Getting Buy-In For Your Custom Software Project
It’s well-known that custom software projects are always full of surprises. Whether it’s budget overages, delays, or the project keeps getting larger and larger, Even the best-planned software projects run into trouble from time to time.
It’s things like these that can cause uneasiness from executives and customers who will be impacted by the new software. The challenge is getting buy-in from everyone to make this process smooth and the project a success. Let’s talk about ways to succeed at this.
At this point, we need to state the obvious—there is no one-size-fits-all way to do this. An executive’s primary goal is financial gain and business growth. A customer’s primary goal is saving time and/or money.
Here are a few ways we’ve seen our clients succeed at getting buy-in for custom software projects.
Making a Business Case
Development a business case for a software project is a top priority.
You should present shareholders and executives with figures like:
- What money will this save (in dollars or time calculations)
- What revenue will this generate
- What customers will this acquire or retain
- How will conversions/sales increase
Obviously, these are business-centric questions that will help you establish an ROI calculation for the software. However, by answering these questions, you will also begin to define the benefits for your customers. You’ll want to keep both of these lists at the forefront of everyone’s minds as you begin the software project.
When you collaborate with stakeholders to develop a strategy for a software project, you open their minds to what this new software could bring to the table, and also what their role in the project will be. You should discuss things such as:
- Expectations about timeline
- Scope of features and functionality
- Breakdown of phases of work
- Definitions of success and failure
When the collaboration session is complete, the team should be on the same page and eager to get started.
The point of creating new software should be to make your users’ lives easier. So, the best way to accomplish that is to ask them what they want.
Talk with real users and ask them:
- What frustrates them
- What works well for them
- What they want to do but can’t* What they want to do faster
- What would make them more satisfied after using the software
Not only does user research give you an inside look at what your users really want, but it gives the users a chance to talk to someone who is actively looking to make their lives easier in some way. You can guarantee this will create an excitement and buzz around your product.
Over 19 years, we’ve seen our clients go from software idea to successful, profitable products by getting buy-in from top to bottom using these tools. Having users that are excited to adapt to your new software is key in a successful software project. When you do that, you’ll be left with a piece of custom software that is profitable and user-friendly.