Custom Software Solutions: Requirements / Initial Engagement 2

Custom Software Solutions: Requirements / Initial Engagement 2

The Requirements / Initial Engagement phase is not through quite yet.  You can check out the first half of this phase: here if you missed out. Following the initial engagement session, it is important to digest all the ideas that were presented. Take those ideas and document them into a long-term product roadmap. Don’t get hung up on presentation, organization and details of each item –just get them captured and recorded. Now, not everything will be useful right away, but it is important that you get it into your roadmap and you can flesh out the course for your product as you proceed. It is now time for you to begin to size-up the project. What kind of resources do you think will you need? What type of skills are those resources going to need to have? What are your initial thoughts on costs involved with the project going to be? What kind of equipment or facilities are you going to need? This is not the time for detailed budgets, project plans and resource allocations; this is the time for initial gut driven estimates and assumptions. An experienced business consultant can help you here by providing expertise from past projects and engagements that they have worked on to help frame the expectations around a given project.

Review & Feedback: Now, before you do anything else, this is the first place that you start to get some customer feedback. Once you have organized the ideas, it is time to share with a control group of your existing customers or a group of potential customers. I’m going to call this group your steering committee. This group needs to give you some tough love and harsh feedback about your project/idea. This should be a well-organized presentation, one that illustrates some key customer pain points and how this new awesome software application will help address those issues. This presentation should be in person if possible, but can be done as an online presentation as well. Your goal is simple; you just need to get some people to be interested enough in your ideas and concepts that they express an interest in wanting to know more. You can tell if you are on the right track if they start talking about how they might use this new customer software application in their existing environment. If however, you hear crickets, lot’s of “mmms” or “uh-huhs” you might be heading back to the drawing board.

Next Steps: Ok, if you are still here then hopefully your first customer litmus test produced some positive results. Now the brownies are gone, the fun of dreaming is over and it is now time for some real work to begin. The next phase – prototyping, this is where the hard decisions begin.

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  • 10 April 2013
  • Author: James Nagy
  • Number of views: 3252
James Nagy

James NagyJames Nagy

Need a consultant today? How can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs I have nearly three decades of experience and expertise to share with you to help your business, product, or idea thrive. If you like this article, please sign up in the “stay informed” section!

Other posts by James Nagy

Full biography

Full biography

James Nagy is managing partner and co-founder of J&S Tech Designs - a business consulting organization that specializes in providing software and website design, development, and management expertise to organizations. He is also Managing Director and one of four co-founders of Sprocket Websites, Inc. and Chief Executive Office and one of four co-founding members of Clinical Collaboration Software, LLC.

James has over twenty-five years of experience in the information technology field, spending twenty years in software development, sixteen years in executive management and the last six years as a serial entrepreneur launching and running several successful technology organizations.

Throughout his career he has led companies, divisions, departments and teams to successful outcomes. He has executed process reengineering within organizations that were struggling to produce. He has provided strategic vision and organization planning in situations that needed direction. He has built complex systems in several unique marketplaces that required thorough knowledge and expertise to be successful. It is his passion for excellence and desire for success that has enabled him to meet the challenges presented and continue to exceed expectations.

James’ passion for delivering innovative solutions and creative strategies enabled him to develop strong business foundations for long-term success. He is an active member of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, the North of the River Chamber of Commerce and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce where he served on several teams, advisory committees, and legislative groups. He is a founding member of the Chicago Area DotNetNuke Users Group that has held several large, successful Website design and development events. James has donated time, money and expertise to many volunteer, fundraising and charitable organizations like KidsMatter of Naperville, The Naperville Film Festival, Summer Place Theatre, TEDxNaperville, Neuqua Valley High School Senior Spectacular and many others.

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