Have you been in the design phase of a custom software project far too long with no end in sight? One of the biggest hurdles and something that is quite common for a custom web and/or mobile software application project is that it can go on for many months or even years and never reach the finish line. This can result in a hit to your bottom line and hold up future revenue-building goals.
Since completing custom software and app projects is imperative to the future of any business, we’ve compiled a list of important things to look for, things to avoid, and how to reach the finish line. We want you to have a positive experience whether you’re starting a project from scratch or you need to shift gears and finish one that’s been unfinished for too long.
Why Is It So Hard to Complete the Project?
Software is extremely complex. For developers to extract mountains of details and thoughts from a client’s mind (or many minds) and create the desired product that’s easy for customers to use (UX), it is an incredible feat. In-depth technical skills, business acumen, tenacity, and communication must all come together while continually working with the client to hone the final product or the process will fall apart. And this, unfortunately, is why it’s so hard to complete the project. Very few companies have the full scope of aptitudes required to see a custom app project all the way and do it well.
Early Warning Signs
Does the following scenario sound familiar? You’ve researched software companies, performed due diligence, and interviewed several potential software partners; they all came to the table with gusto and, seemingly, the skills to make your app dreams a reality. So, you hired the one you felt best fit your company and objectives, but they seem to have stalled out … now you’re not so sure. You may be seeing the early warning signs of a project heading for failure.
At first, there is the normal flurry of activity, excitement, customer care, and what looks like a positive direction … until … the communication drops off and there are missed calls, missed deadlines, and the software team is continually delivering an incomplete product. There are excuses on top of excuses until your investment becomes a never-ending black hole without a final product anywhere in sight. Some downtime is to be expected after the initial design phase and before the first deliverable is available, but if they go away and don’t come back with a product to show, that’s a problem.
How Do You Choose the Right Software Company?
There is no way to know 100% beforehand if the company you choose can deliver on YOUR project. They may have executed a project perfectly for XYZ Company, but may not connect with your product or services, or they’re out of their depth with what you want your app to do. However, you can spend extra time on due diligence and feel relatively good about the company you choose if you take these additional actions:
- Look for longevity. Just because the person or company you’re considering might be younger or “hipper,” that doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. Nothing – absolutely nothing – can compete with proven experience.
- Ask to see a variety of samples. See how user-friendly they are and if you like the way they look, feel, sound, and function.
- Request to speak with a few of their clients. Ask about customer service, deadlines, reliability. Confidentiality and NDAs can be a factor, but there are usually a couple of clients who will speak with you. If not, this is a red flag.
- Ask the software company and various team members a lot of questions. Go beyond just technology. Do the developers understand business? Are they “programmers” or “developers?” What kind of credentials do they have? What happens to your project if part of the team is unavailable? Are they financially stable?
How Swip Systems is Different
If you’re struggling with a software company or individuals who can’t get your project done … Swip Systems has a knack for getting companies over the finish line when others can’t. We have been in business for 25 years, though our combined software development experience exceeds several hundred years. We have grit and determination to take the bull by the horns and wrestle it across the finish line. Our daily goal is to make our clients’ lives easier when it comes to technology and business efficiency.
A few of our other attributes that make a difference to the companies we help include:
Our business owners get it. We understand the importance of the investment, the risk to the organization and the stress involved in the process. It upsets us if we see a business or one of our clients spend lots of hard-earned money on a project that never reaches the finish line. We see every project through and maintain/support systems going forward, which means there’s less expense to retrain an outside source or an internal person to maintain the system down the road.
Dedicated to maintaining our teams. Nobody on our team is an island. We cross-train everyone involved and have multiple developers on each project. That way, if one is unavailable, the project continues forward without a hiccup. Our entire team is committed to our clients’ and our company’s success.
Longevity. We’ve worked with many, many platforms, industries, technologies, and codebases and have seen a lot over 25 years. We are frequently asked to step into a stalled project, figure it out, and get it across the finish line.
Developers vs. programmers. Programmers don’t have the creativity, depth, and breadth of a developer, that’s why our team consists of expert developers who are more advanced in business analysis. It is helpful that they understand the business-world aspect and can have intelligent conversations with end-users while taking a concept from an idea to a working digital solution. They have greater creative capability to take a larger view of what needs to be accomplished and make it a reality.
Our development team takes a holistic approach – combining all the puzzle pieces – to turn your lightning-bolt idea into a custom software product with intelligence that evolves with your business needs.
The Bottom Line …
If your custom software, web application, or mobile app project is off-track, call us. If you’re in the initial idea-phase, we’re also here to help you from the concept through the launch and beyond. We want you to get to the finish line and have the web or mobile app that you need to be profitable, now and in the future. Feel free to contact our team if you have any questions about this topic or need help getting across the finish line. 877.377.SWIP
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Tom Swip has been developing and streamlining business processes for over 20 years. Tom’s expertise lies in business process automation, software and application design and network infrastructure. In his spare time, Tom likes kayaking, mountain biking and other outdoor activities.