Every time we start a software development project for a new customer, we face a major challenge: First, we must understand what the customer wants. Once we have this understanding, it is our job to help find out what they need. Bringing visionary demands and real needs into harmony is an important success factor for any development project. That is where we are challenged in our role as advisors to the customer, not only in technological terms, but also in commercial terms.
Getting Started with Initial Workshops
The workshop format has proven its worth to achieve this. Such workshops are prepared by a group of experts from M&M Software and carried out together with the customer. The M&M team is made up of experienced project managers, product owners (POs) and system architects, accompanied and supported by the responsible sales manager. Also, our UX designers can make first valuable contributions here. On the customer side, sales, product management and development are required.
In this early phase of the project, the various stakeholders of a project get to know each other and collect and organize their requirements and ideas. Based on this information, a coordinated product vision, initial rough system concepts and a roadmap showing how the project can be carried out are created. At this stage, the customer gets to know the key people at M&M Software who are crucial to their project. This helps to build the trust necessary for an effective and cooperative partnership.
Prototypes Provide Security
This initial workshop phase is often followed by a first, relatively short prototyping phase. Its goals are:
- Initial setup of team and development infrastructure
- evaluation of the system concept and elimination of critical technological risks using PoC (Proof-of-Concept)
- support communication of the product vision with UI prototypes, mockups and click dummies
- early feedback from customer and user
The important decisions for the necessary next steps can then be made in a much more informed manner on this in-depth basis.
Market Acceptance Tested by MVP
Based on the results of the workshops and this prototyping phase, planning takes place for the first implementation phase. Its goal is to provide a so-called MVP (Minimal Viable Product).
It is important that the MVP generates real benefits for the end customer. The functions to be realized for this purpose result from the prioritization of the backlogs of epics, features and user stories developed together with the customer.
The development of the MVP is driven in agile sprints of two to three weeks, following the pattern of the proven M&M software development process.
The MVP marks the first market launch of the new product. It is also an important test of whether the product really meets the fundamental requirements of the market. That is why an MVP should be made available as soon as possible. Depending on the project, this can take three to twelve months.
The Market Drives Further Development
After the successful launch of the MVP, the market and the users have a decisive influence on the further development of the product. User feedback on the new product is systematically collected and given high priority in the product's further development. In this process, our product owners and system architects work closely with the customer's product management and build the bridge to our development teams.
Further development takes place with the shortest possible release cycles. This allows specific market requirements to be met quickly. Our development infrastructure provides support for this through the consistent use of the principles of DevOps and CI/CD, which allow such short release cycles in the first place.
Reliable Operation of the Solution
If required and requested by the customer, we also operate his solution on the platform of a hyperscaler such as Microsoft Azure based on a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and ensure a consistently high availability of the solution as well as technical support, data and system security.
The approach described here has proven itself in many successful projects. It reduces the risk of expensive maldevelopments and ensures that the developed software products generate real benefits for the user. This proven approach is the foundation for many long-term and successful partnerships with customers like you. Take advantage of this experience for the success of your company.