When developing software solutions for businesses, it is important that all team members—from project managers, to engineers and developers—gain an understanding of the business’s process in order to help determine the best software system for the business. Software Engineers aren’t expected to become business experts overnight, but having at least some elementary knowledge of a business can go a long way towards developing the right solution.
A comprehensive—nay, a heroic—software development lifecycle will have a full discovery and analysis stage where a technology advisor or business analyst will work with the customer to identify the business’ pain points as well as the goals and objectives to develop a plan for the creation of the new software system. Once this is complete, and the architecture is put into place, then the software engineering and development comes into play.
As software engineers are initiating the development stage of the lifecycle, it is vitally important for them to have communicated properly with project managers, business analysts or even the customer themselves in order for the solution to be developed properly to fit the business’s needs. If software engineering and development is done the right way, the person or business developing the solution should address some key questions:
What are the pain points or inefficiencies of your business?
Most companies aren’t purchasing custom software solutions just for the sake of spending money or having a fancy new toy to play with. They want a system that will improve a core business process to save time and money in the long run.
What are your businesses high-level goals or objectives?
When a company is looking to utilize a custom-software solution, it may not have a black and white process that it needs to improve. And that’s okay. Software engineering is not just about executing a development plan. It is also about gaining and understanding of the business and working with the customer to best get a sense of how a solution could help their business. If a customer comes in with one solution in mind, he or she may leave with another one that can help his or her business in even more ways than expected.
What solutions will fit best in your budget?
A business is typically not going to go into a software engineering or development project with a limitless budget, so a development company should recommended solutions with that in mind. With a keen understanding of your specific business process, a developer or development company should also be able to help the customer understand the ways in which the new system will help the business save time and money in the long run.
After all, a software system is being engineered for business users, so the best developers will be able to put themselves in the users’ shoes and help design a system that not only functions well but also is aligned with a business’s core goals.
Do you have any questions or comments on this post? Are you a software engineer with unique business knowledge? Let us know below!