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    Software Development Software Development

    How to Build Custom Software In 5 Steps

    Tuhin Bhatt's image.
    Co-founder of LAD

      Published on May 27, 2024

      5 min read

    Tired of paying thousands of pounds on third-party applications and tools? Then maybe it’s time to create your own bespoke software.

    Developing custom software might sound like a complex affair. But with a bit of research, you’ll find plenty of custom software development services that will turn your half-baked ideas into a full-fledged app in no time.

    Still, creating great software takes more than just selecting the right partner. In this guide, we’ll go over the custom software development process from start to finish, and how you can nail each step.

    Without further ado, let’s dive into the steps!

    1. Identify the Problem You Want to Solve

    This is probably the most important, yet often overlooked, part of your software development life cycle.

    Every business has a unique workflow, and thus, requires a unique software solution specifically tailored to their needs.

    That’s why, you have to start with the problem your software is trying to solve, and build your way up from there.

    When brainstorming, ask yourself the following questions:

    • What are you hoping to achieve with this software? Do you need to control your business expenses better, or are you looking to boost team productivity? Perhaps, you want to develop an AI chatbot to handle customer queries much faster?
    • Where are you facing bottlenecks in your current operations? Are there manual tasks that can be automated? Is there a lack of data visibility causing problems?
    • Who will be using this software? Determine whether the software will be created for external or internal use. After that, have a conversation with your target audience to understand their specific requirements.

    Talk to your team members and stakeholders to identify areas for improvement. This initial step will help you clearly define the problem, set objectives, and create a solid foundation for the development process.

    2. Come Up With a New Idea

    Once you have identified the problem, the next step is to brainstorm ideas and come up with an innovative software solution.

    Start by looking at existing solutions in the market to understand what works and what doesn’t. This helps you find inspiration and avoid common pitfalls.

    Engaging your team in brainstorming sessions is also a great way to get different perspectives.

    Each member can share opinions and ideas based on their area of expertise, so you can create software that caters to everyone in the organisation.

    For example, if you want to create an expense management tool, the finance team would want a feature for setting certain spending limits.

    However, the marketing team may not agree, as they have to deal with the unpredictability costs of paid tools and premium newsletter subscriptions.

    When you get the perspectives from both sides, you’ll be able to prioritise the software’s features based on their importance and impact.

    3. Choose a Software Development Agency

    By now, you know exactly what type of software to make, and this is where the fun begins.

    You have two options to develop your software: hire an in-house development team or work with a software consulting company.

    This decision depends on your budget, technical expertise, and project complexity.

    Hiring in-house developers tends to be more costly, as you need to pay their full-time salaries and bonuses. Not to mention, you might have to recruit more people if the workload gets overwhelming.

    If you prefer a truly done-for-you service, then working with a software development agency is the better choice.

    When choosing the right software development partner for your needs, consider the following factors:

    • Track record: Check the agency’s portfolio to see the quality they bring to the table. If they have experience working on a project similar to yours, that’s even better.
    • Client reviews: User testimonials on the software development firm’s website are curated, so you need to find reviews on third-party platforms like Trustpilot and Google My Business.
    • Pricing models: Find an agency that offers a fixed rate to avoid paying any additional fees later on. Some companies like LAD also include post-deployment maintenance services in their plans.

    4. Communicate Your Needs and Set KPIs

    After finding the perfect fit, clearly communicate your requirements to the chosen agency.

    Here are several documents that you need to hand over:

    • Detailed specifications: Provide a comprehensive list of features, functions, and technical specifications, so the development team understands exactly what is expected.
    • Software development methodologies. Inform your preferred development method upfront. Is it Agile, Waterfall, or DevOps?
    • User stories: Create scenarios that describe how different types of users will interact with the software. This helps the agency design a user-friendly interface.
    • Visual aids: Avoid ambiguity by using wireframes, mockups, or flowcharts to visually represent your ideas and requirements.
    • Deployment plan: Outline the steps for rolling out the software, including the timelines, responsibilities, and emergency measures in case of errors during the launch.

    The development team will then use your requirements to design, develop, and test the software.

    Setting software development KPIs is also crucial to ensure that your customised software development project stays on track and meets your expectations.

    5. Launch Your Software

    Before launching your software, it’s crucial to ensure everything is ready for a smooth deployment.

    Make sure every button, feature, and visual element works the way you envision it.
    Once everything looks great, deploy the software to a live environment where users can start using it.

    You can opt for a gradual rollout to manage the transition smoothly and address any issues that arise in smaller, controlled stages.


    That’s it – your custom software is now ready for use!

    Closely monitor the software’s performance immediately after the launch to identify and resolve any issues quickly.

    It’s also important to schedule regular updates and security patches to keep your software running smoothly.

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    Co - Founder

    Tuhin Bhatt is a co-founder of London App Development (LAD), a leading Web and Mobile App Development Company. He helps passionate entrepreneurs build amazing tech products. Tuhin being a peoples man who has a passion to share his technical expertise with clients and other enthusiasts.

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