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Guide

5 Questions to Answer to Implement a Stunning Software

When it comes to software development, a collaboration between customer and development team, that is usually pictured as a smooth and resultative partnership, could easily turn into travails of misunderstanding, growing annoyance and vexation. Despite customer and developer are closely interrelated to achieve the final goal – meeting the project objectives. 

However, a transparent and meaningful explanation of project requirements is a solid foundation of future Win-Win collaboration. As the developers will simply understand what exactly you want and how to achieve it.

Let’s review the сustomer-vendor cooperation diagram

Requirement and Opportunities

As you can see the Vendor refers to opportunities, while the Customer refers to requirements. The development is affected by the availability of resources (necessary specialists, budget) and restrictions (business environment, legal regulations, availability of the necessary equipment, technological stack).

Determine what you want. Make a clear definition.

In our work at the presale stage, business analysts and project managers are the ones who are identifying and formulating the requirements. Through online or offline negotiations with stakeholders, they help to determine the goals of the project and outline the functionality for the MVP and the final version.

Based on our experience, it is easy to discern how projects, where clients do not pay enough attention to the careful and thoughtful formulation of requirements, often have difficulties at the implementation stage. Meanwhile, the time, effort and money spent on the professional preparations of the requirements quickly pays off with effective and smooth development progress.

If you have firmly decided that you are ready to prepare the requirements for the future software product on your own, please make sure that your specification is understandable, logical and reflects your expectations of the final product.

Types of Technical Requirements

Functional requirements describe what a system should do, while non-functional requirements impose restrictions on how the system will do this. 

  • Functional requirements are actually valuable system features.
  • Non-functional requirements are preferences and limitations associated with business logic, design, technical properties of the product.

A clear understanding of what solution you want to get is only (or already) half of the success. For an idea to become a product, you also need a coherent project vision and well-structured requirements.

Key Questions to Clarify

Business Idea

Business Idea is the core from which you start your product development. It’s very important to have an understanding of the project as a whole, but not only certain small tasks at the specific development stage. You will succeed only if all team members involved in the development can understand the project from its core. Why is this solution needed? Who can use it? How does the product help meet user needs? What is the value of this product for the user?

You can’t deny that, if the client himself can not decide on the business idea draft, then the worse will be the understanding of the team that will work on the project.

Here are few sample questions to help determine what the product idea is:

  • What values will the solution(current project) bring to its users? 
  • What is the purpose of the project?

 
However, it’s better if a business analyst or sales specialist of the development company helps you to draft a business idea properly.

Though, here is for you a template to simplify the definition of the idea:

<Product name> is a <Product category> for <Target market> that <Core benefit> by <Unique differentiator>

Example: <Google> is a <search engine> for <everyone who uses the internet> that <helps people quickly find relevant information> by <having the best algorithms that deliver the fastest and relevant results>.

Key features

Upon defining the product idea and answering the question “What is it”, you shall specify its key features. 

Questions to be answered:

  •  What main functions your solution should perform?
  • How the product could be useful for an end-user?

Admin area

It’s worth mentioning, that a product often may have several types of users. And the role of each user is determined by the presence/availability of different features. 

For example, let’s review the Airbnb. It’s an online marketplace for arranging or offering lodging. Its interfaces for the apartment tenant and the lessor require different functionality. Therefore, it has a unique admin panel with separate functions, which are dictated by the user role.

However, when you need to describe features, at the beginning you can do this briefly without relying on users, but by specifying the key value of the product for users, example:

“YouTube premieres is a feature that lets you and your viewers watch and experience a new video together, much like a movie or TV show premiere. Premiering your video allows you to schedule a video upload and to create a buzz around the video with a shareable watch page.”

Though, if you are ready for a more expert approach. Divide the features by each user-role in the system and structure the list of system properties. Our business analysts and technical experts are ready to make things easier for you and will help you with structuring the correct list of the most needed features.

How to provide technical requirements

Examples/competitors

Having an analogy could be the easiest way to share your idea with the development team. Even when you are trying hard to create something innovative, you can rely on the competitors’ best practices on the aspects/basic features where their solutions are similar to yours. And that is where business analyst, marketer and UX designer will join you to help. 

If you already prepared some design prototypes, diagrams, graphs or any other creatives, they could be really helpful to establish full understanding and fruitful cooperation. 

An advanced answer will be if you provide a real sample of already existing solutions with the following description of necessary integrations/technologies.

How to choose features for your app

Сustomer Persona (End Users)

Understanding the customer’s personality will help to use analysis and empathy to effectively draft the product. Also, you will be able to clearly imagine the entire user flow of interaction with the product. Therefore, based on the customer portrait, the functions pack that your system requires may vary.

So, after having decided to provide a solution for professional users, it would be reasonable to offer them a number of advanced features, including the customization possibility. However, if your target audience is beginners, you’d better have support, tips and a section with detailed explanations of features, or a section with frequently asked questions.

At this stage please answer the following questions:

  • Please describe who will use your product? (target audience)
  • What needs could your product solve? 
  • What is the expected location of the target audience: worldwide/specific country/city/ office of a specific company etc.

 Our marketing team is ready to assist you defining the target audience.

Time Limits

The last but not the least point in the description of the planned solution for developers is an understanding of the scope by which the client is limited. And the first thing is the time limit. So the questions will be:

  • What are your time preferences?
  • Should we consider any certain deadline?

Understanding the customers’ expectations in terms of a roadmap will allow the project manager to choose the appropriate development method (methodology). Considering some projects are limited in time to release MVP before a certain period (for example, by Christmas / by summer). While other projects are focused on details and product improvement without a limited time-frame. Sometimes the extreme urgency (or limited budget) of a project makes PM reconsider the original plan by discarding a number of functions in favor of key ones, or even by reworking the whole first business model. But on the contrary, the lack of resource limitations may be the basis for using complex, advanced technologies. Such a decision will become an investment in the effectiveness and commercial success of the product in the future.

Altogether opportunities and wishes of the client will influence the development process and result.

Conclusion

Win-win collaboration with a vendor strongly depends on the effectiveness of communication and the level of understanding. You will be able to develop an outstanding digital product, only by having mutual cooperation with the team. Therefore to increase the performance of our team, please describe your project in 5 aspects:

  • What is your product? (business idea)

    This is a comprehensive statement of value that the product will bring. A business idea is an answer to the question “What is the purpose of the project?”

  • What should it do? (key features)

    What main functions your solution should perform? The key properties of the system can be specified by defining the roles of users and their needs at the interaction stages with products or based on the benefits (values) that your solution can bring to its users.

  • Samples 

    Illustrate your vision with links to similar products that you like. Attach wireframes, sketches, screenshots (if you previously worked with the designer).

  • Who is your target audience? (customer persona) 

    Please describe the target audience you expect to use the product? Create an approximate portrait of the desired user and we will build the product depending on his needs and preferences.

  • How much do you allocate for development? (resources limits)

    Should we consider any certain deadline? Specify your limitations on time and budget spent.

For customers who have not previously experienced the software development process, providing precise responses to key questions may not be the easiest task. So do not hesitate to contact our non-technical specialists (sales manager/marketing manager/business analyst). Together with our developers, they will help to speed up the process of identifying, analyzing and formulating requirements.

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?

LET'S DISCUSS! BOOK A CONSULTATION WITH OUR SPECIALIST


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