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The analytical stage of software development at Fora Soft

At Fora Soft, the first person you will work with on your idea will be an analyst. As bringing your concept for a unique product to reality is typically one of the most difficult challenges for entrepreneurs, the company needs a professional team. First steps require an analyst who can lead you through all the challenges along the way. In this article, we will observe the value that analysts at Fora Soft bring to your project as well as the possible negative scenarios of missing a system analytic.

From Idea to MLP (Minimum Loveable Product)

Product development usually follows a process separated into stages or steps, through which a company conceives:

  •  product concept (idea generation) 
  •  researches (product validation ensures you’re creating a product people will pay for and that you won’t waste time, money, and effort on an idea that people don’t need)
  •  project planning
  •  prototypes
  •  designs
  •  development
  •  tests
  •  launch into the market
Product development process scheme

What if it seems that the idea is already sharpened? Why do I need the analytics process then?

According to Info Tech research, poor requirements are the reasons for 70% of unsuccessful software projects. This may lead to financial losses, wasted time and effort, and disillusionment (we will take a closer look at all the possible circumstances below). You may avoid these stumbling blocks and assure the adoption of best-practice approaches by working closely with an analyst at the outset of a project.

Possible outcomes of skipping the analysis stage

Let me showcase you the list of possible struggles you can face due to skipping the analytical stage of software development:

Time

  • Inability to logically structure a development process
  • Postponement of a current release
  • Incapacity of long-term planning

Money

  • Waste of development hours on functionality redesign
  • Radical change of initial estimation
  • Unrealistic time and costs estimation due to lack of requirements decomposition 

Process

  • Team members may idle and be removed from the project due to lack of tasks at the current time period
  • The team doesn’t include the essential specialist as there were no special requirements gathered for the particular feature in the very beginning
  • Some tasks may require parallel development
  • Constant hole patching instead of building a clear coherent vision

Relationship damage

  • with the customer 
  • within the team

Documentation

  • Customer and team have different product vision
  • Fragmented documentation 

Result

  • Choice of more expensive functionality instead of simple and elegant solutions
  • Architectural limitations
  • Inconsistency or the requirements and logical holes

Preparation stage

So, as we have identified the significance of the analytical stage of software development, let’s dive into the details. 

First of all, we will review the initial requirements, understand your vision and product concept. As the next step, the analyst will provide research on: 

  • Target audience and their pains
  • Competitors
  • Best practises in the industry

That allows us to find unique selling points. A unique selling point describes your company’s distinct market position, getting to the heart of your offering: the value you provide and the problem you address. A good USP clearly articulates a distinct benefit – one that other competitors do not provide – that distinguishes you from the competition.

Requirement analysis

At the next stage of the analysts phase, we will start to design the system from requirement preparation. Requirements analysis is a vital procedure that determines the success of a system or software project. Functional and non-functional requirements are the two sorts of requirements.

Non-functional requirements: These are the quality limitations that the system must meet in accordance with the project contract. The priority or extent to which these aspects are incorporated varies depending on the project. Non-behavioral requirements are another name for them.

Functional Requirements: These are the requirements that the end user directly requests as basic system facilities. These are expressed or described as input to be delivered to the system, operation to be conducted, and expected output. In contrast to non-functional requirements, they are essentially the user-specified criteria that can be seen immediately in the finished product.

Functional requirements are carried out in the form of user stories, which are summaries of needs or queries created from the perspective of a particular product user. All stories will be divided into subsections – epics. The main goal after that is the maximum added value with minimal applied effort. It can be achieved by task prioritization. 

Wireframing

After a couple of iterations and clarifying the requirements, we will do the wireframe. 

Wireframe is a form of interactive prototype that has no user interface, no colors, fonts, or style – just functionality. Consider wireframes to be the skeleton of your product. They give you a good concept of where everything will end up by roughly shaping the final product. In a wireframe stage, it is easier and less expensive to evaluate and alter the structure of the essential pages. Iterating the wireframes to a final version will provide the client and design team confidence that the page/tab is meeting user needs while also achieving the primary business and project goals. Check the example via the link.

On this stage, the analyst reviews UX industry’s best practices as well as searches for a unique selling point. For mobile products, we are referring to Apple Human Interface Guidelines and Google Material Design. Guidelines were developed to expedite the process of resolving user pains. Guidelines for mobile apps specify navigation and interaction concepts, interface components and their styles, typography and iconography used, color palettes, and much more. Furthermore, as everything described in the guidelines is frequently already implemented as an element in the code, the developer does not need to spend time on creating it from scratch.

During these stages, business analysts will be consulting technicians, designers, marketers and other specialists to find the most suitable and elegant solutions.

Testing

Once the wireframe is entirely adhering to the user stories and you are satisfied with the requirements, we are going to the QA stage to ensure quality and consistency of the prototype.

  • Completeness. A set of requirements is regarded as complete if all of its basic pieces are represented and each component is completed with a logical end.
  • Unambiguity. Each component must be clearly and precisely stated, allowing for a distinct interpretation. The request should be legible and comprehensible.
  • Consistency. Requirements should not be in conflict with one another or wireframe.
  • Validity. Requirements should meet the expectations and needs of the final user.
  • Feasibility. The scenarios must be possible to implement.
  • Testability. We should be able to create economically feasible and simple-to-use tests for each need to indicate that the tested product meets the required functionality, performance, and current standards. This implies that each claim must be measured, and testing must be carried out under appropriate conditions.

Testing requirements is a proven way to avoid problems during the development stage. It is at this point that continuous testing begins in order to ensure the requisite quality of the created product and to avoid any business risks. It’s always better to find all hidden dangers on the analytical stage rather than during software development.

Concept design

Optionally, as a part of the analytical process, you may request concept design of the product. Conceptual design is an early stage of the design process in which we establish the broad outlines of something’s purpose and form.  It entails comprehending people’s needs and determining how to address them through products.  These are pictures that will demonstrate the concept’s “mood” and colors in further depth. 

Concept

Update logo, if you don’t have your own

Corporate identity elements: patterns, slides with a slogan that reflects the concept. The options and number of pictures will depend on the concept and product.

UI of the 1st-2nd main screens of the application/platform.

You can check the example via the link.

This is a final stage of the analytical process. After that you will have a full clear vision and be totally ready for the development process. As a next step, you will receive an estimation from our sales manager.

Conclusion

The better the team understands the big picture, the better the final product will be. It is crucial to have solid relationships and a deep level of understanding between the team and customer, and that is what an analyst can fully provide. The price and time estimates you will get from the development team are as precise as the requirements are. After the analytics, it’s possible to give an estimate with +- ~10% deviation. These will help to assure improved cost management, delivery, and meeting business goals. 

So if you feel like talking to our analysts and getting your wireframe, don’t hesitate to hit us up using the contact form.