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17 Important Questions to Ask Before Starting a Software Development Project

Questions to ask software developers

Enterprise software development requires proper planning, a well-thought-out strategy, and preliminary analysis. This approach allows avoiding common mistakes, as well as saving time and money.

Before starting a software development project, you have to get answers to several important questions to better comprehend what kind of product your customer expects to get, how it should operate, and how the whole development process will look like. It would be best for any customer to discuss these issues with the chosen development team, as that allows taking into account the experience and expectations of all the parties concerned.

Take the answers to these questions down for you to be able to use them later when necessary. A project started the way it should since its very beginning has the highest chance of finding its way to the right place.

1. What Are the Strategic Goals and Expectations of the Software Application for Your Business?

Understanding the value of the future product for customers and the target audience starts with knowing the problem it solves. Some apps have clearly defined functional goals (process automation, business problem solving), and some serve to gain a competitive advantage or are of an image-building nature.

For instance, MVP development might pursue the following goals:

  • promptly test the hypothesis in real market conditions;
  • accelerate and simplify app implementation in the company;
  • showcase the idea to investors to attract venture capital.

Thus, a development team performs the same job, but customers pursue different goals in each separate case.

2. What Is Your Software Development Budget?

Getting down to software development without knowing the deadline set and the budget available is a completely lame idea. You will never start building a house without knowing how much it will cost you, will you?

Any company has certain financial restrictions in addition to which some contingencies always appear in the course of work. If you skip taking into account these aspects, customers may run out of money at a point when they have already spent a lot of resources on development, and the product release is still a long haul ahead.

Recommendable reading: “What Determines Custom Software Development Costs: 6 Key Factors.

3. What is Your Timeline for This Project?

Every software development project has a deadline, milestones, or time restrictions. Customers may have obligations to investors, and the timeline may be bound to the company’s strategic development plan, marketing activities, or important events.

Knowing the time limits allows developers to make a clear and realistic development plan, set priorities, and distribute resources the right way to meet the deadline set.

Want to start a project?

Our team is ready to implement your ideas. Contact us now to discuss your roadmap!

4. Who Is the Point of Contact? How Will You Communicate?

While working on a project, developers communicate with various people on the customer side. They may contact a person concerned, an intermediary, or a decision-maker.

The development team should know who these people are and with whom they can communicate about the work on the project at a specific stage. This approach minimizes the risks that the development will be on hold at some stage because the parties concerned fail to get in touch when needed.

Why good communication is important

5. How Frequently Would You Like to Receive Progress Reports?

Different development teams may have different approaches to making project progress reports. Consequently, you should make sure your expectations and their work model coincide. If not, it would be best to arrange for the necessary report adjustments.

6. How Involved will You be in the Development Process?

At Lvivity, we work in Agile. That is why we break development into short sprints and phases, during which we focus on specific things on one part of the project. Then, we show the result to our customers to get feedback from them and continue to work based on it.

This customer involvement in the development process allows us to show our customers the progress achieved.  In case something goes wrong, we quickly make appropriate corrections.

7. What Are We Delivering and What Are We Not?

Any product is a complex of different elements. The work on a project includes various stages that we have to complete in a specific order. For instance, website development includes work in the following areas:

  • programming;
  • design creation;
  • content creation;
  • design template layout;
  • testing, etc.

To perform the work, you can hire specialists from one company or outsource the project to different teams and performers.

8. Who is our Target Audience? What Resources or Information about the Market do You Have?

Software is built to solve the problems people may have. Therefore, the first thing to do is to find out who your target audience is. This knowledge will allow you to properly think over your planned app functionality and order an MVP development service. Sticking to this approach will save two important things for any business: time and money.

Project meening

9. Which Platform Will Your Software Product Be Developed For?

It can be a web, mobile, or desktop OS. At the same time, there are two main operating systems in the mobile market: Android and iOS. You may choose a native and cross-platform development approach. Depending on your budget, product functionality, and target audience, you can choose in favor of a specific platform.

10. What Is the List of the Functionalities You Want to Implement in the Future?

This question is important for making the right architectural decisions. After all, you may envision your product in several future years and understand what capabilities you will have to implement at that time. Taking everything into account, you can develop an excellent evolution roadmap for your product.

Want to start a project?

Our team is ready to implement your ideas. Contact us now to discuss your roadmap!

11. What is the Core Functionality of the Product?

Never try doing everything at once. That is one of the most common reasons leading to project failure, as customers may just lack time and money to complete it due to unforeseen circumstances. You may plan as many features as you like, but first of all, you have to define a small set of them to be available in the initial app release.

Read more about it in our article “Minimum Viable Product (MVP): Definition, Examples, and How to Build One.”

Discuss about product features

12. Are there Third-party Products or Tools that We Need to Integrate?

Your product may be interconnected with several internal and external systems. Moreover, a lot of things are more reasonable to implement by connecting the product to third-party services using API than developing them from scratch. Planning these integrations will influence the approach to app development, affect its design, and change other things.

13. What are the Requirements for Data Storing?

While operating, any company has to collect, store, or process data. What kind of data it will be (texts, photos, videos, etc.), what storage rules will apply to it, how it will get processed and, if necessary, deleted — you have to know the answers to these questions before you start the development process. This knowledge will allow you to select the optimal database storage solution.

14. How Many People Might Use This?

Apps used within a small team of two dozen employees will differ a lot in architecture and requirements from those used by thousands of people. Before you start developing your product, you have to consider such things to design app capabilities for the appropriate workloads and account for the scalability potential.

Want to start a project?

Our team is ready to implement your ideas. Contact us now to discuss your roadmap!

15. Are there any regulatory restrictions to consider?

For instance, financial services and healthcare are subject to several legislative restrictions and regulations (HIPPA, CCPA, or FERPA) in many countries. These restrictions can differ a lot depending on the country. You have to be extremely attentive to the detail in this matter, especially if you plan to launch a product aimed at the global market.

16. Is this Software Product for You, or Should You Consider Selling It?

Multiple successful SaaS platforms started as in-house development and were marketed as a commercial product later. However, it may prove quite a challenging task to convert single-user software into a multiuser product as this process involves architectural differences and database migrations. Consequently, it would be better to initially plan such an option in your app evolution roadmap.

SaaS: Single Tenant vs Multi-Tenant

17. How Will You Protect Your Product Idea or Maintain Confidentiality?

Intellectual property is very important to any business. It is quite easy to copy an idea and technological developments and enter the market with a ready product faster than the one who came up with the very idea and developed it. Therefore, you should find out all the issues concerning intellectual property protection as early as at the phase of discussing the project by signing an NDA at the least.

Wrapping Up

You will most likely need time to answer all these questions. Moreover, they may differ depending on your project specifics. However, if you know the answers to all of them, you will be able to make correct decisions, increase development process efficiency, and get a software product meeting your requirements.

For many years, Lvivity has been helping companies develop efficient software solutions designed to tackle their business objectives. If you are looking for a reliable partner to help your ideas come true, contact us, and let us discuss the details.

Lvivity Team

Flexibility, efficiency, and individual approach to each customer are the basic principles we are guided by in our work.

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