A simple approach to software development
Setting up your software development for a new application there are quite a few set of software developers that tend to jump on their machine and begin coding. I would strongly suggest that an application which could be successful needs to start from thought to paper (even electronic) before any new code is typed.
Now as some suggest creating designs or layouts are the best method for them and sometimes that does make sense. Creating a sketch board or laying out the screen design is a simple way to visually see what you want to achieve.
Here are the steps that you can use when you are preparing to create a new application.
Sitting at a table or desk
Using white boards do help when you plan to get your thought on to the board for the initial start of the project. You can quickly put down what your clients (consumers) wish to have or to fulfill their needs. Simple step is to list all of the pieces in bullet point what you think the client is expecting from your application.
Always remember that developers can write a great application that nobody wants.
Yes this is one of computer 101 concepts that no software developer wishes to use any longer but if you set up a general flowchart it will show you things you did not think of.
Screen layouts are extremely important, it gives the visual aspect on what the application will look like. The best thing is that it could be done on paper without using a computer. Sure it looks like stick men but it does show the layout that you think clients will be happy with.
This is essential if you plan on having some sort of database manager that will capture the information entered with your application. A proper data model will show exactly what you think each table and record size will be. The database manager is another piece where you must either sell to the client on a robust database or a small foot print.
Know your customer
Sitting with your clients or consumers or customers, you need to understand the business. You may not be a retail sales guru but you have to understand what the client wants and possibly increase business. This does not mean as a software developer you need to allow the client overrun the project where your team gets the blame for it falling apart but you have to understand how the client starts and ends the day.
The biggest and one of the most difficult piece is to have the presentation in front of the software team. You must be prepared to accept criticism from your peers. They may see something you did not see or whether there is a market for your application.
Starting a new application for a market can be either a hard task or you can set up a plan that will get you to the end line quickly and successfully.