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Software development process: 7 essential steps to your product success


Oleg Menteshashvili




Jul 8, 2020

Outsourcing software development might become a real game-changer for your company. By delegating a part of work to a reputable service provider, you get a chance to cut costs, boost productivity, and create a great product within a tight timeframe. 

However, outsourcing also has its pitfalls. You don’t have full control over the process and miscommunication might occur. To prevent such issues, it is always a good idea to know how the software development process is carried out in the outsourcing company and get a better understanding of the deliverables you’ll get at each stage. 

In this short article, we’ll expand on the foundations of the software development lifecycle, tell more about the methodology we use and guide you through all the stages to make sure we’re on the same page. 

7 stages of the software development process at Mentalstack

1. Kickoff meeting

Everything starts with the discovery meeting where our representative and a client discuss your product and the terms of the collaboration. At the very beginning of the program development cycle, we take your idea or product, look at it from different perspectives, analyze your needs and come up with an optimal solution that aligns with your objectives. 

Tip : Before the first meeting, it is always a great idea to write down the list of requirements or provide your vendor with some documentation. Thus, you can be sure your partner will understand your needs and provide you with high-quality service. 

2. Price negotiation

The next stage of the software engineering process is a price negotiation. The cost of your product might vary depending on a number of factors, such as your budget, timeline, feature set, etc. Therefore, before we get down to project estimation, we try to figure out all the essential details which might affect the final price.

After that, our project manager, together with a tech specialist, look at the solution we’re going to build and come up with accurate figures.

Tip : If you’re a startup founder or an SME business owner, you might find it useful to build an MVP before a full-fledged product. This step will significantly shorten your Time to Market and help to acquire first users quickly. After you get the first feedback, you’ll be able to scale your app or software further by adding important features. 

3. Project roadmap

Project roadmap provides you with a big picture of the software development process. When we agree on the terms of our collaboration, we assemble a team of qualified software engineers, designers and business analysts. 

Also, we assign a dedicated project manager to you, who breaks the project into milestones and stages. We adhere to the Scrum software development methodology, which is an agile framework for developing and delivering complex products.

The team sets up goals and plans their activity for each sprint, which lasts for from two to four weeks. At the daily Scrum meetings, we plan work for the next 24 hours. At the end of each sprint, we send a demo or a report to our clients.

4. Scrum-based development process

This is where the magic happens. When you have a team of skilled engineers and a project roadmap, it is time to get down to the software engineering process. Whether you’re looking for a vendor to build a simple social media app or you need complex enterprise software, the development process looks quite the same.

By following the Scrum software development methodology, we take 5 steps that lead you from an idea to a product:

Planning. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” - Benjamin Franklin. Any idea should be backed up with a well-thought-out plan and your project is no exception. 

Determining the scope of the project, setting SMART goals, defining tech stack, and deciding on the team composition are essential steps at this stage of the program development cycle.

Analysis. At this stage of the software development process, the project is broken into milestones and feasibility analysis is carried out. The development team goes into detail in order to understand the project requirements, goals and outcomes they are going to get in the end.

Design & development. Once the goals are set, and the analysis is done, the team moves to the design stage. This is where we set up the foundation for your software and define its concept at micro and micro levels. At this stage, all the vital architectural design decisions are made to address the necessary functionality requirements. Our team goes into the technical details, develops structure, and thinks over the relations between all the architecture components. 

After that, we define the main steps to implement the product and decide on the instruments, tools, technologies and approaches we are going to use. The program development process is all about writing code and bringing your product idea to reality. This phase is usually the longest as it is the backbone of the whole project. Thus, it is usually broken down into sprints where we regularly send demos to you and get your feedback to make sure you’ll be satisfied with the outcome. 

Testing. With such fierce competition in the software development industry, going to market with a poorly tested product is unwise. Therefore, when we have a ready-made product, we carefully test it for bugs, errors, and vulnerabilities to deliver high-quality software, regularly reporting to you.

Review. When the testing and troubleshooting phase is over, we conduct a thorough review to ensure that the product will be delivered to the market in the best possible way.

5. Release

The newly built and carefully tested software is moved to the release stage of the software development process. If we work with a mobile app, we create the accounts on the platforms of your choice. Whether it is Play Market or Apple Store, we send the app for verification. We fill out the account with all the necessary information on the demand of the market. When the product is ready for launch, we can publish it on the platform. 

If we work with a web application, we publish all the materials on the server and the product becomes available to the public. 

6. Marketing 

Publishing your product on the platform is not enough to acquire your first users. You should take a significant marketing effort to let your customers discover your software or mobile app and make it profitable. At this stage of the program development process, we conduct a competitor analysis and come up with a wise marketing strategy to make your product stand out. 

7. Refine

When you have a ready-made application and acquired the first users, it is time to ask for feedback and refine your software product. Here you have two options. You can decide on the extra features you need to grow your business and scale your product. 

Alternatively, you can improve what you have by fixing inefficiencies and making your product more user-friendly for your customers. This stage of the software development process is vital to boost your performance and fill in a certain niche on the market. 

Ensure a stable software development process with Mentalstack!

We provided you with an overview of our development process and expanded on the software development methodology we use. Now you are aware of all the stages and know how your product is created. 

The only thing that is left here is to act! Reach out to Mentalstack and we will analyze your idea to come up with the best solution for your business. 

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