How to Start a Project

Starting a new project is difficult for many companies because it catches them off guard. Even if you have your development team already assembled and ready to go, there are many other factors that come into play such as a tight schedule and little preparation time. Without the necessary time to prepare and with the deadline quickly approaching you might skip a step, which could be a critical error because you may come back to haunt you.

In order to help you out on your path, we created some project development steps which should serve as a general guide in terms of how you should model the development process.

How to Launch a Project

The most widely accepted system to design a project is called the software development lifecycle (SDLC) it is a process for planning, creating, testing, and deploying an information system. The main phases are preliminary analysis, requirements definition, systems design, development, integration and testing, acceptance, installation, deployment, maintenance, evaluation, disposal.

The main steps and activities at these phases are:

  • A Technical specification document — This document will define all of the requirements not only for the project. The technical specs document will serve as a blueprint for the product’s development and will spell out all of the procedures workflows and methodologies used during the development phase. Since this is a vital aspect of the development process, we will spend some time, later on, to discuss how to write technical specifications.
  • MVP design — At this phase, you need to think about which minimum requirements does your product need to have in order to be considered working. During MVP development, you must test the product as often as possible and as cheaply as possible during the early stages, which will prevent problems from snowballing.
  • App prototyping — Do not think of prototyping as a sketch, but rather as a means of testing and honing your idea in order to attract interest from possible investors. When creating a clickable prototype, most software development companies will usually establish SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based). This may require substantial research even if you already have a concrete idea.
  • Launching the project — Prior to launch, be sure to set clear goals and benchmarks. This will involve a lot of market research to determine who your target audience is. Also, keep in mind that your job does not end after the product launch. You must be prepared to launch new updates in case there are issues with the initial version and you should be ready to handle any customer questions about your product.

How to Write Technical Specification

As promised, we will return to writing the tech specs. During the design phase of a project, you should look at your product from two vantage points: the development point of view and the client point of view. The technical specifications document must contain information pertinent to both sides in accordance with the overall product guidelines. The client may be more concerned with system functionality while the developers may be more worried about the technical specifications. What is most important to the client is having assurances that the tech specs meet their goals and wishes.

Whatever you do, be sure that the document is easy to read, which means using simple language and succinct sentences that are straight to the point. If you do use technical jargon, abbreviations, and acronyms, be sure that you clearly define all of the jargon from the outset in order to avoid confusion down the road.

Starting a project is an exciting time, but you should also use your time wisely. Always conduct due diligence and test your product early and often. Whenever a new product is launched, the worst thing that could happen is messing up the launch right from the beginning. This can be an error that is pretty tough to recover from. So, avoid this mistake by following the necessary protocols from outset.


Originally published at skywell.software.