Software development is very specific and particular attention is needed at key points during product development. In this article we detail what these are and their impact.

User Experience

Always consider the end user and how they will interact with your product. If your UI is not user-friendly it will kill your product at the outset.

Demand-Based Features

You can’t please everyone and if you try the added complexity will be off-putting to users. Take account of who your main users are and perhaps create an MPV to get a good idea of what the most common uses are, establishing them as the core product.

Quality/Security

Even if you fix bugs rapidly as they occur users can still get a negative view of the product. Focus on quality and security so that future releases of the product are free from data loss or other issues.

Product Evolution & Delivery

More scenarios can be covered as your product evolves so make sure you monitor performance and gather user data so future iterations meet their needs.

Technological Aspects to Consider

It is helpful to consider tech strategies and differing approaches. Even if they cannot all form part of your project consideration is always useful.

Software-As-a-Service (SaaS)

This involves providing software on the cloud thus avoiding distribution issues. Customers can access the product easily over the internet via subscription. Pricing can be flexible and delivery of products and updates instantaneous.

Application Monitoring

Tracking the performance of an app is a great way to get data on how it is used. User reports can give valuable insight into performance issues and whether your software is meeting expectations.

Hardware Integration

Make sure that if your software works with specific hardware that the hardware is available. Choosing the right vendor is essential to make sure customers can access what they need.

Mobile Availability

The market expects software to be available on mobile. It it isn’t you will need to take steps to introduce it. Consider adapting it for a mobile screen or developing native apps.

Business Perspectives on Product Development

There are certain points you will need to take into account when organizing product development in order to keep costs within certain parameters and control the time-to-market. Some points that can help include:

  • Consider Design-to-Value – define value and then choose the goal of the product eg, user interest or brand image. Remove features that do not assist in achieving the goal.
  • Component reuse – products can utilize a framework or platform already in existence, this can significantly cut cost and time.
  • Versioning – make sure new versions are available based on user needs which eliminate any previously highlighted issues. However, be innovative as well as providing fixes.
  • Managing risks – estimating time, budget and performance and looking at the probability of various risks and their impact helps develop a good risk management strategy.
  • Retain product ownership. This is critical. If you have issues with developers or vendors you can then end that relationship and move forward.

Key conclusions:

  • Most important decisions must be take at stage one.
  • Make sure you know your audience and potential user scenarios.
  • Consider security and quality.
  • Consider SaaS/hardware integration.
  • Never lose sight of your business objectives.
  • Always retain product ownership.

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