1. Get Excited!
To get started with your software project, get excited! Building software is fun. You are creating something that has never been built before in the way you want to build it.
When you have an idea, think about why your idea matters to you, the importance of it, and the difference it will make to you and lives of others if it were delivered. What would be gained if this software existed? What would be lost if it didn’t?
Understanding your purpose will keep you excited and focused during the course of the project and that excitement will spill over to your project team and potential users.
2. Writing Your Ideas Down
Ideas can be fuzzy and vague at first. Spend some time to think through and write them down. It’s probably hard at first to know where to start. Here are some key points you will want to include.
For a more in-depth look at writing software requirements, check out our Checklist For What To Consider When Creating Great Software.
To start, list out the business problem you see that your idea will address. Here is an example that Uber might have used when defining the business problem for their solution:
- People need a better way of getting to where they want to go
- There aren’t enough convenient transportation options available
- It is tedious to call and schedule a cab or driver to pick you up when you want to go somewhere
Vision For Your Software Solution
The vision for your software solution is how you will solve the problems you have identified. What will your software do to alleviate or reduce the problems you have listed above? What transformation will your software bring to the users who will use it?
What’s Critical To Make The Software A Success
Going one step further, list out your “must have” items in order for the project to be successful. These could be features that are essential, or other criteria like the number of users, languages, currencies it has to support.
If your project must have something, do something or support something, keep a list and write it down. The idea is that if your software app meets all of your success criteria, the project will be a success.
Writing down your success criteria will also get you well and truly started in creating software requirements that your team will need to build your application.
3. Talk To Everyone About Your Ideas – Get Feedback
Getting feedback is huge. Take what you have written and share it with every relevant person you can. Create a survey for your employees/customers/potential users to see what is important to them. Create a focus group of your friends or business partners. Ask potential users what they think.
You do not have to incorporate the feedback you receive, but it may spawn new ideas you haven’t previously considered.
4. Research Project Cost and Decide How You Will Fund the Project
Now that you have a clear idea of what you want to build and why, you will want to research the high-level cost for your project. You can start by reading our article, How Much Does Custom Software Cost?
Because each software idea is different, and there are several approaches in building great custom software, we recommend talking to a couple of software companies to get an estimate for your project. The price ranges will vary substantially, so don’t worry or be surprised.
The key focus at this point is to get a ballpark idea and determine if and how you will fund your project.
5. Research Your Development Options and Decide Which is Best For You
Once you decide to move forward, you have several options for selecting how your project will be developed. We wrote a separate article about the different avenues you can try here: What is the Best Way To Get My Software Project Developed?
There are a couple of approaches when it comes to running a software project. Each will have its pros and cons, with one being a better fit for your business. Take a look at our article and see which is right for you.
6. Get Started!
Now it’s time to get started. Select the experts who will help you create your vision and let them guide you through the process.
They can look at your project ideas and help you select the right technology, platforms, architecture, feature, initial release scope, and all the other important things that go into making great software.
Don’t let the unknown scare you. Trust in your ideas and start down a discovery path by using these steps. Then you will be able to see if it makes sense for you to build your software project.
Why not start today? Get excited and start writing your idea down. And if you want to share it with us, we would love to talk to you and answer any additional questions you have.
The 5 Pillars Of A Successful Software Project
We want to help every software project begin on solid ground. In The 5 Pillars Of A Successful Software Project we share the five essential ingredients of every software project.
You can grab a copy of the guide below and share it with your team!