Checklist for building a software product

Finding a right product market fit comes after years and years of experience in engineering, building a team, understanding the user, incorporating feedback and doing this process over and over again. There is a lot of information out there on what needs to be done at what point. Most people wing it, some people take the long approach of not releasing anything to the user and doing a big bang launch. Others believe in doing quick prototypes, learn from experience and shape the product up as you. There are pros and cons to each approach. In this blog, we think about certain must-do's that most people forget or do only some of these. Its a good starting point to refer and keep in mind the essentials when looking to build a technology product.

 

Step 1 : Be focussed, solve one problem at a time

 

 

Focus is not like a concept to remember. It is an every-minute mindset that is to be instilled in every nook and corner of your brain even if it means sacrifice. It means putting your mind and body to commit to what you decided on achieving. Pick one and complete one. This is how you focus. Q: Can you reach the moon with a bunch of bricks? A: Yes, using one brick at a time.

If you are faced by an overwhelming number of problems, go berserk while trying to meet countless demands at a single point, here’s what you do

  1. Break down the problem into small solvable steps
  2. Solve every step one by one.

If you find yourself to not solve anything at all, which happens often, go back and think smaller on step one.

 

Step 2 : Build interfaces from the end user's perspective

 

 

User Interface characterizes and defines the level at which the users accept your site. The user interface is the outlet for every software product. The following reflections help you pay attention to the user interface. Keeping it at a broader scale, here are the mentions

  1. Way your product is presented
  2. Style and experience it instills
  3. Way the user’s response is fed
  4. How your default settings function
  5. Ways through which you have directed your feedback mechanism

By any means, this list doesnt prove to be exhaustive. But, nevertheless, research a lot more on requirements of the user interface. Get on it by preparing a comprehensive list and make sure you stick through.

Consciously or unconsciously, Knowingly or unknowingly, oddity and inconsistency creep into the pre-discussed features and support your product should be showcasing. It is therefore of prior concern to validate and cross-check your functional and non-functional list of requirements before you begin on the development. And yes, do consistently validate the user-interface before it is presented.

 

Step 3 : Have the right technology team

 

It is absolutely a definitive plus if you can find a team that plans out on understanding all the possible abstract requirement techniques. Starting from conducting discrete interviews such as unstructured and structured interviews, written and oral, group discussions and one-to-one, other techniques such as surveying, questionnaires, analysis of a given task, analysis of domains, brainstorming etc., everything should be weighed appropriately before forming a team. Each one of it puts a test to different skill set. All of this comes together to form the right team.

 

Programmers and coders are just a part of a discernible cult called ‘Stakeholders’. But, also remember, stakeholders are those who have their opinions imprinted on your software product.
Software product development is not really about a bunch of people breaking their heads with laptops and strikingly cool gizmos. There is more to it than just that. If the team you pick is going to do just that, your product will also turn out to be just that.

Check out our article on WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A GOOD DEVELOPER?. Check if your team has a set of good developers!

 

Step 4 : Go Agile, Demand for weekly sprints

 

Agile being a methodology to handle project management, is a process that involves breaking down your project into prioritized needs, and delivering each one by one within an iterative cycle. After every iteration, the client is to sit down with the developers and review the progress. The insight provided by this review meet helps in formulating the next step as well as assess and improvise the previous step. In this way, this particular method anticipates changes better than the traditional methods leaving you with enough room for improvisation at every point. This method gives you more scope to keep your product customer-oriented right from the first step of developing it. Going agile, you save money and time.

 

Sprints are boxes of efforts that are measured using time as its metrics. The metrics could be daily, weekly or monthly depending on the complexity and magnitude. It is the fundamental unit of development.Fragment your development process into discrete segments.Try to place compatible members available for the project into small teams. To each and every small group, assign a fragment / functional module. This fosters a healthy competition amongst the groups. Set targets and benchmark the performance of groups. Assess and evaluate every sprint’s progress and target. But remember, if you set your bars high up in the sky, that too when you are just beginning from the scratch you are without a doubt living in your own denial. Unrealistic goals be it long term or short term, it is bound to bring you, your team and your stakeholders to a lower spirit and zeal.

 

Step 5 : Always have version control in place

 

Version control is the means by which different versions and drafts of a document (or file or record or dataset) are managed. It is a repository of files which has a monitored access to. Version control helps you keep a record of the drafting and the revisions that were made.

In a system where development is distributed and collaborated, every now and then, version control is a need that you at any cost should not ignore, especially in today's fast-paced world with increasingly shorter product release cycles. Version control is particularly important for technology products because when information is stored as electronic documents, a numerous number of users have their hands on it. To keep a track of the changes implemented, version control comes into play.

 

Step 6 : Review test cases and scenarios

 

Highly crucial to technology product development is risk management. More often than not, in software product development, there are always a few risks. But on the brighter side, this comes with a solution. Get yourself a test team! Good testers prefer avoiding risks. But, a great tester regards a risk as a risk and acts on it. Get yourself a bunch of the latter.

Follow up on test cases every now and then. You don’t want a new version rolling out for every bug you fix. Get it fixed at the development stage. Also remember, even the business team has a say in your test cases.

 

Step 7 : Setup backups and contingency plans early on

 

Have a keen eye to monitor every risk. Single out all the risks from the available symptoms. Very careful audit of the symptoms and clear assessment of the risks will cater you take risk mitigation policies. By devising a plan for a probable negative situation that might arise in the future, you keep yourself prepared to take the risks head-on with minimal damage when the time comes. It ensures being able to get your product back on track after a short period of time.

 

Step 8 : Focus on security and performance

 

You don’t want the uncalled audience to peep into your confidential details. SSL is crucial because before your details can reach your intended address, it has to pass through a numerous number of networks before it reaches there. SSL protects you by keeping every in-between network user out of your business. To activate SSL, you will have to buy a certificate and activate it. SSL provides authentication and trust. It has been on the rise to use encryption tools to protect your data with the increase in the number of trusted SSL Providers.

 

Step 9 : Launch: Setup feedback, tracking, and support tools

 

If your product is for your customers, it goes without saying that their insight of your product is of main concern. By setting up feedback you get this taken care of and to your plus, it also gives information on the level of satisfaction and loyalty your customers have to offer your product.

If you think a support team is a mere waste of money and ineffective, you could not be farther away from the truth. By providing you with the unique opportunity of interacting with customers one-to-one you get to explore the chance of analyzing your customer base expectations' with your tech support team constantly giver your product-users a better insight into the product, it is most likely to turn out as an unexpected branch of your sales.

 

Finally

 

In the end, it is about bringing all the ideas to the table where it can fit in with the already existing ideas. The way you carry your idea to the table, the way you place it, the way you display it: every step counts. If you deal with every step of it judiciously, your tech product will be successful.


 

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