eBook - How to take Business Apps from Concept to success


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eBook - How to take Business Apps from Concept to success

  1. 1. eBookHow to take a Software Product or Business App from Concept toSuccess, and avoid innovation obliteration www.sabretch.com
  2. 2. How to take a Software Product or Business App from Concept to Success,and avoid innovation obliterationA pragmatic approach to Product and Business Application Development that Startups, ISVs as well asEnterprise Businesses can use in bringing innovative Apps to lifeAll too often App Development ventures end up in obliteration due to many What’s in this eBookreasons. This approach aims to bring about the following business benefitsand puts an App development on a track which helps avoid common mistakes. Introduction 3 Write the Vision, make it clear 4  Helps businesses unleash innovative concepts An example of a product vision 4 Determine the Revenue Model, Identify the ROI 4  Focuses on marketplace and business success Draw the Blueprints, create a product backlog 5  Minimizes new product development risks Define the Architecture 6  Helps eliminate uncertainties UI Design 6 Develop 7Who should read this eBook? Version 1.0 7 Conclusion 8  Entrepreneurs venturing into a Startup business  ISVs looking to penetrate with new innovations  Enterprise Businesses with limited capacity to innovate 2
  3. 3. IntroductionOften a great startup idea or new product concept is abandoned half way throughdevelopment. Or an ISV goes on a ‘big bang’ approach and develops a full blownproduct only to realize that it’s not exactly what its customers want.This ‘Innovation obliteration’ is a common syndrome even amongst EnterpriseBusinesses, where Enterprise Apps are taken through months of planning, and years ofdevelopment. By the time the App becomes available to business users, the competitiveadvantage that can be gained through the innovation has eroded, or worse, the businesshas changed and therefor the Application no longer relevant.This eBook presents a set of practical steps that Startups, ISVs as well as Businessesthat are looking to develop new Apps can adopt. It keeps the fundamental of aligning theApp Dev process to business and marketplace success factors. 3
  4. 4. Write the Vision, make it clear An example of a product visionNot having a beacon that guides all activities of a new concept could result ina lot of ambiguity and product management chaos where things can easily “ In today’s corporate world, email is our connection point to our organization. Employees are assigned office work viaget out of hand. Writing down the product or application vision, and what it emails. The disadvantage of email is that sender has noaims to achieve in a business sense will help keep all activities aligned idea on status of the task until a response email is sent ortowards a common goal and can be a ‘turn-to’ source whenever there is verbally informed by email receivers. Tasks could be useduncertainty and doubt in a decision making process. to bridge this gap. But this could be done only within a single email server. Task visibility becomes an issue within organizations using multiple email servers.Determine the Revenue model, identify the ROI Instead of using traditional emails to assign tasks, eyeTaskToo many startups fail because the revenue model was not crystalized or an will be used to share tasks between corporate users ofEnterprise cannot determine the ROI since it was not thought through initially. different Email Servers. Tasks will be visible to all interestedFor instance, a startup or ISV giving enough attention to the revenue and parties within or outside the organization. This will givebilling model at this stage will enable the right mechanisms to be built in to the more accountability to task owners (receivers), visibility forproduct itself. task originators (creators) and will give report ability for the management to measure organization level productivity. eyeTask will bridge the gap between inbox, calendar and task events. ” 4
  5. 5. Draw the Blueprints, create a Product BacklogWhile you may not be able to bring out each and every feature in the 1strelease of your product, it makes perfect sense to have a product blueprintand a roadmap so that features can be rolled out incrementally.A useful document that we have used in this process has been the Systems SRSRequirement Spec (SRS). We sit down with a concept owner and solidify theproduct features and Use Cases. This is turned into a Business-Technical  What functionality will be critical for an initial launch?document where both Product Managers as well as developers can reference  What can be considered as ‘bells and whistles’?and make decisions on.  What will my users most appreciate?  What will it take to get a critical mass of users on theOnce all the concepts and ideas have been captured, create a product system?backlog. Here, start asking the questions:  What functionality will be critical for an initial launch?  What can be considered as ‘bells and whistles’?  What will my users most appreciate? Prioritize  What will it take to get a critical mass of users on the system?Based on the answers to these questions, start creating a Product Backlog,prioritize the features and plan out the product releases. Product Backlog 5
  6. 6. Define the ArchitectureOften new products are produced through overnight hackathons or by outsourcing development to a company that promises a build ina few weeks. This approach results in several rounds of ‘throw-away’ prototypes and tedious rework. All the while you lose out onprecious time and money where it could have been invested in producing something with tangible value.Instead, by defining the Architectural approach before jumping in to the code will minimize rework and ensure that whatever is built isextensible.UI DesignRemember the saying ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’? This holds true in productdevelopment too. Getting the User Interface screens designed early will give you a feel forwhat the application is going to look like and will help shed light on a lot of areas. This couldalso be a first step towards generating stakeholder feedback. By mapping the UI to userpersonas, you will be able overcome several hurdles that may arise in the launch phase.Developing the UI screens early in the App development process also helps a commonmistake of not giving enough thought to end user experience of software products andbusiness applications. Driven by the Web 2.0 era, present day users have become savvier andexpect a business app to function in a similar way and provide an experience they are familiarwith Facebook or Gmail. 6
  7. 7. Fast BuildArmed with a detailed SRS, Architecture and Screen mockups, development cannow be super focused in getting a working product built in record time. Keeping A Sprint: In product development, a sprint is athings Agile and iterative will be key here. Plan out 2 – 4 week ‘Sprints’ in which set period of time during which specific workreleases take place. This will give enough headway to making sure things are on has to be completed and made ready for review.track and make adjustments where necessary.Version 1.0The moment we’ve all been waiting for. You will now have an actual product thatcan be used for test marketing, beta launches, investment generation or even ahard product launch. If executed properly, it would only have taken you as littleas 90 days to get to this point. FastBuild: We typically plan development in 90 day cycles where a working product of aAs you start generating user feedback, you can tweak your product and start concept is delivered.bringing in features incrementally. This is simplified by the overall productvision, blueprints and the architectural approach that was defined early on. 7
  8. 8. ConclusionIn conclusion, a new Application Development venture can achieve the following goals by following a few practical steps asillustrated above.Test the Market Eliminate UncertaintyThis point can never be over stressed; take your product to Will they want this App, is it useful? - The all-important question.market early, get user feedback. However, make sure you By getting a working model out into the hands of the people whodon’t distort the vision you set at the beginning. Keep matter most; the end users, you will be able to eliminate a greatasking the question; will this help achieve the ultimate goal? deal of uncertainty. Almost 99% of the time a new App concept fills a void and is useful. There may be certain tweaks that will need to happen from thePut a team together, get their buy-in initial release but it would rarely be rendered useless. The key willHaving a working product will help you better understand be in identifying exactly what the market wants.what type of team you will need to make the product or Generate Investmentapplication a success. Whether it’s an internal application ora software product, giving your team something they can People invest in businesses they understand. For Startups,believe in and can work towards will make a significant having a working product which can be demonstrated in its naturalimpact. environment is going to be a significant resource in this endeavor. 8
  9. 9. Real life stories To see how an approach like this is being used to achieve business goals, visit our websiteAbout Sabre TechnologiesSabre Technologies is a software services provider for ISVs, Startups and Technology driven Businesses. We specialize in Cloudand Mobility Technologies, helping our clients build and deliver powerful, innovative applications that enhance their competitiveposition and differentiation in the marketplace.Our FastBuild approach delivers a working model of a product or business application concept in just 90 days. Through our productblueprinting process, we ensure that the business and technical needs get crystallized while setting up a platform for long-termproduct scalability and evolution. Our work is governed by a CMMI certified process, delivering superior quality and ensuring clientsatisfaction.Talk to us to find out how an approach such as FastBuild can help your Product or Application developmentventure. contact@sabretch.com Sabre Technologies Contact Us 752 Orion IT Park Email: contact@sabretch.com Colombo 09 Tel: + 94114768800 Sri Lanka www.sabretch.com