Custom software is specifically developed for an organization or group of users within an organization. Its main purpose is to address a user’s unique needs which can be better achieved through custom software compared to traditional off-the-shelf software. The custom software development process includes a series of steps that involve the design, creation, release and maintenance of tailor-made software.
The Custom Software Development Process: Step-By-Step
Custom software development can be highly complex depending on the specific features and functionalities requested by the client. Businesses often work alongside custom software development teams to design the software in great detail. Custom software should solve certain problems that a business may be experiencing with their current software and allow ample room for growth and modifications.
The steps involved in the custom software development process include the following:
Plan The Project Scope
The first step in the custom software development process involves bringing the team together to plan the project scope. There are several things to consider when planning a software project, such as the core purpose of the application, what functionalities are required, what is the budget for the project and what is the estimated timeline. Planning the project scope involves gathering a great deal of information and using it strategically to develop a practical application without unnecessary costly extras.
Conduct An Analysis & Create A Strategy
The analysis stage of the custom software development process is also critical to ensure that a product is created which produces a return on investment. During this stage, developers spend time learning about the organization’s business processes, challenges, IT infrastructure and goals.
Once an analysis has been conducted, the team will begin working on a strategy for creating and executing the software in a budget-friendly and time-conscious way.
Design The Software & Make A Prototype
The design phase of the custom software development process acts as the blueprint for the product. This stage makes up a large portion of development to ensure that all features and aspects are correct and meet the needs of the business. The design stage allows the team to better visualize the project and map out every feature and function that will be included in the end result. Communication is critical during the design phase and no detail is too small to mention. Once the software has been designed, a prototype can be developed.
Begin Development & Writing Code
After careful planning, development of the software begins. Development tasks are generally broken down so that the code for the project can be written in pieces. Writing code in pieces allows for more accurate reviews and can help minimize disruptions and delays. During this stage of development, it is important to have tracking tools in place to check on the progress of the software.
Test The Product Before Release
After the software has been completed, it must be thoroughly tested before it can be released. It is common to discover problems during the testing phase that might have been missed during the build. Testing software before its release creates a stronger product by identifying these errors and bugs before it is delivered to the client. Different elements of the software should also be tested at various points through the development process.
Release The Final Product & Provide Support
If the final testing phase is accepted, the product is ready for release. At this stage, the business can implement the software into their system and begin using it immediately. It may be necessary to teach employees how to use the new software.
To ensure that the implementation of the software is successful, businesses can rely on custom software developers for ongoing support. If any problems are discovered later, the software development team will work to solve the issues quickly to minimize downtime.
How Long Does A Custom Software Project Take To Complete?
Having access to functional software is important for businesses that depend on these applications on a day-to-day basis. For this reason, many businesses wonder how long the custom software development process actually takes to complete. On average, businesses can expect the process to span between four and nine months, depending on the size and complexity of the product. A custom software developer can usually provide an estimate at the start of the project.
Speak To Experienced Custom Software Developers
Businesses are constantly looking for new ways to gain a competitive edge and speed up their business processes. While there are many ways to achieve this, making the move from off-the-shelf software to custom software is one of the most effective.
To learn more about the custom software development process or to speak with an experienced custom software developer about designing custom software, reach out to the professionals at Orases by calling 301.756.5527 or by scheduling a consultation online.