Developing a custom system based on a customer request might be challenging, but in case the end product satisfies our client, it is worth the effort. While the process flow for this type of development is similar to the one where we are the project’s initiators, there are some major differences in these two types of activities.
Know your client
The main difference between developments initiated by us and projects requested by a specific customer is that in the latter we don’t need to have a brainstorming session and dig for new ideas, nor have we a phase dedicated for market research. On the contrary, we have the following steps: specification, detailed specification, planning, development, testing and handover.
Once we fully understood what the requirements of our client are, we specify the exact details for them and we make sure that they agree with it. This phase is characterised by meetings with our clients where clear communication is of utmost importance. While other phases are important too, this step has a huge impact on the end result thus it should not be neglected or taken easy. Only by knowing our client and their requirement can we ensure satisfaction once we hand over the product.
This is followed by detailed specification phase where customer requirement is translated on our own „language”, where our team makes itself familiar with the project and understands the ask of the client. Constant feedback between the stakeholders and parties are absolutely important at this stage too. However, the focus here starts to shift from the customer request to the developers’ ideas.
Once our team knows what is expected from us, we start the planning. We setup a board (usually in Trello) where we weigh the components necessary for successful execution of the project, make a list of must have and nice to have elements. While of course customers still have a word at this stage, our developers’ ideas come to the forefront. We try to use as much of our open-source solutions as possible, making sure that our clients only pay for their custom ideas and their budget is not charged for something that is already available in our library.
Agility serves all of us
Development phase is engaging because at this stage our customer’s initial idea starts to form, takes shape. Client feedback throughout the development process is important, it enables us to make any ad-hoc modifications required, but it also can show any fault or mistake made at the specification or planning stages.
Once development is finished, the testing phase begins. We want to make sure that our product is not only appealing to the eyes of our customer, but it is also safe to be used and its functionality serves the client’s business well. While we prefer to perform the testing phase by ourselves (as we are the ones who created the product), upon request we are happy to work together with the customer – agility is a natural part of today’s development.
Satisfactory test results lead us to the handover phase where we fully reveal the product and show it to the client. By this time, hopefully, all possible misunderstandings are eliminated and the end result is a ready to be used page.
Agility, budget-friendly development where you pay only for your custom ideas – these are the main differentiators of our team. Understanding your customers’ requirement to deliver an end result that serves their business well, this is what custom system development is about.