We have many clients that come to us to provide an estimate based on a high level demonstration of an existing application or prototype. Generally these demos consist of a high level overview of the app along with supporting documentation. This process provides a glimpse into the user experience of the technology, which is very valuable for our team when estimating the application and any enhancements or refinements to the system.
Our Innovation Team here at Amadeus Consulting has estimated redevelopment from quite a few software demos. Viewing a demo or other existing documentation can be extremely helpful for our team, giving them insight into the features and functions that particular client is most excited about, as well as the kind of workflows that an end user would be utilizing.
However, there are a few pitfalls that we have come across when rewriting applications from a third party. For example, we recently had a client who came to us with a demo of a loan sampling screen for a very complex Access database application. Because the initial focus of the technology review was upon the screen and the technical elements of the application, the equally complex business logic was overlooked. Later in the development process this logic was a bit of a surprise to the team, so even though the issue was eventually solved, it added inflated the scope, schedule and budget of the project beyond what was originally estimated.
Obviously our main goal with any project, large or small, is to meet our clients’ business goals while staying within their desired scope, schedule and budget. This is what we consider a win, for both our teams and for our clients. So when rewriting existing software or demos, how can we ensure that we avoid the pitfalls I explained about and engineer a win for our clients?
What truly differentiates a winning technical solution is a focus on business outcomes, not necessarily the technology behind it. Sometimes the most complex business problems are solved by shockingly elementary technology. By focusing on the business goals and business logic of the application from the start, we are able to address all aspects of the application.
User Interactions are Key
As with any technology project, a pleasing and efficient experience for the end user should be the most important consideration. Take the time to think through all aspects of the user experience with your technology partner. What features are essential for users? Which features could use some upgrades? What are the bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the system that should be addressed and optimized in the updated workflows?
Share Your Institutional Knowledge
We work with clients from a very diverse range of industries, a challenge that is exciting and fun for all of our teams. However, many of our clients make the mistake of taking their institutional knowledge for granted. Nobody knows your industry better than you, so make sure to share your expertise with your technology partner along the way. We are experts in the technology, but you are the expert of your business. Together, we can do some truly amazing things.