Business needs vs product development: How to connect business with IT
We often participate in a discussion with clients who have a very specific vision of how their final product should look like. While it’s good to know your expectations and be able to present them, it’s sometimes very difficult to connect business needs with IT capabilities. Many think that when it comes to technology only the sky is the limit, but certain ideas of how things will work in a product in connection with the required timeframe and the initial budget – are just impossible.
The reason why we create this article is to spread awareness of how important it is to analyze the idea before entering the app development phase. We, of course, are always ready to help you verify your product strategy while supporting your growth from the technical side.
How to connect business needs with IT
In other words, how to reconcile your vision with the real technical possibilities.
Start with a solid business analysis
From the developer’s point of view, solid business analysis is key. Developers will be responsible for coding the mechanism so they need to have an in-depth understanding of the idea behind it. During the discussion, they can notice when a given functionality is problematic or would take more time to be implemented. They can also suggest a better solution to implement a given feature.
We do exploratory meetings, the discovery phase, and many other funny-named stages before the actual product development starts. Why so? To collect as much valuable and relevant to our team information about the product. It is at this stage that we are able to correctly identify the goals of the project and notice some inconsistencies – if there are any.
As soon as we identify every potential risk and match the level of complexity to the real time of development, the better for the project.
Next focus on UX & prototyping
Even a bold idea gets quickly verified when put in the UX analysis. It’s because, at the end of the day, it’s the users who will buy and use a product, not a client. That’s why when business needs and client desires are met but the level of user experience is neglected, the final result will only satisfy the client. UX analysis is to get to know users’ needs regarding the product.
Creating product prototypes (MVPs) is what saves most of the good business ideas. Yes, that’s right – saves. Because one may have a brilliant idea for a business and at the same time have no idea how to effectively convert it into a product. By prioritizing features to build the first version of an app, a client may see how it works in real life and improve it before the official release.
Get to know your target audience
We’ve mentioned it previously but it’s really important to understand who’s going to use the app afterward. To whom are those fancy features designed and are they really that necessary for the project to be completed? Everything you put into the product should be there for a purpose. And every purpose should be validated and measured through building MVPs and performing UX analysis.
It is the simplest method to connect business needs with IT capabilities. Focus on whether the feature you want to implement is necessary for the user or rather it is for you to be happy.
Just to make it clear
It doesn’t mean a client can’t have its own plan for a product from A to Z. We just want to show you that certain ideas for product functionalities need to be discussed early on. The business analysis is to discuss the project before we enter into the app development phase. Everything that we are able to spot right away is what reduces the final costs of a project. On the other hand, if a client is aware that a given feature takes time to be implemented and still is confident about his choice then let’s do it!
Can’t be done without a good level of communication
Lastly, communication. Here we suggest you read about our best communication practices that lead any IT project to success. Being transparent and listening to each other is what builds a bridge between a client and the development team. The atmosphere allows for free discussions about the aim of the product and sharing different perspectives about potential improvements.
Having said that, the last thing that will help you connect your product vision with the real technical possibilities is the ability to express your needs but being open to someone’s ideas.