In order to stay competitive in a crowded digital market, custom software development has become an essential element of doing business. Off the shelf solutions are available to purchase, but if you want a quality digital product designed according to your business and customer needs, custom software is the way to go. But even if it is the best way to develop your digital solutions, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any problems with this approach.
The common pain points during custom software development are rarely found in the design of the software itself. A competent team, chosen for expertise in UX, cybersecurity, graphics, or web design can be easily sourced from specialist agencies. Instead, issues usually result from poor planning, which can be avoided.
Common Pain Points and Solutions
Defining Your Vision
One of the most common problems in custom software development is something that should be addressed right from the start. Good development teams will be keen to create a solution that aligns with your vision, but it’s extremely important to clearly define what that vision is. If there is ambiguity about the project outline from the get-go, you might check in later to find the team developing a different kind of product than what you wanted.
The solution here is to involve all stakeholders from the beginning. This includes investors, managers and the developers themselves. The essential specifications and function of the custom software being built should be carefully defined and potential issues raised in advance. This will help you know if the developer can follow your vision.
Communication is key for any collaborative effort. After the initial meetings in which the vision is defined, there should be active communication throughout the project. Otherwise there is a risk of misunderstandings or problems creeping into the software that are not addressed until too late, resulting in wasted time and money.
To avoid this, schedule regular check-ins and reports with the software development project’s team lead to keep tabs on progress. You want to leave the experts to do their job, but stay involved enough to make sure it’s going in the right direction.
Your shiny new custom software may be a great, totally unique product that stands out from the crowd, but it’s not going to be much use if it doesn’t play nice with the other apps and systems your company and customers might be using. This is doubly important if data needs to be transferred from one platform to another.
To solve this, consider at the planning stage how your new software will integrate with existing ones, and communicate this to the development team so that they work on including this functionality as the software is built. They may be able to roll several existing systems into one platform.
When you contract a software development company to create your custom software, you own the final product, but the software company actually owns the source code. This can come as a surprise if you had not considered it before, but the source code can be very useful to have if you want to change your custom software later and to choose who does this.
To avoid this issue, reach an agreement with the software development company in advance about who owns the source code.
Staffing the Development Team
You want a good, capable team right from the beginning, and preferably one that is consistent throughout the process. While it may be tempting to hire a smaller team when looking to save costs, adding people later on to speed things up before deadline can lead to mistakes, as the new participants lack the project experience of the others.
Make sure this does not happen by discussing with the software development company to agree on the size of the team, and include the team members in the discussion.
Running Over Time
Custom software development projects are notorious for delays. This is usually only partially the fault of the developer. Most often, delays occur because of the client making changes to the software specifications while the project is underway, forcing the dev team to restart elements from scratch.
If you have been following the tips so far, you know the solution here is clear communication, not only at the beginning but by active participation throughout.
Running Over Budget
Money is always a major concern, and as the project evolves, it may end up exceeding the initial quote, especially if changes are made. Careful communication with the team should reduce the risk of this, but one should still plan for potential budget bloat, allowing for a 40% to 60% increase, just in case.
A good software development company will not only offer skilled developers but also work with you from the beginning to address all these pain points. At AccelOne, our team of experts has a proven track record in delivering quality software on time and within budget.
To find out how our Nearshore development team can create a custom software solution that aligns with your vision, call us on 800.863.6814 or contact us online
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AccelOne is an industry leader in custom software development services across the entire software product development lifecycle. AccelOne uses a hybrid approach with experienced onshore/nearshore professionals located in the Americas.