Over many years of successful project engagements, we continue to document the various benchmark measurements that guide new software product development projects.
For the purposes of clear direction and delivery, we’ve listed 11 questions which we believe are crucial to discuss when planning a new engagement.
1. What is the goal of the project?
It is important for us and our clients to reach consensus on the purpose of each project. Although scoping can always expand or shrink through collaboration due to unforeseen complexity, the goal must be consistent: do you test the prototype with the user, provide core functionality, or attract a new user base? Going back to MVP (through the product phase or mentality) can also help at this point.
2. What is the intended solution?
Although this may seem obvious, this issue is not mentioned at the beginning of the project discussion, but it can be problematic if it is done only when the product is deeply constructed and is suddenly plagued by incoherent means and objectives. To understand the reasons behind the solution, people may have a clearer understanding of the end-user's needs previously and understand the end-user's needs sooner to avoid product misalignment.
3. Who is the user base?
Pre-aligning product requirements with expected user profiles is critical to delivering a viable and valuable product. Many software products try to reduce human behavior for programmatic purposes. Returning to the MVP approach - referencing product use assumptions - allows the team to gain clarity and include user behavior in the main functionality.
The use-case model is a high value-added product that provides consistency to the product market and directs users and their needs to the development roadmap.
4. What should the app/product/site do?
Again, this seems obvious, but it is important to create clear images or schematics for the software in use. To get rid of the central assumptions, different scenarios must be drawn after the basic functions of the product are expressed in easy-to-understand functions.
5. What is your domain expertise?
Every industry is trying to leverage peripheral technology to beneficially influence the use of adjacent products. An industry vertical UI / UX is as important as the safety and compliance of another industry. Understanding industry value drivers helps align product markets with the competitive advantages of reliable use cases and key features and functions.
6. On which platforms will the product be available?
If a client is already actively developing or deployed on a platform, it’s crucial to account for the relevant features and constraints in order to effect easier scale, access, long-term management, etc.
7. Are 3rd party app integrations likely?
If your development team has a sense of how the product means to connects with 3rd party apps, the development architecture, processes and audits will be mapped much more effectively. It can be important to plan an API even if at first the version of the product won’t be released as such.
8. What team knowledge is needed?
Of course, technical knowledge is needed to adapt to SRS. However, for example, other team leadership and industry-specific thinking leadership in law or compliance can have a profound impact on the success of a product development strategy.
9. What is your product development timeline?
In addition to impacting team size and communication, this is essential for adjusting resources to optimize the development cycle. While these are not just deadlines in Scrum, the major products have real business constraints. Knowing this helps you better coordinate resources, avoid delays, and provide customers with lower and higher income goals
10. What technologies will be used?
Consider your existing talent, and then consider new solutions that require more time for training, coding, and execution. This is critical in determining the specific code maintenance and the future support needed for the long term.
11. What is your budget, requirements, and priorities?
From all of our successful partnerships, we understand that clients often want all the features live from the first version of the product. To provide agility and value-adds as a partner, our goal is to deliver rock-solid products.
This means we will always discuss what is feasible and then prioritize workloads so that a positive path forward is always agreed upon and clearly in sight.