Software design:How do I plan custom software?
How do I plan custom software?
The Excel spreadsheets are bursting at the seams and the CRM system keeps crashing: time for a new software solution. Often, standard solutions are no longer sufficient for the company’s processes. This is when individual software development comes into its own. A solid software concept is crucial for sustainable individual software. Jacqueline Gockel, software consultant at trinidat for 5 years, knows what really matters in software design.
At the beginning is the concept. What does a software project start with?
At the beginning of a software development or software modernization is the consultation of the customer. We always start the first discussions with an open mind and try to put ourselves completely in the customer’s shoes. Often, we already receive many important indications of where the journey should go during kick-off meetings or initial joint brainstorming sessions.
What does the current software look like? What goals are to be achieved with a new or modernized application? What IT framework conditions exist in the company. Once the question “Make it or buy it?” has been answered, we show the customer which customized individual software solutions are suitable for his project.
What is needed to create a viable software concept?
The point is to capture the requirements on the customer side as precisely as possible. We look at what the customer’s requirements are – from the IT equipment and the skills of the employees to the time and budget available. Ideally, the customer submits a specification sheet to us that lists the exact requirements for the future software. We often advise our customers particularly intensively in this phase in order to be able to draw a concrete picture of the requirements.
The better the requirements profile is defined, the easier, faster and cheaper the software development will be. After we know the objective of the software, we start working on the so-called realization concept, also known as the requirements specification. Here we describe in detail the requirements for the software and list relevant information for the technical implementation.
What belongs in a realization concept?
First of all, we structure the requirements and wishes of the client on the basis of the specifications and the findings from the consultation meetings. Then we move on to the conceptual design. To give our customers an impression of the future software that is as close to reality as possible, we create mockups or click dummies. These are early digital drafts of the software design. The goal is to visualize the functionalities and features of the software. That’s why we already show a navigation structure here, for example. With screen drafts, created with Bootstrap Studio, we show how the software will later look to the user. In so-called data models, users get a visualized database including links for viewing. In addition to the visualization, the technical and functional description of the software functions is also part of the concept: This textual description of the visualizations of mockups and data model is done under the question, with which function what exactly should be executed. In addition, validations and other aspects that an application must take into account are also included.
What characterizes a good realization concept?
The implementation concept is an essential part of the contract. From the customer’s point of view, it describes which program functions the customer will receive. From trinidat’s point of view, the concept describes the service to be provided. A good implementation concept is characterized by the fact that the agreement between the customer and the service provider is clear and unambiguous, so that there are as few misunderstandings as possible during implementation. In addition, the realization concept already specifies how the individual software is to be realized. On the one hand, the processes should be user-friendly and error-free; on the other hand, a future-oriented, effort-optimized and correspondingly cost-effective implementation should also be aimed for.
What happens after the realization concept has been created?
As soon as we have the concept ready, it goes to the customer for review. It is often only during the review of the implementation concept that customers realize how comprehensive the requirements and functions of the software solution actually are. In this respect, our customers often make minor requests for changes at this stage. We incorporate these and then submit the modified concept for final approval. This is followed by an internal exchange: Now the software developers at trinidat come into play. Our project managers take a close look at the project and use the implementation concept to provide an estimate of the software development costs. Once all questions have been clarified, our programmers get to work and implement the software exactly according to the agreed implementation concept.
Jacqueline Gockel, Software Consultant
Would you like to learn more about custom software design?
Jacqueline Gockel is looking forward to your call or your mail. Find out now in a free consultation if custom software is right for you.