1 min. read

How to build custom software in line with the client's idea?


When one solution has failed and the others available on the market have been rejected due to the lack of required functions, often the only option is to build a dedicated system from scratch. The decision to go this route is never easy. Companies often worry about the cost, time to create such a system, and the final result. “Since our company has such individual requirements, how can we be sure that the software house will be able to meet them?” As experts in building dedicated systems, we realize that each one is unique, and this requires a particular approach. So let's talk about tailor-made development.

Joanna Wawerczak

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The key stage – getting to know the client’s business from the inside

As we have already mentioned, the need to create a dedicated IT system comes from the fact that there’s no such solution available on the market. Therefore, to start designing such software, it is necessary to get to know the needs of the company and its processes in detail. A brief, one-off workshop or even the most productive brainstorming is not enough. If we want to build a truly valuable system that solves real problems of the company and its people, the software house team should get to know them from as close as possible. 

Let’s take medium-sized e-commerce as an example. The company is ready to scale up the business but is hindered by technological and process limitations. After checking the possibilities of ready-made solutions, the company decides that none of them would be up to the task. As a consequence, an email with the text “HELP” lands on Avra’s mailbox. What happens next?

Before anyone starts to think about designing the system, we spend up to 2 weeks in the client’s company. We get to know all the processes that take place in it and learn about the problems and challenges of end-users. Learning about the relationships between all departments allows us to develop a valuable system that will solve pressing problems and enable scaling. 

Here’s a list of departments that we would visit:

  • logistics
  • supply chain
  • customer service
  • complaints and returns
  • retail and b2b
  • finance and accounting
  • legal department
  • IT
  • marketing
  • HR
  • and others, if there are any

We listen to conversations with clients, check the complaint procedure, look at the process of B2B sales, and study data flow in the company. We observe, learn, and draw conclusions.

After completing this process, we conduct a series of meetings with the same people that we have watched so far and define the most critical needs during the discussion. A vital aspect of this process is to know the unfiltered perspective of specific departments. It would not be possible to get the complete picture by talking only to management or the board.

Customer or end-user perspective

Although the article’s title says “building IT systems in line with the client’s idea,” one of the essential elements of the process is verifying this original idea. A common trap during such projects is to focus on internal problems rather than what is most important from the client’s and business development point of view. A good agency can often change the perspective on these problems, and the original idea can evolve significantly. It may even turn out that creating a dedicated system is unnecessary because the company’s problems can be solved in other ways at a lower cost.

The role of scrum in the process of creating dedicated IT systems

The word “iteration” is the key. It is extremely important to assume from the very beginning that the process of creating such a system must be divided into stages and first focus on those elements that bring the most value to the user or the end customer. Scrum provides the tools to make such a process run smoothly and makes the client an active participant in the process.

During the development process following the scrum principles, the client has constant insight and influence on what programmers are working on and can dynamically change priorities or react to market changes if necessary. In addition, if any new trends or technologies emerge, or we can expect any sort of crisis, scrum allows for smooth changes, which would be much more time-consuming and costly in the case of the waterfall method.

Most importantly, however, thanks to scrum, the client constantly observes the development of the product, sees how the following stages are closed, and what problems are gradually eliminated. There’s a great value in connection with people who work on the project on an ongoing basis, both in terms of functionality and UX. Thanks to this, the system is created in accordance with business needs, and we’re able to avoid the risk of making any elements that are not necessary at a given stage. In addition, this model allows for faster publication of new solutions, i.e., checking them and clashing with user feedback, which provides enormous value for the development process.

Success must be based on efficient communication.

All of the above elements work only when the created team combining the business and technical side clearly communicates its needs, provides specific feedback, but also simply gets along on a purely human level. Creating any larger piece of software requires commitment and mutual understanding, but in the case of dedicated systems, this aspect is particularly important, as we often deal with very specific needs and solutions.

Do you need a dedicated system for your business?

The answer to this question is never obvious without proper technical and business analysis. However, if you feel that in your company’s case, this path will help you achieve your business goals, we will be happy to help you verify it, and then we will make sure that the created system will help you achieve them.

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