Preparing to answer these questions will get your custom software project off to a good start. You’ll likely save your company significant time and expense by gathering key information before you meet with your developer. Here is a list of questions a custom software developer will ask you:
- What are the deliverables? This aligns expectations as to what you actually get delivered along the way and at the end of the project. We will need to know everything from the custom software functionality, to the hardware it will run on, to any training required to get up and running.
- What is your timeline? If there is a pending event for which your new software package needs to be fully operational, we need to know that. One thing to understand is that a software development timeline is dictated by the development process more than an arbitrary date. It’s important for clients to understand that up front, and we communicate that clearly.
- Who will be using the software, and what do they need from it? It may seem obvious, that we need to know who is going to use the software. Part of the reason for asking is also to try and set up meetings with those users, so that we can better understand their needs and expectations.
- What features do you NOT want? Part of the reason for going the custom software route is to get rid of all those “features” that slow down or confuse your company’s processes. Be ready (and excited!) to provide that list.
- What are the must-have features? Get a list from your team, your users, your admins, and others who might interact with the software -- like those who need reports -- and get a list of the features you must have at the end. Now, these are different from a dream list of “like to have” features. Feel free to bring those, too. With this question, we’re getting at the heart of the problem to be solved with your new software solution.
- Who makes the final decisions? One of the biggest causes of missed deadlines and scope creep is not having anybody in charge of the final approvals and decisions. We’ll ask to know what your approval process is up front to avoid that.
- What is the budget? Along with your list of “must have” features, your budget will give us a good picture of your expectations. Of course, that budget may change after our initial conversations, but it’s important to come to the table with a realistic budget that takes into consideration the new business outcomes your company will realize as a result of the new software. Speaking of which...
- What are the business outcomes or objectives you want to realize from the software? Hands down, this is the most important question we’ll ask you. This is a significant investment in your time and money. It’s vital that everybody involved understands your core purpose for taking on this project. Be prepared to discuss your goals internally before we meet, then discuss them with us, and finally, have another conversation with your leadership to ensure that we’re all on the same page with this one.
We’re Here to Help You With Your New Software Development
Don’t let those questions stop you from moving forward with your new software solution. We’ll walk you through this process and even help you uncover the answers to these questions. We pride ourselves on our entire project management process, from this initial discovery all the way through to final implementation.
Contact us today to get started.