How to Start a Successful IT Project: 6 Essential Steps
When considering building a new product and starting your journey into the market, don’t forget to make a good plan first. Planning every step will you save money and time and lead to successful product development. It is the best way to mitigate the risk of failure and increase your chances of success.
So what should you pay attention to when starting an IT project? How can you make sure it meets your business goals and won’t fail? As you probably know, it all depends on many factors, and it’s hard to choose the most important one. In this article, we’ll list some of the key steps you need to take to start a successful IT project. Let’s start!
IT Projects from the Technical and Business Points of View
When planning your next big project, you should consider both business and technical aspects.
The business factors include analyzing the market and your target audience’s needs to deliver dedicated products. Another important step is identifying your competitors. They can be a great source of information and inspiration for further activities. By identifying and analyzing your competitors, you can gain essential knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses to make sure you move in the right direction. Keep in mind that successful projects don’t happen by chance. In most cases, they are a combination of great ideas and smart business decisions.
The technical aspects include choosing the right technology for your project and gathering knowledge of IT-related issues. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be experienced in IT—you can always ask a professional software house for a free consultation and be guided towards the best solutions.
As you can see, an innovative product idea is not always enough to achieve success. Even if you start with a great idea for an IT project, it could still fail. According to research conducted by CB Insights, there are many reasons why startups fail. The most common ones are a lack of a product-market fit, incorrect cost estimates, and bad business decisions, including choosing the wrong team, lacking a business model, and cost issues.
Step 1. Needs Analysis
In the beginning, it is very important to research the market and discover your target group. What kind of product do they expect? What problems do they face, and how will your product help them solve those issues? Are they ready to pay for your product? What value will it offer? Try to answer those questions by conducting a complex analysis. By doing so, you will come to important conclusions and better understand your target audience.
The initial stage also includes competitor analysis. Research your competitors’ products, marketing strategies, communication methods, and so on. You will boost your knowledge and could gain inspiration for the next activities. By analyzing your competitors’ success paths, you will see which actions brought benefits, gather business ideas for your project development, and stay on top of industry trends. You can also see what went wrong and mitigate the risk of failure for your project.
Step 2. Create a Plan
The initial stages of preparing an IT project always include creating the right plan. It should come as no surprise that it is very difficult to achieve great results without a good plan. Your plan should contain the most important information about the products’ functionalities and your budget and deadline. Think about the project’s business goals—this information is important for not only you but also for the technical partner who will create your solution. Next, think about the team you need and your product specs. How many specialists do you need to get your project done? Will it be a web application or a mobile one?
It is also worth considering whether you want to build the whole solution at once or focus on the MVP first. The advantage of this approach is that you can test your idea in the real world and collect feedback from your first users. MVP lets you focus on the most important functionalities only. Want to learn more about creating MVP? Read this article and see how this solution could help you.
Forming a plan will make it easier to create technical specs later on. What is more, planning will help you start a successful partnership with a software house. They will know what kind of project you want to implement and can inform you about the possible timeframe, prepare an IT cost estimate, and more. When creating your plan, don’t forget about future activities. Look at your project from a broad perspective, including room for future development and app scalability.
Step 3. Write an IT Specification
When you know exactly what your project’s goals are, you can write everything down and collect the important information in one document. The software requirement specification (SRS) will be an important guide for your technological partner and help the team learn more about the app’s functionalities, the entire business idea, and your expectations.
If you’re not ready for this step and still have some doubts about the scope of your project, run some event storming workshops. They will give you a great opportunity to deeply analyze how your product should work and look at the project from a broad perspective.
Learn what these workshops look like step by step by reading our article here. Event storming is also helpful when it comes to preparing IT project cost estimates. The development team can use the information collected during the workshop to understand the project better and estimate the costs in detail.
How should you prepare a top SRS, and what should it contain? Keep in mind that the more detailed the document is, the better. It will guide your software partner and help them implement the project effectively. If you want to learn the top tips for creating this document, check out this article.
Step 4. Choose the Best Software House
Choosing the right partner is a huge topic. We have covered it many times in our articles, so I will try to keep it short here. At the very beginning, it’s best to consider which option suits you best: hiring your own team or outsourcing software development. Today, many companies choose IT outsourcing because it can save time and money.
There are some key things to consider before choosing a software development partner. First, check their portfolio. Does your potential partner have experience in the specific technologies you want to use? How about clients’ reviews—do they present the core advantages of working with this team? Next, keep an eye on their values and work methods. Transparency, eagerness to meet your business needs, openness: these qualities should catch your attention. It is also a good sign when the company is open to talking about the projects’ limits; it means they are trustworthy and will be honest with you.
A professional software house should prepare an IT project estimate and help you understand any difficult issues, both business and tech-related. Your partner should also use good project management methods and proven web technologies.
Step 5. Choose the Right Technology for the Project
When developing a web application or other IT product, you have to choose the right tech stack for your project. If you’re planning to expand an existing project, then this process is easy—you already know what technologies work for your project.
However, if you are starting from scratch and have no competencies in this area, you need to carefully analyze the available options. In this article, we suggest ways to choose the technology for your product. If you’re unfamiliar with the technology and need a hand, contact a professional software house to advise you on the best options.
Step 6. Stay Committed and Communicate
You have selected a partner and gathered the key requirements for your product. What happens next? Your project will start soon, but have you planned your involvement? Commitment is extremely important because a lack of involvement can result in failure.
Our experience shows that the greater the client’s involvement, the better and more effective the work becomes. When you’re part of the project, you get the opportunity to constantly provide feedback, check on the development direction, and communicate with the team.
Cooperation based on communication and transparency is the first step to getting a product tailored to your needs. Our clients can follow our progress and participate in all meetings. It builds trust and increases the partnership’s effectiveness. However, if you don’t have time to get more involved, we can provide a dedicated product owner who will take care of the project on your side.
As you can see, you can increase your chances of success by following a few important rules. Fortunately, you can count on your technological partner to help you at every stage and ensure the project meets your business goals. Contact us, and we will guide you towards the best solutions.