Post | You Have an Idea. What Next? How to build your roadmap before embarking on a software development journey

Nov 24, 2020

by The [e-spres-oh] Team

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Consider this your confirmation email congratulating you for your recent ticket purchase to the next stage of your business idea. Unless you've chosen your destination after you've blindly put your finger on the map, you know exactly what's your last stop. And you've embarked on this journey with enough thrill and curiousness for what's next. But let's get back to software. 

Like any other journey, in the software development journey, there are a lot of unknowns. But with an open mind and a profound analysis of what made you chose this path, you're in for quite an adventure.

First stop: The Business Plan

To make sure you're off to a smooth start, we’ve prepared some questions to help you build the roadmap that will keep your business idea on the right track:

Key questions to answers before embarking on the software development journey:

What’s the general overview of your product?

  • Idea and market overview.

  • What is the stage of your product?

What is the purpose of your product? 

  • What value does it bring to the market?

  • List one or two main needs that your product addresses.

Who are your customers?

  • What’s the ideal customer profile?

  • How will your customers learn about your product?

How will users interact with your product?

  • What are their online habits?

  • What action would you like your users to take?

Are there any specific requirements?

  • List any opportunities/limitations, or that might influence product development.

  • Describe your vision of the user journey.

What are the key challenges?

  • List the main weaknesses of your area of business.

  • What can go wrong along the way?

What’s your budget for the first stage of product development?

  • What is your investment/fundraising strategy?

  • What are your main expectations of the minimum viable product?

What is the long-term vision of your business?

  • Areas of opportunities to grow your business.

  • Where do you see your product in the following years?

Second stop: The Discovery Phase

Now that you’ve reached the business plan milestone, be sure to invite a tech-savvy friend to guide you along the way. The next stop: the development phase. Which starts with a Discovery Phase. This exploratory phase, as its name fairly suggests, is all about uncovering. 

With the help of The Discovery Team - composed of business analysts, product engineers, and UI/UX designers -  you will break things down through research and get the big picture of the product development process through:

  • Business Model Canvas;

  • user flow diagrams;

  • design sprints;

  • a market and competitive landscape analysis.

Key questions your technology partner will answer after the Discovery Phase:

  • What to expect from the product development process?

  • What are the recommended technologies to build your product?

  • Are the opportunities & limitations in the product development process?

  • What are the Software Requirements Specifications (SRS)?

  • What’s the product roadmap to follow?

  • What will the interactive prototype look like?

  • What are the team staffing requirements?

  • What's the estimated budget & timeline for the MVP?

Ready for the Next Stop? The Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

If you’ve gotten this far, you've already gotten the taste of the sophisticated software development world. At this stage, we can’t blame you if it’s hard to inch away from the next stop: the minimum viable product or MVP. It’s the pilot implementation of your product. A subset of your product tailored to perfection. It’s launching the first stage of your idea into the world.

Although there’s more to it than this brief description, we will say this: the MVP is a great way to help you attract investors and gather funds for further development. It’s the opposite of your return ticket to where you started. It’s also a great way to learn if your idea has legs.

If you are looking for an adventure, the digital world always delivers. With this guide at hand, it’s almost impossible to get lost. Maybe you’re only researching, and other roadblocks are holding you back. Or maybe you have a detailed itinerary of the digital landmarks you want to check off your list. Or perhaps, the above just sparked the interest to explore further, step by step, and learn what the future has in store. We don’t have the answer to that, but we do have an overflowing curiosity for all things tech, a daring spirit you can count on, and quite some miles in our portfolio. We can’t wait to learn more about your idea.


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Discovery Phase

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