<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=443149619225659&ev=PageView&noscript=1"> I Have My Next Software Idea — Now What Do I Do?

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I Have My Next Software Idea — Now What Do I Do?

I Have My Next Software Idea — Now What Do I Do?

Once your team has come up with a software idea you want to explore, how do you get started? Before seeking approval to develop the software, it’s important to validate the idea and calculate the return on investment.

From Software Idea To Product

Before we discuss validating your idea, let’s provide some context by reviewing the basic roadmap for turning a software idea into a product. The process consists of five stages:

1) Envision - Establish the product vision.

2) Design - Create plans for a minimal viable product (MVP).

3) Build - Develop the MVP and deliver it to customers as quickly as possible.

4) Measure And Learn - Collect data and learn from customer feedback.

5) Adapt - Use what you’ve learned to further improve the product.

Getting Started With Envisioning

Start by sharing your software idea with colleagues, stakeholders and customers to validate that you are solving an important problem. This validation step may involve doing research and market analysis, such as defining your target customer or using before-and-after exercises to determine the importance of the problem and the potential value of your software idea. You may also want to draft a product vision and create a prototype for demo purposes.

Next, you need to assess whether the product is going to generate sufficient business value and return on investment (ROI). For your idea to be profitable, you need to estimate how much customers would be willing to pay, and how much it would cost you to build the custom software.

This step involves creating a product roadmap, a more detailed design and a technical solution, as well as calculating the investment costs. Make sure that you judge the cost to build against the value the software is likely to generate.

Once these elements are in place, you’ll have a clearer understanding of the software’s potential and a better chance at getting approval to develop the idea.

Additional Tips For Agile Software Development

As your team progresses through the envisioning stage, here are four additional tips to keep in mind: 

  • Start small: it’s very tempting to build too much too early.
  • Focus on learning and measure your success initially on how much you are learning. Failure is a prerequisite to learning.
  • Your customers expect a great user experience. Create user personas to begin the user experience journey.
  • Use continuous delivery and adaptive architectural styles so that you’re able to quickly release updates and try out new design ideas. This allows you to refine the product as you discover what your customers want. 

Finally, you might want to consider working with an experienced software development firm to make the most of your resources and increase your chances of success. Among other benefits, partnering with a software development firm could have a positive impact on your company’s budget and free up your internal staff to focus on higher-level initiatives, such as new business acquisition and integration.

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About the author

Richard is CEO of Small Footprint. He worked for several start-up companies before starting Small Footprint. He spent 15 years working and living in Eastern Europe, during which time he built and managed operations across 5 countries for start-up telecoms provider eTel Group (later purchased by Telecom Austria), and also served as an early Sr. Manager for Hungarian telco Novacom, forging strategic international partnerships and new product development. In 2003 he saw the opportunity to leverage the exceptional software engineering talent of the region to provide global IT services and established Small Footprint. Small Footprint is celebrating its 15 year anniversary this year, having established an exceptional company culture envied by many.

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