Role of A Customer in Software Development Projects :-

Credits : Customerthink

Suppose you go to a tailoring shop to purchase a 3-piece suit. The tailor will ask you to choose the fabric. Then he will take your measurements. You will be given options on the various specifics of what you would like on your suit. For e.g.: number of pockets, buttons, their shape, their, and other paraphernalia. After this rigorous process, he will provide you with a date for trial. He does this in order to make sure what he tailors fits perfectly on you. Then comes the delivery date where you get your finished product i.e. the suit.
Analyzing the aforementioned we derive that the role of the customer is obligatory in almost every step of the process. Similar is the requirement when a customer goes on to purchase custom developed software. The software development companies in the USA hire website designers to meet the requirement of the customers. They are tailors in this case. What the customer wishes for, the developers will tailor accordingly. Customer Software development is not a one-stop shop. The customer has to be an active participant in the development process.

An Adequate amount of requirements:

To the common eye, this may seem to be a very easy job. But it is completely the opposite. Simple economics says that there are no boundaries to desires/wants. Hence the website development services company should minutely understand every requirement of the customer. In view of the above process, there are some details stated below for a better understanding:

Outline of the project:

After a customer makes contact with one of the software development companies in the USA regarding the development of software, the evaluators of the software company reach out to the customer in person. They try to analyze the business structure of the customer and then after evaluation proposes the software requirements that are desired by him. Only after the customer gives the go-ahead, is the project taken any further.
In this stage, if the customer doesn’t provide enough attention to the on-going process, then there are chances of things going south later on. If errors happen to creep out in such a preliminary stage, then it may lead to overhead costs, delayed delivery or worse pull-outs.

Detailed introspection:

Here the customer must show the developer his foresight. Whether be it in person or on paper. He needs to explain to the developers why he in dire need of software application. It is useful if the customer makes detailed documentation of his foresight.

• In this documentation, he is first required to speak about what’s and whys’.
• His analysis of his basic business structure, the services he provides, the achievements, the pitfalls.
• What he is wanting out of the software?
• An outline of the basic features he would like to see in the software.
• The advantages/profits he foresees after implementation of the software.

If the customer has a team of technical professionals in his/her company who are well-versed and sharped-eyed on what is required, then it will be better for them to prepare the documentation. The reason being that they are the first 

responders to any problem that is persisting in the customer’s company. Hence they will be able to provide a better outlook on what is necessarily required.

Management introspection:

Every educational course has a vision and outcome. Similar is the case for every company out there. The customer is required to lay down the outcomes of his organization to the custom website development services providing company. He has to show the developers what he intends to give back to his consumers. In order to fulfill all the above process, much introspection is required in the root level i.e. meetings with the employees. They are the ones who will be able to give a more detailed analysis of the problems and also give their take on how they need to be fixed. Though this collaboration with the customer’s employees is a relatively time-consuming process, the result of such intricate details is worthwhile.

Clarity:

Developers may not get the right answers or rather clarity in answers from the company owner. It is very necessary to clear arising doubts by the customer as far as Customer Software development goes. The developers should turn to people who have the ability to clear out their doubts. The more transparent the answers, the fewer obstacles there will be in the development process.

Assessment:

After the vigorous question and answer round, the software company which hires website designers to start to begin with the work. They provide a timeline to the customer. During this timeline, the developers deliver many prototype models to the customer for their assessment and review. They make the customer go through various technical elements of the whole process and ask for an evaluation. With every small review of the customer, they inch towards the completion of the project. Active participation of the customer in this thorough process makes the product meaningful.

On the contrary, if the customer decides to not go through all the technicalities then it becomes a serious problem. The developers go ahead with whatever assessment is made and hence it may lead to an unsuccessful project. This causes an increase in costs and timeline. It is because the developers again have to redo the work correcting the errors and mistakes which have been made in the end product due to the negligence of the customer.

Supervising the budget:

Another major role of the customer is to look over the money he is spending on the development of the software. Generally, these go into millions. Hence it is his duty to keep a track of how efficiently the money is being spent on the development of the software. A little too negligence will cost you millions of dollars.

Conclusion:

Risk undoubtedly comes inclusive in the software development business. But one must have the capability to see it through to the end. The key to the development business is Focus and Attention. The customer must indulge himself into the development process and keep a close watch on every technical element that unfolds.

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