Our Software Development Process: Gathering Basic Requirements for a Proposal

October 23, 2015

Dave Kruse

Uncategorized

This is the second in a series of posts about the process for software development project based work. In this post we look at Gathering Basic Requirements for a Proposal.

This is the second in a series of posts about the process for software development project based work. This post is on gathering basic requirements. Check out our previous post about the Ideation Phase.

So why do we need to gather basic requirements for a software product, mobile app or web app? At this stage it is to better understand a potential client’s vision and how we will implement that vision. The basic requirements are meant to flesh out this vision in order to provide an accurate proposal.

To be honest, this stage is not as interesting as the ideation phase. But it is just as important. Ideas are great but the basic requirements gathering stage is where ideas start to take form and become reality.

Our previous post was about the ideation phase where we talked about a new music platform our client wanted to create. Now we have to decide out of all those ideas what features and ideas should be implemented.

For example, live streaming of concerts would be awesome. But logistically there may be a lot of stuff behind the scenes. Because of that, the client wants to wait and have that feature developed in Phase II or III.

This basic requirements gathering is critical to distinguish which features should go in specific Phases so that we can provide an accurate quote and the client can plan the cash needed to develop the software product or mobile app.

So what features does our client want in Phase I? This is often called the minimum viable product. Sometimes it is called Phase 0.

Let’s say for Phase I, the client wants the ability for customers and artists to register and have a profile. They also want the ability for an admin to have super privileges over all of these pages. These features are essential to our example client. But you could even get away with less. Fans would not have to be able to sign up and have a profile. Every feature and functionality has to be evaluated independently.

For Phase I, the client also wants ecommerce functionality and the ability for artists to sell rights to their songs to their fans.

There are of course other details that need to be worked out. But it is important to understand the vision for Phase I, II and III.

For a software project like this we would also ask a number of other questions:

  • What type of administration roles do you want?
  • For mobile, do you want native mobile apps or just a web responsive site?
  • Are there certain websites or apps that you want this to look like?
  • How do you want the website to flow? This will become more important during the full requirements gathering stage.
  • And a host of other questions.

I hope this gives you a brief idea of the basic requirements gathering stage.

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