6 steps to successful software product development
We believe everyone knows that high-quality (!) software product development including mobile and web applications development requires deep technical knowledge, experience, team cohesion, and thoughtful management.
The development process is rather complicated including lots of elements and factors necessary for the project’s success. For your clear understanding, we’ll tell you that the very custom software application development is just the third step starting only after a special preparation stage.
Software product development steps
1. Idea validation
Successful custom software application development requires great preparatory work. It starts with discussion and analysis of the client’s idea (and requirements). The most important thing here is to validate his ideas.
Does the market need another fitness (as an example) application? Will it have anything that will allow it to stand out among plenty of other apps? How to carve out a niche in the market? What is the target audience? How to make the product exactly for customers?
There comes app stores research and target audience needs analysis. Look at similar applications, use and estimate them. Read users’ comments, take into consideration their wishes.
Define popular analogs, carry out their analysis. Conduct a users’ opinion survey. These steps are very important. They will help you identify the features and functions that distinguish your product, that will lead the app must to success.
2. Prototype and design creation
Now, when the main features of a future application are defined, it’s time for its prototype development. In the beginning, we create wireframes that reflect both the structure and features of the product and then move to dynamic prototype creation (made with inVision).
This stage has great significance as it enables to visualize a future application and see how it will work. The prototype allows the client to see the web or mobile app interface design on the phone prior to the development process, as well as customers to test it.
3. Minimum viable product (MVP) development
Well, let’s start with the definition. It’s possible to say that a product with minimum functionality, a minimum viable product, is the first version of the app with the most important features.
It’s created according to the budget and time given for the development process. The point is that you receive a guaranteed high-quality working solution and test it on your target audience, defining what has to be improved and which functions should be added. And develop your product.
This approach allows you not only to save time (for example we develop MVP in 2 months) and money for the development, but also to create an effective application.
4. QA and stabilization
The following stage of mobile and web applications development is testing (QA). Bugs are defined and fixed and then the product stabilization is being carried out: everything must be in perfect working condition for the release. Usually, it takes about a month depending on the QA testing methodologies used for the project.
5. Launch and marketing support
After “a hundred thousand checks” and assuring that the application is ready for the release, we launch it. Prior to this, we create a marketing plan or product promotion strategy.
At this stage advertising channels are chosen, ASO is carried out (App Store Optimization – keywords, app description, name etc.) for markets (Google Play, App Store), users feedback is collected (wishes, comments).
Marketing support is undoubtedly is one of the most important elements of a high-quality software product development process. Who will know about your cool application without promotion?
Certainly, there are exceptions, but it’s one chance in a million. On the other hand, the cases when the idea (or its realization) is irrelevant, but due to the right promotion strategy the product gains popularity bringing profit, are rather frequent.
6. Further product development
After receiving a working solution and analyzing users’ reaction, you can continue further custom software product development: making improvements, implementation of new features that are not as important (must-have) as the ones included in MVP, but necessary for the creation of not just a good app, but a perfect one exactly for your target audience.
Other factors of success
1. Dedicated development team
Now we move to other elements necessary for your project’s success. We wrote at the beginning of the article that for high-quality mobile or web application development you need a combination of technical knowledge, experience, management, and team cohesion.
But there is more. For successful software product development, the team must be fully involved in the project. That’s why the dedicated development team model has gained such popularity recently. So, which benefits does it have?
Firstly, a dedicated development team works on projects of only one client, from beginning to end, meaning a better understanding of work as well as a greater cohesion.
Secondly, a client has the opportunity to fully control the dedicated project’s teamwork, constantly be aware of which stage the product is at, and also to test it himself. It ensures the development of what a client exactly needs.
2. Agile methodology
Agility, mobility, and readiness for changes define Agile development methodology. This methodology ensures the flexibility of communication as well as the working process.
Necessary changes in the course of the project are easily made (in the very development as well as in requirements and specification), while the client receives direct access to all the team members, according to the Agile methodology overview.
One of the most important Agile methodology steps – constant communication with the customer and tasks coordination for each project stage allows to reduce the time for development and create a high-quality application.
More information about Agile software development methodology you’ll find in one of our previous posts about Agile in software product development.
3. Time and Material contract
Time and Material implies the hourly wages of specialists (the principle – you pay as we go). To some extent TM is inherent in Agile: it also means development process flexibility and readiness for change requests (their implementation goes easily as contract conditions remain the same).
Result-oriented approach and the best solution search define TM resulting in successful software product development. There are no strict deadlines and worries related to changes in the scope of work, which, in turn, lead to changes in the budget. Specialists’ motivation to do their best increases.
Thus, Time and Material practically always gives a better product.