Devot Logo
Devot Logo
Arrow leftBack to blogs

How to Start a Successful Development Project?

Matej D.6 min readDec 24, 2021Business & Life
How to Start a Successful Development Project?

Don't rush things that need time to grow. This saying can be applied to many areas of life, but we find it especially true in project development.

Our experience taught us that clients are often inclined to rush when it comes to a project they've been planning – sometimes because of deadlines, but more often out of impatience or lack of understanding.

Fast is not always the best.

As a development company, we've encountered quite a few situations in which clients wanted to patch together a team and start developing their project as fast as possible – which resulted in missed deadlines, substandard products, and a very frustrated development team because requirements were not set clearly enough.

That's why, at Devōt, we want to educate our clients about the importance of project preparation. When it comes to a complex project, the more time and resources you put forth, the more likely you will succeed.

Our biggest goal is not to wrap up the project as quickly as possible but to deliver a successful project and make our clients happy. We offer a full service in project development, which includes supporting our clients with professional guidance every step of the way.

How to avoid missed deadlines and substandard products?

We prefer to do things a bit differently – by strongly focusing on preparation and constant follow-up during the execution.

Our primary tool in the preparation process is the project discovery phase itself. This crucial step helps shape and guide the course of the project, assemble the right team for the job, ensure the great performance of the team, as well as deliver the project on time and within the defined budget.

Project paths

Every great project needs a great start.

In our experience, clients are often overwhelmed with excitement about their new project idea – which is not a bad thing. Still, it can interfere with proper definition and planning, if the client starts to rush the process.

That's why a proper Project Discovery Workshop is necessary to kick start the project successfully and precisely determine its direction. Doing so saves everyone valuable time and resources in the long run.

We know what we want to build, just give us five developers – we've heard this sentence one too many times, and the scenario always ends up being similar: the development team waits around for weeks, or even worse – they start developing the project, but requirements keep on changing, which forces them to repeat steps of development and literally waste time. This is why we implemented the Project Discovery Workshop – to determine the direction of the project more precisely and save valuable resources in the long run.

How do million-dollar ideas come to life?

Every now and then, we all have a million-dollar idea, a plan with huge potential; but we often lack the courage to follow through. We keep getting discouraged because the failure-to-success ratio is too high – but it should not keep you from bringing your idea to life.

There are no guarantees that your idea will succeed, but there are a couple of key steps you can take in the preparation process to put the odds in your favor.

Ideas

Product discovery

One of the most critical aspects of every project is getting the specifications correct in the product discovery phase. During this process, we work with the client to define the project's main focus and the sub-goals we aim to achieve. That information is documented in the project charter – a document we can keep referring to as the project progresses.

One of the most common issues people are often unaware of is the total scope of the project. Therefore, a mutual understanding between the client and the development team of every specification should be clearly defined.

During the product discovery phase, professional support is incredibly valuable. A highly experienced team can help guide your project, simplify it or change the approach if necessary. Your discovery workshop should answer some key questions.

Creating detailed project documentation and specification during the Discovery phase doesn't mean we are swerving from Agile development - it just means we understand and emphasize the importance of adequate preparation. Our goal is always to plan a couple of months in advance, and repeat the Discovery process every few months – this is what makes the project agile and enables us to implement changes quickly, all while keeping the project, scope, and budget under control.

Project plan

Once we've defined the project's scope, the next step is project planning. To start, you need to divide project goals into tasks, set a timeline, and determine what characteristics your team members should have to deliver the project successfully.

If the team members' roles are unclear, it is probably because goals and tasks are not defined correctly during project planning.

It is crucial to stay level-headed and realistic during this phase. To ensure you have effective teams during the later development phase, you need to be smart about resource management. JIRA is a great project management tool we recommend to define your project's goals and tasks.

Since we work in an Agile environment, it is essential that the client agrees with our specific approach. A special characteristic of our approach is delivery in small increments throughout the project. This way, the client can see the results much faster, allowing them to follow the progress and make necessary adjustments.

If you need our support during the project planning phase, check out our discovery workshop page.

Building a team

Choosing the right tool for the job is important, but selecting the right people is even more important.

Blindly picking developers for projects can doom it from the beginning, while those that are hand-picked have set themselves up for success. Often, software development companies already have a ready-to-work team made up of pure specialists with more in-depth skills to offer.

Assembling the right team for a project is not always easy, but having a defined project scope is of great help. During this phase, communication is usually led by project managers, and they are the ones that set the tone and frequency of communication with team members.

Execute

We call this the Let's go! phase because every piece of the puzzle is finally in place, and the show can begin!

After defining the project scope, planning the roadmap, and assembling the team, we are ready to start developing your project. We will keep you updated with the most current status and plans for future steps. That way you can check if the project is progressing in the desired direction and react before it's too late (or too expensive) to make significant changes.

Project Discovery

Recalculating

Even the most thought-out project sometimes requires a change in direction, especially in Agile development. Some of the changes pertain to the project's scope, while others require a different path regarding the project goals.

Just like your car's GPS recalculates your route, your project management team can do the same if you decide to change the path or take a different course. If the client wants to change route mid-project, we can organize another project discovery to get back on track without losing momentum.

Finalize

The project is complete, and it's time to recap. Every successfully finished project is an opportunity to learn something and gather valuable experience for the future; that's why we highly recommend taking notes about all of the positive and negative aspects of the finished project.

Transforming projects from idea to successful implementation is not an easy job, even for an experienced team. We always take it as a huge opportunity to learn and create something new and valuable.

Don't forget that preparation is crucial in every project, but communication is just as important. At this point, the project begins a new journey - the market launch!

If you have a project and you’re looking for a reliable partner, contact us, and we’ll see how we can bring your idea to life.

KEEP READINGSimilar blogs for further insights
Checklist for Software Development Best Practices
Business & Life
Tina Lj.8 min readMay 10, 2024
Checklist for Software Development Best PracticesLet’s look into some of the best software development practices that you can apply to your business.
Avoid These 10 Mistakes in Planning Software Development, and You'll Get a Perfect Project Plan
Business & Life
Tina Lj.6 min readMay 6, 2024
Avoid These 10 Mistakes in Planning Software Development, and You'll Get a Perfect Project Plan So you don't end up on lists like 'Project Failures That Stunned the World,' we've compiled a list of 10 mistakes to avoid for a perfect project plan.