Building Custom Software & What to Expect

Cole Coding

Does this sound familiar? You have identified an outdated or manual process (think: hand written time cards, data manually manipulated in spreadsheets, inventory being tracked on paper and orders via fax) that is slowing down your business and adding costs.  Your team has looked extensively at commercial off the shelf solutions (COTS) to address it, but they either don’t exist, don’t have the feature set you require, or would be too disruptive to your business to implement.  The time has come to seriously consider taking the leap into developing a custom software solution.  

If this is your first time down the custom software path there are probably tons of questions and doubt floating around in your head.  We’re not going to attempt to answer them all in this post, but we will attempt to give you a sense for what to expect from the process.  Any software development shop worth their salt will have a process they work through to get from concept to completion. Of course this will be altered a bit depending on the customer and project (we work with an agile mindset after all!), but it should follow a similar pattern every time. 

Below is the process we have refined and proven over the past 12 years.  We’re not saying it’s the only way to go about it, but it has resulted in many happy customers!  Hopefully this outline will give you and your team an understanding of what to expect as you embark on the custom software journey.  

  • Initial Consultation:  Our teams get together for a couple of hours to understand the problem you are working to solve or opportunity you are looking to capitalize on.  The goal of this session is two fold

    • Determine if custom software is the right path.  As we discussed in a previous post, it’s not always the right solution! 

    • If custom is the way to go, is Indy Res the right partner to deliver it?  Before going any further we want to be sure we have the expertise on the team to deliver a stellar solution! 

  • Discovery Workshop: Of the entirety of our relationship this is by far the most critical piece to get right.  The overall goal is to closely align both of our teams on the current state and desired future state and get a handle on the scope of what it will take to get there.  Workshop is typically one or two sessions spanning a total of six to 10 hours. The first session is all about dreaming - what are we trying to achieve, what is possible, how do we imagine the solution - anything is possible here.  The second session is reality - how do we technically bring these dreams to reality. The result of this workshop is one of two things: 

    • Discovery Summary and Architecture Roadmap Report - this documents all of the outcomes from the as well as our technical recommendation on how to deliver it.  Whether it’s with us or another shop, you’ll have a documented path forward.

    • Rapid Prototype - often times it’s easier to simply demonstrate how we would build the solution.  This often includes building an example of the overall solution, a single screen, wireframes or dashboard.  The goal is to prove we have the solution to your problem. 

  • Software Development: This is when the work begins.  We’ll determine and assign the right team for the job (typically at least two developers with a project manager) and kick into our agile software development process.  It starts with detailing all of the work to be done in our project management software (typically Jira) and assigning work to the team.  This is done in bite sized, two week chunks, or “sprints”.  Throughout this process you are actively involved and completely aware of where the project stands against timelines and budget - and we’re making adjustments as needed.

  • Maintenance Mode: Once development is complete we shift into maintenance.  Whatever is built will need to be updated, patched and features added to as needed.  Depending on the customer this is something that either we or you handle. If we are managing it we will follow a regular, documented maintenance schedule that is appropriate for your software.  


If you're interested in an initial consultation (no budget or active project required 😀) contact us today! 


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