Why review existing software before you start?
Well the simple answer is – because we need to learn and understand what has come before, in order to then either build upon it, or essentially knock it down and start again.
So before we ever touch a single line of code, we spend the time understanding it from a user perspective, from a code perspective (what languages it has been written in and how it works), and then from a hosting and setup point of view.
We then write up our findings, and detail what we deem to be business critical (so things that could fall down the second we start making any changes, or things that aren’t currently up to scratch from a security and data protection point of view). From there, we add to the list anything else that we find, in order of priority based upon quality of code and nice to haves.
Then with the client themselves, we would work through the different items listed, along with estimated timeframes, and include any further items that they would like us to look at, eg, new features and functionality. What skill sets would be required to complete the different areas, is also included.
This then helps us to form a product roadmap, which depending upon the size of the project, could amount to project work totalling anything up to a year. Allowing us to plan the software development process effectively, including resource needed and therefore what costs should be factored in.
The product roadmap is often done online so that it makes it really easy for us to manage the development work, and any change requests that come up over the course of time. As a roadmap, although there to provide structure etc, needs to be flexible / agile, so that it can adapt to the needs of the business as it grows and develops, and allowing us to see past history and new for reporting purposes over time.
In conclusion, a software review and a product roadmap help us to assess, develop and maintain existing software applications to the highest possible standards, minimising the chances of downtime, and increasing the chances of having very happy end users!
If you have any further questions about software reviews, or would like to get in touch because you would like us to look at a project with you, please do get in touch on +44 (0) 800 774 7306 or by filling out our enquiry form here.