Information Systems for Businesses of all Sizes
As an owner or manager, you know what your business is. What you need is a software developer who can understand in detail how to fit those requirements into a technology solution.
We know how to get it done. Our unique process has been evolved from our experience in such a wide range of industries.
There is an underlying principle to all software projects, which first came into being in the early days of software development. It is still applicable today and will be from here on out.
The principle is “work the solution backwards”. Less experienced developers are very aware of their own tools, but less aware of the whole environment that their creation will be placed in. This limitation of scope pushes them into starting with window or webpage layouts, ornate visual effects and failing to understand the underlying structures that must be in place.
A common deficiency is that the developer did not acquire an understanding of the business, and more specifically, the flows of data through that system. We count on the business operator to know his business and know what he needs to conduct it. The business owner must be able to count on the developer to understand how data is entered, processed, changed, stored and how it is output from the system.
Programming is only one of the skills required to develop software. While it is necessarily a vital part it is only one of several vital parts that must be addressed to deliver the software you need. The old adage applies: If the only tool one has is a hammer, then all problems look like nails.
Programming comes later in the project, preceded by:
- Getting customer functional requirements, understanding the budget and potential returns.
- The analysis and design, where the requirements are matched to the available development tools.
- Presentation and acceptance of the development plan.
- Execution of the development (programming).
Programming is followed by:
- Installation of newly developed software in a test environment.
- User and other staff training.
- Testing and resolutions of any bugs found.
- The new software is installed in a live environment for a final review of its performance.
These basic steps as listed above are the core, essential actions that cannot be skipped if the project is to succeed. Larger projects will be broken down into smaller sub steps and involve more interactions as the team size grows, but the core actions are always present.
A failure to fully understand these things at the beginning of a project comes to an inevitable result, sooner (if you are a little lucky) or later, you find that the software application cannot be built upon to meet new requirements, or, can only be upgraded after a massive and perhaps cost-prohibitive overhaul. As often as this happens, it is entirely preventable.
Mark Thomas is a CRM and Data Solutions Master. If you have any topic you would like to see addressed, feel free to make a suggestion. He can be reached here.