Software development isn’t a quick process; it requires proper planning and strategic thinking. The aim, to avoid common mistakes, save time and money and set yourself up for success. Ultimately, before starting a .NET development project, you need to understand what type of product you’re expecting to build, how it will work, what the development process will look like and more. To help get off to the best start with your next .NET project, make sure you ask yourself the following questions:
What Are Your Strategic Goals?
It’s easy to become highly focused on the finer details of a development project, but it’s vital to understand how it fits in with your wider business goals. After all, the product needs to have future value for its users, whether they’re employees or customers. Some development projects will have functional goals such as process automation others will aim to gain a competitive advantage. Be sure you know what your goals are from the outset. After all, it’s the only way you can truly measure success.
What Problem Will Your Solution Solve?
There is no point in creating a piece of software for the sake of it. Every digital product should aim to solve a core user problem. By keeping the user front of mind both at the beginning and throughout the development project, you can make sure you don’t get sidetracked by fancy functionality that doesn’t serve the core purpose. What’s more, by ensuring your project stays focused, you’ll save time and money.
Who Will Use Your Product?
You need to understand your target market, the problem your solutions solves and how many people are likely to use it. You might be developing an internal app that will only be used by a handful of employees or an external facing app that will be used by existing or prospective customers. Your solutions need to be able to cope with appropriate workloads from the outset and may need to scale to meet future demand.
Which Platform Should Your Software Work On?
Whether you’re developing a mobile application or a CRM system, you need to define which platforms it needs to work on. This will depend on your budget, product functionality and target audience. You might choose or favour a specific platform, but you’ll want to bear in mind future growth and inclusivity. By ensuring your product works on multiple platforms, you will give it a greater reach.
What is the Core Functionality of Your Product?
If you try to do everything at once, it can easily lead to project failure. Unnecessary functionality will take away from the core purpose of your solution and actually make it more difficult for your users to achieve their goals. What’s more, if you add too much functionality, you can run out of time and money. You should try to define a small set of core features that are the focus before evolving your product further.
Will Your Product Need to Integrate With Other Systems?
The chances are that your product will be interconnected with several internal and external systems. By planning the integrations from the outset, you can create the right app development approach. You’ll also want to consider data storage, what rules need to be applied, and how it will be processed and managed.
Are There Any Regulatory or Compliance Restrictions?
Depending on the industry you work in, there may be several legislative restrictions that you need to bear in mind, such as HIPAA and GDPR. These can vary substantially in different countries, so you need to bear in mind if you’re aiming at a global market. The key is awareness and knowledge about regulations. A competent .NET developer should be able to implement all the security measures and functional requirements that fall under these restrictions to ensure you remain compliant.
How Will You Communicate With the Development Team?
Clear lines of communication are vital during any development project. If you’re outsourcing development to a .NET consultant, you want to ensure that you all have points of contact and know who the key decision-makers are. With clear communication, unnecessary project holds or roadblocks can be avoided, everyone will be aware of what’s happening and your project is much more likely to stay on track.
How Involved Will You Be in the Development Process?
As well as identifying lines of communication, it helps to determine how involved you’ll be in the development process. This may well depend on the development methodology used. If development is broken down into sprints and phases, you should expect progress reports or meetings at each increment. Regardless, it’s important to make sure that you set expectations and have a work model that suits all parties involved.
Do You Have Clear Expectations?
You should know what your overall product is, but have you honed down on the individual deliverables? There are many stages to a .NET development project. Is your development team able to manage everything from ideation to development, testing and product launch? Have you thought about ongoing maintenance and improvements? It’s vital that you have clear expectations of what will be delivered from the outset.
What is Your Software Development Budget?
Every company has financial restrictions, so it makes good common sense to set a budget for any software development project. Of course, you may want to consider some contingency to allow for any desired changes down the line. If you run out of money before your product can be launched after spending resources on development, it will be a huge waste. Be clear about your budget and also take into consideration the return on investment that your product will deliver.
Do You Have a Project Deadline?
Every project needs a timeframe otherwise it can go on indefinitely. Consider whether you have obligations to investors or whether the project is bound to a bigger strategic plan, marketing activity or event. By outlining your time limits and key milestones, developers will be able to create a clearer and more realistic development plan with priorities to allocate resources in a way to meet your deadlines.
There is certainly a lot to consider before starting a software development project. However, you don’t have to go it alone. You’ll need to have a grasp of some of these ideas before you engage a .NET consultant, but they can also help you to work out some of the details. The key lies in making sure you’ve got everything covered before work begins, being transparent and having great communication. Get off on the right foot and your development team can help you tackle business objectives and turn your ideas into reality.