Building an enterprise software application is a complex journey involving several team members with varied skill sets, requiring significant time involvement, and costing a lot of money. There are several phases during the enterprise software development life cycle – requirement gathering, analysis, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
Due to the complexity of interacting with several team members and dependency of output from one phase to another, it is important to have a well defined process during the entire life cycle. In this article, we have compiled some of the key best practices while building an enterprise software application.
– Identifying the goal and formulating a plan
Each idea aims to solve a specific problem catering to the needs of its user base. So it is a crucial first step to identify the end objective and carry out a thorough research to know your market, understand the target audience, identify the market gap, research your competition, and differentiate your product offering. Better research leads to a better product application. If you don’t invest your time in research, you will end up with a lot of iterations which would mean increased manhours and capital. Hence it is important to carefully think out your product idea, define why and how you want to build the product.
– Choosing the right partners
Several phases during the enterprise software development life cycle require people with varied skills such as design, coding, QA, product management, etc. Building the entire team in-house can not only be expensive but can be a daunting task managing all the resources. Hence, it is important to identify the right technology partners that can help your team in building the application in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
However, choosing the right partners can be challenging and a crucial part of the overall development process. While selecting the right partners, keep in mind that the companies should be aligned with your organization as well as with the project requirements. The companies should have relevant expertise and experience, and this can be evaluated by looking at their portfolio, looking at the company’s reviews on Clutch/Dribble, as well as speaking to their references.
– Setting the scope at the start
The work scope should be established at the start of the project with clear deliverables and timelines. If you have outsourced design work, make sure that the deliverables such as user stories, information architecture, design, etc are well documented. These deliverables help the development team in writing the code adhering to the best standards.
Having a clear set of scope, deliverables and budget are crucial to a successful project. Not only will these help you monitor the progress, your partners can plan resources and allocate time accordingly. Not setting a scope at the start could lead to several iterations resulting in cost overrun and project delays.
– Identifying the most suited tech platform
– Outlining the features/functionalities clearly
Software application development is an iterative process. During the process, a lot of changes happen including adding/deleting/modifying features and functionalities. Frequent changes to these can slow down the project and will mostly impact the budget/timelines. Hence, it is important to identify the core features and functionalities clearly at the start. While minor modifications are acceptable, they are unlikely to have a major impact on the overall development life cycle.
– Setting up effective communication
Effective communication is a key factor in the success of software development. Working with partners across the globe with different time zones, different cultural/linguistic differences, etc requires effective project management tools like Asana, Jira, Basecamp, Trello, etc and communication channels such as Slack, Zoom, Teams, etc. These tools enable teams to work together throughout the development life cycle efficiently.
– Relaying timely feedback
The output dependency from one phase to another makes the entire process dependent on timely feedback during all the phases. Any subsequent change to output from one phase due to lack of proper analysis and feedback results in multiple iterations across the life cycle, which is both time consuming and expensive. Hence it is important to have a frequent and open communication dialogue during each phase and evolve the product idea ahead of development.
Enterprise software application development is a complex and long decision involving many variables. For a successful execution, you need multiple partners that help you during the entire process. As we flagged above, it is important to have a well defined process during the entire development process. If you’ve any doubts related to software development and if you need assistance developing one then feel free talk to us here.