in-depth expertise, including analyzing the technical requirements of the client’s infrastructure, the risk register and defining a plan of action so that the application develops smoothly and without disruption.

What activities can be helpful at this stage?

  • needs analysis
  • product workshops
  • code audit
  • product development 
  • maintenance 
  • team scaling
  • cloud management

Large enterprises / Corporations

Still, other dedicated applications are created as a result of the emergence of new needs of a particular organization. For example, it could be a narrow specialization in the company that requires the application to be used to accelerate specific work, research, or production. In each situation, we take a case-by-case approach to analyzing the client’s needs and the specialized field in which it works.

What types of activities can meet the needs of larger organizations?

  • needs analysis
  • product workshops
  • migration to the cloud
  • process automation 

The custom software development process

The construction of a dedicated product follows a process referred to as the software development life cycle (SDLC). It has defined stages, or iterations, that follow in a specific order to implement all required functions and achieve the desired result. In our case of creating a dedicated product, we most often use the proven Agile methodology.

The entire custom software development process begins with analysis and planning, a product workshop (optional), and product development, testing, and implementation with an ongoing maintenance and support phase. We will now focus on a detailed analysis of each stage.

 Analysis and planning

Our goal is to get the best understanding of your needs, the stage of the project, and its scope. We know from experience that the better we understand your business and the goals behind the application development, the better we hit the target market’s needs. 

This is essential because, in IT, the most common problem during software development is either vague requirements or too late disclosure of the client’s expectations. Therefore, during the analysis, we emphasize gathering as much information about the project as possible to develop the application effectively.

The pace of development of this and the next stage depends on the degree of technological awareness, design preparation, and scope of work. Suppose we are developing some next step of a project that we are already familiar with, or we are working with a person experienced in development. In these cases, we can proceed to build the product after the initial analysis.

On the other hand, if we are starting a completely new project or the decision maker does not have a specified vision and plan, then it is necessary to use the next stage, which is a product workshop, during which we translate the idea into specified technological requirements.

Product workshops –
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Product workshops (optional)

In a situation where someone needs to clarify the details of their project, examine the complexity of the application, analyze the operation in particular, or make a more detailed estimation, we offer product workshops. They give you valuable knowledge that makes it easier to understand the operation of the main functionalities and analyze the application’s processes. This allows you to see which functionalities matter most to the product and which can be dispensed with, considering the cost or scope of operation. This is the time when we prepare a clear and detailed plan of functional requirements, which will allow developers to work confidently, quickly, and efficiently to build a product that meets its objectives.

During the workshop, we define the whole scheme of operation of the application. Then we prepare a pre-implementation analysis, including, for example, a risk register, cost estimation, functionality inventory, and work schedule. You will then discover exactly what happens to your application when key processes are launched. The article below explains the methods and techniques used during the workshop.

We can divide the product workshop into three main phases:

➡️ Discovery phase

A thorough analysis of the target audience and user needs research. Using the Value Proposition Canvas technique, we focus on the most crucial initial business elements – the value proposition and the types of users expected to use the product. The VPC model makes it easier to analyze, design, and, most importantly, match the right solutions to customers’ needs. The best thing is that it is a structured and visually compelling process.

➡️ Event Storming

It’s time to visualize the application’s processes and work on sample views. At this stage, we study the complexity of the application and analyze its performance by looking at the events that occur in it. We write down all the events on coloured cards to create a User Journey Map, which is the path of the system showing how the user moves through the application. This allows the client to look at their idea from a broader perspective and gather key information, while the team better understands the specifics of the work and the implementation of the next steps.

➡️ Design Sprint Elements

In this part of the workshop, we engage each participant to create a simple diagram of a particular view according to their own ideas. Then we vote to select the best views. Those that get the highest number move on to further development, and a prototype is created based on them. We close the workshop with a comprehensive summary of the entire process and a collection of the most important conclusions.

Based on the data collected at the workshop, it will be easier to assess the project’s complexity, provide the most accurate IT cost estimate possible, and indicate the time required for the project.

What will you get after the product workshop?

  • Visualization of all processes in the application – a virtual board diagramming how the application works and all the processes that take place in it
  • Prototype of the application – a clickable prototype prepared by an experienced designer based on the key conclusions of the workshop, which will comprehensively illustrate the product
  • Accurate estimation of the project costs
  • Document with SWOT analysis and all technical recommendations
  • Model of the system architecture along with a roadmap

Software development

This is the longest stage of custom software development, which involves building a solid solution according to the design guidelines. If the previous phases have been completed with great attention to detail, we can effectively begin the process of developing the application.

It is a structured and iterative process divided into smaller parts we call sprints. Each iteration covers a part of the project scope, delivered in a short and controlled time. We work in two-week sprints, and you receive regular updates from us on the progress of the work and the provided functionalities. Within the sprints, we create views of the application, implement functionalities and conduct regular tests of the application to catch any bugs as soon as possible. The correctness of the delivered functionalities and code is put under the magnifying glass so that not even the slightest error escapes our attention. Each sprint ends with a demonstration of the working part of the product.

We focus on full transparency of activities and sincere communication: among other things, you receive access to Jira and code from the first day of cooperation, along with dedicated reports every week. We value client involvement in the project, so we encourage daily meetings, regular retrospectives, and planning. This positively impacts communication with the team and your insight into the entire project.

Application deployment and care

The stage of implementing the application and releasing it to the market is a peak moment in our work! The product is initially released to a smaller audience to collect user feedback, possible concerns, or corrections. After considering them, we implement the changes after jointly agreeing on the scope of activities.

For the first 6–8 weeks, we conduct increased monitoring, checking the operation of the application using proven tools such as Zabbix or Grafana, which allow us to react quickly in case of a possible failure. We keep our finger on the pulse, and you don’t have to worry about a thing – we take care of the proper functioning of servers and production environments. 

What practices and tools do we use while monitoring the application? You can read about it in this blog article:

Further development steps

Software development does not end upon the product’s release, but we take care of regular updates and expand the product with additional functionalities. We provide full support – we collect critical information about the product, observe users, and listen to their feedback. We also follow market trends to keep your application secure and attractive.

Main Stages of Custom software Development ProcessCreate custom software according to individual needs

Custom software development is an excellent way to scale and solve problems properly and effectively. At Studio Software, we strive to make each stage of development as productive and business-focused as possible. We strive to understand each client’s needs, so we take the time to do a thorough analysis and plan to develop software tailored to the individual business.

Since 2015, we have built many dedicated product solutions for startups and large enterprises. We have experience in how to guide your idea from validation to the full realization of your business needs. You can see our project portfolio and witness the diversity of solutions we’ve created for clients in many industries.

We can help you meet your business needs by building bespoke software for your company. No matter your project’s complexity, our engineers will find the right solution. Want to know more? Let’s talk about your project!

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