When a company wants to undertake bespoke software development, it is highly recommended that the company first invests time and effort in software prototyping. Developing a software prototype has many advantages and we will expand on few of them and how they help with bespoke software development.
Developing a software prototype involves developing incomplete version of the bespoke software and this requires input from all concerned users and departments. In an agile development methodology, this task is carried out by the software developer and business analyst. They speak with the end users, understand bottlenecks in existing processes and systems, discuss best-case-scenarios, etc. Once this information is collected, the software development team create incomplete version of the bespoke software and share it the users for feedback.
• Reduce cost
Software prototyping also helps to reduce cost and effort during the bespoke software development process. This is because, developing a software prototype helps the end users and the software developers to identify any missing features, functions, design flaws at a very early stage. This helps to eliminate expensive and time consuming re-development and fixes at a later stage during software development.
Asking a software development company to develop bespoke software is very similar to asking an artist to paint a canvas. Just like an artist would create a rough sketch first and get it approved before filling in all the colours, developing a software prototype allows the users to clearly see how the different modules, features, functions, etc. will work. This helps to take out the ambiguity from the software development process and ensures users and software developers are one the same page.
• Different versions of the same
Because software prototype can be developed far more quickly than the actual bespoke software, it allows the software developers to create different version of the prototype which demonstrate different ways in which the system can be developed. Normally, the main focus for creating different software prototype versions is to demonstrate the options available for the user interface. This helps the users choose the best and most suitable interface.
In summary, software prototyping is a great way of ensuring that the software development process goes as smoothly as possible and the end result is bespoke software which is an exact match to the user’s requirements. As with anything there are also some disadvantages when it comes to software prototyping but, depending upon the nature, size and complexity of the bespoke software requirements, the advantages normally out way the disadvantages. Also, software prototyping is today accepted as a core component in the agile software development methodology.