How to nail your project briefing when approaching a software development company?
Taking on the strategic decision to invest in a digital solution for your personal benefit or to upgrade your business is a huge step towards excellence, efficiency success, expansion, and profitability. Nowadays all you need to do is get an idea, pack the budget and contact a software development firm then enjoy the use of the product that solves your business problems magically. easier said than done right? Where to even start?
Finding a software development company that meets your business needs is itself a challenge, then collaborating effectively is a whole other challenge but how to even gather your thoughts and explain clearly your product concept without any misunderstandings is the biggest challenge!
The key to approach a software development company is by A well-written brief! Here are the best practices.
1/ Gather your thoughts plan properly
Before you do anything, gather your thoughts and think properly to make the right decisions. Building a digital solution is a strategic step that needs proper planning and understanding of your business needs, capacities, and options to solve them according to your budget and future business plans. The challenge is that a digital project requires both understandings of technologies and customer needs. To make the right decisions for your customers, you need both a deep understanding of your customers and the technologies that enable solutions to their challenges.
If you have already made a business analysis and you are sure about your choices you are ready to skip this step and look to the next one. if you still have doubts Ask yourself :
- What are the main challenges you need to solve?
- Does it require a mobile app website, Iot/AIML application, or software?
- What basic features will answer your needs?
- What guarantees you’ve chosen the right ones that fit your company’s goals?
- Did you analyze your competitive market?
- What are the limits of your budget?
- Is your choice sustainably relevant and can face the changes in your customers’ habits?
- Do you understand even a bit of basic technologies?
For digital transformations, it’s important that we don’t rush to choose just any answer and make decisions based on real analysis. While many tools may be capable of doing the job, successful businesses focus on the tools that are efficient and provide the best possible experience for the customer.
This step is very important as it is key to preparing the appropriate bridging documents for your project in order to make developers understand you correctly.
2/ Find your trusted development partner :
After identifying precisely your needs and use of that particular digital solution yet the most tricky part is finding the right trustworthy development partner to successfully realize the vision of your software, You need a firm/person who understands your inquiries and is able to develop a solution that meets and solves your targeted problems.
Base your decision on the following criteria :
- Expertise, technologies and provided services
- Case studies and portfolio
- UI/UX abilities
- Their process
- Their website
- Fix payment Engagement policies and estimated delivery delays
- Aftersale support
- Social media presence
- Corporate culture
3/ Approach the software development company correctly
Contacting an IT company is usually done via their website or provided numbers and emails or by filling inquiry forms on the social media platforms they are running. Most companies require a small briefing in initial contact where you need to tell a bit about yourself and your project. It is recommended to Try to share enough details as it is so important to understand the initial stage of your project while building a digital solution. If you are at an early stage, they can help you by reshaping it and fill in its blanks. If you are at an advanced stage they can help you with the needed modifications and building a visible pathway.
Here is an example of www.indianic.com web interface
At IndiaNIC, It consists of a form where you fill with your details and contacts as an individual or a company so they can get back to you. You select the service you are aiming for whether it is web development mobile etc.. Mention your estimated budget, expected deadline and specific requirement then write a brief about your project which is the most important step that tells all about your business needs and aimed digital solution.
Note that Not all companies are the same but they all operate in a very complicated field. Some specialize in certain technologies only, some avoid working on any project with blurry deliverables, some don’t engage with customers unless they know their financial status and some don’t take into charge non-studied projects with useless non-explanatory briefings which is completely understandable due to the complexity of the field software companies operate in. Software companies are usually loaded with work and receive hundreds of inquiries per day that most of them are rejected for not being serious enough. They do even filter the clients they receive so they can avoid engaging in any project with a blurry vision. so contacting a software development company should be based on a clear vision with a relevant briefing that favors partnership and mutual trust.
4/ How to nail your project briefing?
Arranging your project briefing is your portal to communicate your project purpose. The initial briefing doesn’t need to be over-detailed but it needs to communicate your inquiries correctly as a business development manager will contact you for the rest of the details. The brief should serve as a starting point for the project, which becomes more fleshed out as the meeting progresses. Don’t worry about oversharing, your inquiries are secure in custom-crafted CRM till further discussion. A well-written briefing not only ensures your software developer really understands your business, but it also sells them your vision and how it will work. A well-executed brief that is clearly understood by the developer can significantly impact the efficiency of the development process and help the developer to give a step of instructions or features needed to complete the project.
The more you elaborate, the better and faster the best person is assigned to handle your request, and stay connected with you, to keep the communication smooth and efficient during the entire process.
Wondering what should be in the brief? Let’s start with highlighting the basics of a project briefing to send a software house to make it clear on how your product should work.
Here are the 3 points that should be available in your briefing
- The general idea: an overview and description of the desired product, project status, its functioning goal, the problem it’s supposed to solve, and user personas with references of similar products if possible
- Specifications: including a list of basic wanted features, initial visioned mock-ups if possible aimed time frame, and budget limitation.
- Integration plan: every detail that a software house needs to start the development of a product immediately from the database to the integration process of the software with external services, API documentation…etc
Here’s how you elaborate every element
General project description
Preparing a brief, start with An overview summarising the project’s statutes, requirements, the problem that needs to be solved, and precisely defining the nature of the software application. It answers questions like: For what it is made exactly? and what challenges it solves? Elaborate specifically as possible and avoid writing generalities for example do not write “I want to develop a mobile app for my bank customer support “ write instead “I want to develop a mobile app that reminds the customer to pay their bills and check their account status
Define your user personas
Who will be using the software? And How will it be accessed?
Personas/ users are very important in determining the required user interface and user experience of the aimed software . for example an application that is meant for elders won’t look or operate like an application that is made for younger users.
Basic Feature list
What are the specific requirements and features of your software ? a basic list of features is very important, it helps the software company suggest trendy amelioration for better functionality and determine the basic estimation of the project. Mention which elements of the project are essential and non-compressible, which attributes would be nice to have, and features that are less urgent and could come later.
Describe the basic vision of the project or add a mockup
It is essential to help illustrate your vision. The best efficient way is to have pre-sketches in your hand yet is no problem as a respectful software development company has the expertise to wireframe your projects according to your described vision.
Mentions Plans of software integration
Does your project need to integrate with any existing systems? Does it require external databases? This is core information as it can change how the software is built completely and so the budget estimation
Mentioning How much you are willing to invest in the project is so important in determining the feasibility of the project and shortlisting the features you want according to the budget. It is an indicator of how serious is your request
When do you need the project to be ready? Do you want the project to immediately start getting developed or is it scheduled for later? It’s also so important as it helps the software company to prioritize your project, determine the number of people required to work on the project according to your time frame.
The information below might seem a little restrictive yet don’t let that stop you from asking the questions you need. Don’t hesitate to approach us at www.indianic.com for any concerns our executive would be glad to come to your help.