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    Custom Software Solutions: Requirements / Initial Engagement 2
    James Nagy
    / Categories: Development
     

    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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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Looking for a business consultant, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive.

    Other posts by James Nagy
    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    As a strategic leader and entrepreneur, James Nagy has a record of generating growth by leveraging the latest technologies to drive sales, marketing, product development, and profitability. He is known for identifying and capitalizing on market trends, developing effective tactics for implementation, enhancing operating performance, and serving as a trusted advisor and business partner. Skilled at working across operations, James builds strong, cross-functional relationships and communicates complex technical information to diverse internal and external stakeholders.

    A big picture visionary, James identifies and reacts to market trends, providing disruptive strategies that go beyond IT to include sales, marketing, and product portfolio management. Building on his experience as Director of Software Development with premier companies Midas International Corporation and SXC Health Solutions, Inc., James launched two successful consulting companies, Sprocket Websites Inc. and J&S Tech Designs. As the Managing Director, he provides innovative solutions to clients in small- and mid-cap companies.

    When he is not advising other business leaders, James lends his expertise to a variety of organizations. He is a Founding Member & Committee Member of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce; he serves on multiple teams and committees for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce; he is a Founding Member of the Chicago Area DNN User Group, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the New West Symphony. In his free time, James enjoys Sci-Fi, coin collecting, traveling and wine tasting.

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