Different companies have different needs, and that’s why it can vary!

Developing a piece of custom software can take anywhere from 4-9 months, but it all depends on what the final product will do and how you plan to use it.

Custom technology development is often an involved process that takes longer than expected. The following sections cover the details and why you should be patient when it comes to designing your own software solutions!


The Discovery Phase

The custom development first phase typically takes between 2 and 4 weeks. This phase is devoted to designing the product. Similar to a construction project you need to create an engineering plan, then build the structure and finally complete the project according your product's specifications.

This is called the Discovery Phase. It gives developers a clear idea of what and how to build it. The focus is on the core features and user requirements. You'll be working with your development team during this phase to create the following:

  • System requirements and/or core feature
  • Definitions of End Users and their experiences with the Application
  • Different interface requirements
  • The project's initial scope: What will be built in the first, third, and fourth sprints, etc.

The length of the phase is highly dependent upon the client's availability to answer questions and make important decisions while the team develops the plan. Both the client and developers will have created the architecture for the new solution by the end of this phase. To avoid surprises later in the building and release phases, it is important to fully understand this phase.


the Development Phase

The blueprint can be used to start product development. This will take 3-6 month. This is the Development Phase. Just like other construction projects, it requires a general contractor to coordinate craftsman. Project managers are required for custom development projects in order to organize and keep the engineering team on track. There are also crucial roles that the team needs to fulfill: software developers write the code, technical architects design the framework, and designers help with the user interface and/or experience. The final phase will see a fully-built product that fulfills all requirements, even if it is lean.

The project manager will spend 3-4 hours planning the team's schedule and assigning tasks to sprints. Backlogging any tasks that aren’t essential to the first release is also important. The Project Manager also has to identify and mitigate risks in order to keep the project on schedule and within budget.

A project manager may need to monitor the following risks:

  • After the project is started to be built, scope creep or requirements changes may occur.
  • Timeline delays due to inability of third-parties to respond, such as not providing credentials or critical documentation, etc.
  • Fuzzy scope requirements, system design items, or line items that are not in the required scope - these items will make development more difficult and will take additional time to clarify.
  • There are too many cooks in the client's kitchen. This can lead to unclear direction from stakeholders.
  • Bad data from an already existing product, or mistakes in data migration to the new product

To determine the technologies to be used and how they will work together, the first thing to build is a framework. This task falls under the purview of the technical architect. It is usually completed within 1-2 week depending on how complex the system integrations are or if there are any unusual technologies.

The longest phase of the project begins after the architecture and product design are completed. It will typically take 3-6 month. Additional developers can be hired to help with the project if the client requires it to be completed faster. There is a limit to how many developers you can add to a team. Too many will cause the project to take longer due the time involved in managing them.


The Compliance Phase

This is the last stage of custom software development. It usually takes 3 to 6 weeks. It involves testing the final product and comparing it against the coding standards and usability. This is the last phase of custom software development. It involves final inspections of safety code compliance, the creation of a final punchlist, and completion of all other tasks.

There are many types of testing that you will need to perform for your product. However, all projects should at least undergo these:

  • A coding review will ensure that the code is written for extensibility and growth. The client can inspect the code to determine if they followed well-known styles.
  • End-to-end testing is the use of all features of the application as they would be used by final users. Developers can also use this test to examine how different modules and integrated technologies interact. While features can be tested individually, end-to-end testing brings together all the pieces to ensure that they work well together.
  • User acceptance Testing (UAT) This is an in-depth inspection by the client to ensure that the final product meets their initial requirements. Think of it as a walk-through on a construction site. The client also wants to know if there are any issues that the developers may have missed in their testing.

The developer may suggest additional tests. This could include testing the application with different operating systems, different devices, and/or different web browsers. Additional testing should be done if the final product is going to be used by multiple people or processes a lot of information. The final type of electable testing involves checking how the product will interact with third-party systems. This includes handling various situations like timeouts, invalid data values, corrupt files, and other issues.

Project size

The overall project size will have an impact on the time it takes to develop the application. If a project has the following features, it is considered large and complex.

  • Administrator portal and user application
  • Usability on different devices  tablet, desktop, smartphone, etc)
  • Uses third-party systems such as ERP, CRM, and POS.
  • Data migration from previous application to the new product
  • Data warehouse is necessary
  • 25+ screens in use

Measure twice and cut once

Before you start a custom software project, think carefully about the desired outcomes. A smoother development process will be possible if you take the time to plan and design your product. A team can help you with all aspects of your project and assist you in planning.

Industrialax is a technology company that focuses on building technology solutions that increase business success. We have assisted many companies in custom software development. Get in touch with us for assistance in developing your project and to guide you through the product design process.


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