Software product development is now one of the most valuable tools in businesses in almost every industry. It is hard to imagine doing any of your daily activities without thinking of a computer-related process or application. Thus, all stages of software development should be effectively and efficiently planned.
According to research, about 14 percent of all software projects fail because the development team does not adhere to the right software product development. Building robust software can be a daunting task as it involves a complex process that is not straightforward to adapt. Here we look at the 10 key steps for effective software product development.
1. Idea and Concept
Software development starts with just an idea and then validating the application idea. Any concept needs to be brainstormed and carefully thought out in order to be executed. The following are things that can help you find a viable idea:
- Define your goals
- Prepare a list of all the features that you expect in your software
- Discuss your target audience
- Research available software products
- Be analytical of the customers’ reviews and prepare a user story
- Sketch out how the software product will be
- Figure out how to make your product to be unique
Following these tips will help make the software product development life cycle smooth from the start to the last stages. It gives a clear agenda of what you want to achieve regarding the software product.
2. System analysis and planning
Carrying out a feasibility analysis plays an important role in the application’s discovery process. The process will help you determine both the technical and economic aspects of the software product development process. However, it is important to remember things when planning the roadmap of the project, such as the time, essential tasks, resources, ROI, and estimates.
Planning and thorough analysis help in foreseeing potential risks in the software product development process. This ensures that you get ready with strategies to help mitigate risks.
3. Proof of Concept
After system analysis and planning, you need to now focus on a POC (Proof of Concept). A proof of concept is among the most important phases in software product development services that you need to follow. This step comes before the development process begins. Thus, a POC will help validate the idea and determine whether the development steps will work for your business.
A proof of concept will confirm possible expectations and technical feasibility and determine the scope to help you accomplish them and the potential blocks.
The design of the product forms the basis of the software product development process. Thus, it is an integral part of the life cycle. If the POC is successful, the team of designers will now develop an excellent software architecture with software features. The best product design strategy requires striking a perfect balance between the business goals and user needs and not forgetting any of them in the entire SDLC process.
Usually, your product design should include the final mockups and the software prototypes while ensuring that the product is customer-centric. Therefore, the wireframes, workflows, standards, and end goals need to be defined while keeping the final output and user interaction in mind.
5. Proof of Value
The Proof of Value (POC) focuses on determining the viability of the software. It focuses on what the software product means to your business. A POC allows you to determine whether your goals on the project are achievable or not. With the Proof of Value, it is easy to take a case from the initial stages to the end while inspecting all the crucial elements and identifying gaps along the way.
In short, a Proof of Value offers you to better understand the predicted value, which the software can bring to the table and measure success.
6. Coding and Development
When you have all the requirements, including the design document, functional requirement specification document, and POV, you can now start with development and coding. The development and coding phase is an integral phase in this process as it gives the product life. Therefore, programmers have to ensure that they get everything in coding right as it is the riskiest phase of SDLC.
The phase involves building software architecture, which includes application programming interface, data source, and planned functionality. Once the architecture is complete, you should now move to the next phase, which is the testing stage.
7. Testing and Quality Checking
Quality assurance and testing are important when you are developing a high-quality software product. In this case, you need to test, fix bugs and track simultaneously. Apart from the testing in this phase, you also need to perform an in-depth test after the product is fully developed.
Here are some of the simple tests that you can perform:
- Releasing the software to a small group of testers
- Then use UX tools to monitor how users interact with your product
It is important to check the product first to ensure that you are not sharing buggy software with users, as this can ruin your business image and also lead to loss of revenue. Therefore, testing plays a very important role in software product development.
8. Implementation and Deployment
After you are done with other phases in software product development, such as coding, designing, and testing the application, you now need to install the crafted product. After that, the app now moves to production, which includes components and data transfer. At this phase, system analysts and end-users can check, use and test the developed application. Nevertheless, only some specific changes are made in the next releases.
9. Marketing Strategies
The marketing will now adopt a multi-platform approach to attract potential customers to your product. Usually, the best marketing strategies will focus on sharing the unique story about the product to potential customers. It will also focus on investing in digital marketing, understanding competitive analysis, and SEO master plans to improve its value and create social media.
Even after all the testing and deployment of the product, the software product development process is not over yet. The process ends with maintenance, which is the last phase. Apart from maintenance, the stage also involves regular updates and operations. Regular updates on the product are necessary since the users’ needs keep on evolving each day, making this step incredibly important.
In this case, the product should be maintained, polished, upgraded, enhanced, and redesigned based on the end-users’ feedback. This phase presents a perfect time to upgrade the application’s performance and vigorously modify its functionalities. Regular upgrading and improvement of performance help you meet the needs of your target audience.
Software product development is now an integral part of our everyday life. Most activities are powered by some form of computer-related process. Additionally, the above steps consist of the Software Development Life Cycle collection and practices that help deliver effective software products. These steps structure the work of the software development team, which enables them to meet deadlines and project requirements and remain within the budget.