Starting a Software Development Project: A Customer’s Journey


Getting into your first software development project as a business owner can feel like navigating uncharted waters. It's natural to be a bit puzzled about the whole process. This article will help you feel more prepared and tackle the software development part of your journey.

What are the various stages of developing a software? What is a workflow? How do you select the right vendor and assess the process? How do you set realistic expectations and communicate your vision?

So many questions but we have all the answers. We will walk you through the different stages of starting your first software development project, the importance of choosing the right partner and their responsibilities in turning your ideas into a reality in this and future articles!

Example: Automating business processes

As businesses fine-tune their processes, the need to automate several processes often arises. Some of the most common automation processes businesses seek are HR, Marketing or Sales automation.

The goal may be different for each one: to streamline processes, reduce manual work, have higher efficiency, etc. It ensures the processes will always be systematized, process related data are saved and managers have access to important metrics and reports. This is the point where business owners contemplate creating or procuring an information system.

Most business processes share similarities across organizations, leading many to opt for off-the-shelf solutions. Off-the shelf solutions are ready-made software solutions that allow picking a suitable and a less expensive option rather than having custom-built features or an internal software development team.

As expected, off-the-shelf solutions are usually not as expensive. By saying “expensive”, we are referring to the whole cost of ownership; the ease of starting the process and ways to support it, to extend and configure when required.

Yet, some processes are unique to your business know-how, covering specific activities that demand building a tailored software solution. And, let's not forget, the software development process needs to be adaptable as requirements evolve over time.

Embarking on a Software Development Project...

As experts in developing custom solutions, we’d like to guide you through the journey of starting a project, provide some insights and tips.

1. What business challenge will your product tackle? To answer this, gather insights from stakeholders: owners, technical staff, future users, and anyone interacting with the solution. This includes managers, employees, analysts, and even system administrators.

Business analysts will be in charge of gathering requirements from the above-mentioned groups. A good software development agency lets its business analyst(s) communicate with the customer before the start of the project.

A successful preliminary communication leads to a clear project vision — a document which defines key goals, priorities, project boundaries and limitations. At this stage, it’s best to define multiple approaches to building the solution, estimate the required time and cost for each one individually.

2. Once the most suitable approach is chosen, the business analyst crafts a detailed software requirements specification (SRS). Sometimes, you may not have the full picture of what the final product should look like. You might need to experiment with different prototypes to adjust the approach and finalize your vision. This approach is mostly required for innovative products, allowing to determine the final product’s vision in a cost effective way.

3. While a detailed SRS is vital, what's more critical is the software service provider keeps up and understands your business goals, limitations, and non-functional requirements, including data volume, protection levels, integrations, expected system load, 24/7 operation, legal requirements, and more.

Before diving into development, document this information, ensuring alignment between you and your software development partner. As a business owner, maintaining a clear picture of your goals is paramount.

A reliable software development company organizes the requirement gathering process, documents them clearly, and ensures mutual understanding throughout.


In conclusion, starting a software project as a business owner might seem overwhelming, but with the right steps, your software development partner can help make it manageable. We've covered key stages like understanding your business challenges, selecting the best development approach, and ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Whether you choose off-the-shelf or custom development, it's about finding the balance between meeting your specific needs and achieving your business goals. By following these steps, you can start to confidently navigate the software development section of your product development.

Apr 28, 2023