10 Key Steps for Customer Engagements in the Custom Software Development Cycle

One of the best ways you can get the most out of your deployment is to use Alpha Professional Services, which offers a complete suite of services designed to get your applications built quickly, increase the skills of your developers and solve your technical challenges. We use expert Alpha consultants to help to solve your technical roadblocks and fine-tune your Alpha Anywhere system.

What can you expect when you engage with us? To give you a heads-up, we’ve asked the Farber Consulting Group, one of Alpha Software’s consultants, to outline the 10 key steps they take when starting a project with a client.  Here are the steps they take, the questions they ask and the information they look for:

1.     What kind of business does the client have?

This establishes a context to what clients are looking for in a solution.

2.     What issues should the software resolve?

This list of problems is the starting point for designing a solution.

3.     What will be the application’s most important features?

What features need to be built? If it’s going to be a big application, the client will also be asked which features should get top priority. That way, even before the entire application is finished, clients can to become more productive using new technologies.

4.     What processes can be improved?

What business processes are being targeted? Inventory control? Integration into an accounting system? Other processes? This needs to be determined upfront so it can be part of the application’s overall design.

5.     Provide a step-by-step outline of business processes.

This will help make sure the design is exactly what the client wants, and will make the development process go more smoothly. The more descriptive each step is, the better. If there are multiple steps, the sub-processes should be included, including potential formulas.

6.     Review the existing application.

Seeing the current application will provide a deeper understanding of the new application to be developed and the business rules that must be considered.

7.     Examine the current database.

If data already exists, reverse database engineering can be used to examine it and explore the existing database. Notes about the tables, descriptions, and more are also helpful. This helps understand what was done before and to delve into the business rules as understood by the developer of the existing software.

8.     Provide a wish list.

This is extremely helpful for developing a new application. If an application already exists, it should be used as the basis for creating one. If one doesn’t exist, the wish list will be started from scratch.

9.     Describe the existing business process.

The business rules, including business processes, need to be looked at in detail. It may also be helpful to have one or more brainstorming sessions to find the best solution.

10.  Computer-savvy clients are asked to be involved as much as possible.

Clients who are computer-savvy can be quite involved in the development process. They can even work on the database design while the software Requirements Specification Process Services is built. For database design, Farber Consulting Group uses data modeling tools like xCase, which is crucial for discussions with clients.

After enough information is gathered from the client, a detailed need analysis document is put together. Specs are written, down to the micro detail level. During this process, the database is designed and a global view of the entire system is put together.

Conclusions

The bottom line is that  Custom Software Development communication is crucial to the success of the project. Clients need to outline their expectations and suggest how the application can be tweaked or improved. It is an ongoing process, and if business rules change all the time, these improvements will continue to be implemented while software developers maintain the application after it has been completed.

Learn more about how Alpha Professional Services and its partners can help your organization.