Q: Which of these common software development pitfalls have you encountered?
- We really need our people to use it, but they just won’t.
- Other Apps and software have failed from lack of buy-in.
- We spent tons of time and money to create a solution, but people are still using their spreadsheets, whiteboards, or notepads.
- We invested loads of capital in an off-the-shelf (COTS) solution, but it requires a lot of workarounds to get it to work for us.
If any of these sound familiar, welcome to the party. We hear these frustrated remarks from the market every day.
This kind of pain is easy to avoid. Here’s how.
Software Development Pitfalls
Think about it, the most powerful software is wasted if no one uses it. There are some common pitfalls in software solutions, that can distract from their real purpose and value.
- Good software should not make the end user look or feel stupid.
- Good software doesn’t make the end user work harder.
- Good software should not force the end user to think more.
Fail to heed these principles, and you are courting disaster. Solutions shouldn’t make life more difficult for the people that use them.
Why do people refuse to use new tools? Usually, it’s simply too much work to adopt, or maybe they feel that they’re being forced to use a one-size-fits-none solution; the round peg never fits in the square hole.
What’s wrong with off-the-shelf solutions? They really can work. In fact, they’re typically great for the parts of your business that aren’t unique. Such solutions can be cost-effective and useful, but they won’t work well for your unique workflows and processes. Your end users will be forced to improvise and work around using up valuable time and energy.
Similarly, if you are having to rely on training or “forced management” to get people to use your new software tool, it’s a clear indicator of friction in the system. Again, that leads to lost time and energy. Not to mention frustration and irritation. Some general guides to ensuring what you roll out is valuable to the users:
- Learn how your people operate, then build the software to work within your environment.
- Don’t build/buy the software and then figure out how your operations should use it.
- Good software provides tools that your end-users cannot and will not live without.
- Having to demand that end-users use the software you’ve provided is a big red flag.
Bottom line? You cannot train or manage your way out of bad software design. Work with the end-user and operations environment in mind. And don’t force a solution.
How can you avoid these problems?
Avoiding Software Development Pitfalls
When you team up with Capsher, we’ll start, continue, and finish with end-user input. That allows us to start strong and iterate as we fight to build the software that wins. We’re fighting to help your software solution…
- Get end-user buy-in
- Avoid friction
- Work in your world
How do we do it?
We gather boots-on-the-ground intel with interviews, shadowing, and going to where the real work is done, and we use tools like wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and a minimum viable product methodology to get the job done right. Capsher refuses to design software in a vacuum. It has to be battle-tested. Your input (and that of your end-users) is a must.
We gather that input at the beginning so we can start strong. Then we continue it throughout the process and adjust accordingly. We also end with your input to make sure that the final product actually works in the real world.
A winning software solution not only works well, it is a solution your people will actually want to use. Indeed, one they refuse to live without. For that to happen, we have to clear out all the opposition to adoption.
We do this by getting feedback from users early and often. We climb into the foxhole with you and your people to find out what’s working, what isn’t, and what irritates and confuses.
Capsher can help you avoid software solutions that don’t really solve the problem. That adds up to more time on your clock, more money in your business pocket, and satisfied end-users singing your praises.
We’re not just a spec-and-rec shop- we’re hands-on technology consultants, and we’ve been stacking dead problems since 1994.
Fight for your next victory – call Capsher today. We want to ally with you.