The Software Development Cycle and How It Is Implemented

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Software development has become a lot more popular than it was some years back.  Different solutions can now be provided through custom software and pre-made software applications.  This has also resulted in the springing up of several software development companies.  At Phoenix Consultants Group, we pride ourselves as being one of the best software developers.  Our software solutions are strategically designed and intended to adequately meet the business solutions for which they were created.  One unique way of identifying the right software developer is by thoroughly going through its processes and cycles. Phoenix Consultant Group has designed a software development cycle that involves every client on a level that provides a detailed view of what is to come once they decide to work with us.

The Software Development Cycle Laid Out

First of all, the concept of the project must be introduced.  This may depend on the solution the software intends to provide and the experience of the client.  In cases where a client is not fully knowledgable, you do not need to worry because Phoenix Consultants Group is one of the most experienced software development companies with an impressive and wide customer base from different businesses and sectors.  The clients can either bring up their concepts or have Phoenix Consultants Group do that for them.

With the concepts in place agreed by both parties, there will be a deliberate and articulate planning process to document the project scope.  This is then followed by a more detailed project plan that brings out every element or factor needed for the actual software development.  Also during at this stage is a meeting between the client review team and Phoenix Consultant Group to provide an understanding of what is being done and gain approval.  This is to always ensure that we keep the client aware of any and all development needs so that the right software solutions are delivered and demands are satisfied.  If changes or modifications are required, they are taken seriously and we swing into swift action to apply them as soon as possible.  Even after corrections and modifications are made, we still ensure that the client understands and approves them before proper work and testing begins.

After an agreement is made between the client and Phoenix Consultants Group, technical specifications are drawn out for the project.  We use some of the best equipment and have some of the most efficient collections of software development tools and applications.  The main job of programming and development comes up right after the technical specifications have been drawn out.  This is where the main crux of the software development cycle occurs.  However, this process is made even simpler by the detailed steps outlined above.  One aspect where most software developers fail is in the testing of the final product.  We pay attention to this step just as we do other steps of the software development cycle.  We put our developed software through beta testing and ensure that every feature functions perfectly before the final product is delivered to the client.

Our software development cycle was designed to provide a fast and effective way of ensuring that tasks are completed and involve the client as much as possible throughout the process.  Furthermore, Phoenix Consultant Group ensures that every crucial step is taken and that the details are laid out clearly and understandably so that both parties know where the project lies at all times.

Expert Custom Application Development

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Expert Custom Application DevelopmentInnovation in science and technology plays a major role in our everyday lives. The choices we make, and the way we choose to live, are strongly influenced by technological advancements. In business, custom application development technology has the ability to reduce time, money, and the manpower required for simple, complex, and time-consuming tasks alike. The manner and way we conduct business has changed a great deal as people can initiate and conclude tasks, with far less need to do the manual calculations, inputting and other processes.

The world of business is competitive, and there is a need for fresh ideas and innovations to remain relevant.  Different marketing strategies are being sought to beat off competition and technology has proven in many cases to give businesses the much-needed edge.  Custom application development has enabled thousands of businesses to achieve their goals and maximize profits.

Custom Software Means that It's Made for You

The advantages of utilizing custom software to improve business efficiency are numerous.  These advantages are further multiplied when a custom application is used to target the exact functional requirements of the business.  Developing a customized application can be a daunting task, especially with so many companies claiming to be specialists in everything.  However, getting the right company for custom applications can be simplified if a few factors are taken into consideration.

It is important to note that custom application development is not just a technical skill; it requires business skills and industry knowledge as well.  A good development company will sit down with their client to understand the requirements as exact as possible.  They will draw upon their technical, industrial, prior projects and business knowledge to suggest how the application can not only meet business needs, but also improve processes and efficiency.  The functional requirements developed will then be translated into business requirements before the job begins.  Too many companies negate the crucial first steps of defining the business needs.

The effects of an under-performing customized application can cost a business time and money--commodities too precious to waste. Many companies have gone through a costly development process, ended up dissatisfied, and reverted to their former bad processes due to the inoperability of their “custom application”.  On the other hand, a well-functioning custom software application can grow business beyond current company expectations.  In realization of the complexities involved in custom application development, it is important that the right software development firm is chosen to meet and program your needs.  Some people even believe that getting the right team is solving half of your problem.

An experienced company is preferred when dealing with custom application development; because of their work on previous projects, they will add increased value to your business.  Their track record also goes a long way to demonstrate their success and can instill confidence through the process.  A company with diverse specialties and expertise in different languages, sectors and platforms will ensure that you get a solution that truly suits your needs.  A qualified custom software company should have a deep knowledge of all the intricacies of applications.  They should be able to innovate and create, not just clone your business solutions from elsewhere.

Phoenix Consultant Group is the firm for many of your direct custom software application needs.  They have some of the best experts in application development and internet working. With over twenty-five years’ of combined software development experience, they have served diverse businesses from all over the world.  With over five hundred completed projects, they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are capable and qualified in custom application development.

Data Collection and Management - A Must for a Smart Business

(Reading time: 1 minute)

Developing an application that effectively collects and manages data should be easy but it is harder than it sounds. Data collection and management requires good design of both the application that is collecting the data and the database that is storing the data. Too often either one - or both - is overlooked.

Further complicating matters, it is common to collect a significant amount of data from employees in the field through PDAs, cell phones and disconnected laptops. Security and synchronization are just two critical items that must be considered before building a data collection system. Phoenix Consultants Group has been building mobile collection devices and data collection portals for over a decade. 

Phoenix Consultants Group has the depth of skill and an in-house development team to design, develop and deploy all the parts of an effective data collection system including a Web interface (or smart client), database and mobile application. We have experience in compact databases, synchronization of mobile databases and data collection from various sources and data feeds. 

Writing Business Requirements - Important Steps for Success

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)



databasesWriting Business Requirements is a vital part of any development effort. Most individuals would rather skip this step, but in the long run, those folks generally find out that they have to do the leg work either on the front end, or all during the project.
A set of well defined Business Requirements rarely produce a bad product. If time and effort is taken, you can have an excellent document that is well thought out, organized and informs your I.T. department on what you desire to be developed. Below, there are several key rules in writing a business requirement and specification.

Define Roles and Responsibilities: Defining Core Roles and Responsibilities will ultimately be one of the most important success factors of the project. A good mix of good managers and workers consists of many factors. To begin with, a clear and concise list of who the key players are and the organization that they will be managing will be a good starting point for kicking off a successful project. 

Define Core Purpose and Business Objectives: The current business objectives and core purpose of the project can many times get lost in all the details. A clear focus can be obtained by providing a clear and concise business objective statement. Start with a simple outline of your objectives.  Consistently references to the core purpose can simplify many issues and consolidate decisions that can get bogged down.

Writing a Business Requirements: Many times when writing a Business Requirement, information overload occurs. A balance of concise facts versus background information and history can eliminate many wasted hours of reading and deciphering a large document. A listing of principles below will help your group facilitate a clear, concise and most importantly a useful set of facts that will get the Core Purpose and Objectives accomplished.

Keep rules in a table structure by using Excel or a spreadsheet. If the rule can not be stated in 3 sentences, it should be broken into more than 1 rule Don't use a dictionary to define your requirements. Simple, plain terminology will enable a more effective method of communication.

Keep it Simple. This basic principal can help keep the majority of confusion down on writing a business spec. Start with an Outline. A reasonable outline will help focus those individuals writing the Business Requirements. Core Areas should be identified first, and subsequently organized in a manner that addresses each area effected by the project.

Keep charts clear and easily read. This will help facilitate a focal point for most of the major points within the Business Requirement. Pictures that are easily understandable will help place a framework on your Business Process Flow.

Answer these basic questions first:

  • What are the current Legal Requirements?
  • What are the current Business Policies?
  • How are we currently conducting our Business?
  • What is the Business Process Flow?
  • What Automated Systems are now in place?
  • What shortcomings and failures are in the current systems?
  • What enhancements should be considered for the New Project?

Remember, concise information can eliminate wasted time, and non productive discussions.

 

Product Development Cycle - Critical for Custom Software

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Phoenix Consultants Group continues to develop highly structured applications for many different business arenas. Planning and communication is the key to any project. At Phoenix, we strive to ensure that we have a complete understanding not only of your project, but the business requirements of your custom business software. 

One of the most important considerations that a business makes is who to hire for programming a custom software application or custom website.  Claiming to be a software developer does not make one a quality developer.  Companies must carefully review the developer based upon a proven Development Cycle Plan and the successful outcomes of previous projects.

Phoenix Consultants Group consistently follows through on a proven success plan.  The following development cycle has been defined and utilized by Phoenix Consultants Group with all of our successful clients. 

The process was designed by Allison Woolbert as a time saving simplified development cycle that enhances the ability for the Client and PCG to quickly and in the most efficient manner possible develop a custom software application.  Today, the software development cycle that was pioneered by PCG is in use in companies all over the world that develop software . Invariably, when companies deviate from the plan, and attempt to shortcut the process to save money, the project has delays, or the scope of the project is expanded with unknown results.


The publlished article Planning Before Panic - Crisis Management by our CEO, Allison Woolbert details out the dedicated effort that we provide for each of our projects, even when unexpected issues arise.  Guiding you with expert advices such as the Writing and Maintenance of Business Requirements enhances your ability to achieve your projects success..  Both articles display the effective plans that Phoenix Consultants Group utilizes in the development of your custom software application

Forms Design - Critical Building Blocks in Custom Software

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Form Design is one of the most critical elements in designing custom software. Improper layout of a form can cost hours of unproductive work for your staff.  With 25 years of experience designing quality human interface forms, Phoenix Consultants Group knows exactly how to design a form to create the most efficient management of your data including streamlining the input process. Laying out the data on a form takes special consideration of the kind of form being utilized. In many cases, Phoenix creates a form that shows primary data with sub-forms that allow for easy management of large data quantities.

Experience is critical when it comes down to making user flow designed forms.   Even one field out of order can cost you time and money leading to further frustration of your workers.  Phoenix Consultants Group has designed thousands of forms, so we know exactly how to lay out data in the most productive methodologies. After consulting with your staff on existing processes, we work with you to determine optimum functionality and design to allow your workers to complete the job quickly and efficiently. 

To give you an idea of our productive expertise, here are some types of forms we have designed over the years:

  • Tracking inventory and/or specialty items
  • Consolidating information
  • Scheduling equipment, personnel, deliveries and more
  • Optimizing your workflow and process flow
  • Eliminating repetitive tasks in data entry on multiple systems
  • Integrating your software
  • Creating middle-ware components to link multiple systems together
  • Automation of manual tasks

Features to look for in well designed forms :

  • "User Friendly" - designed for the client from beginner to sophisticated specialist
  • Protect your data from inadvertent deletion or edit errors
  • Provide log-in capabilities to control access to specified data for diverse users
  • Maximize ease of data entry
  • Reduce/eliminate duplication

We guide you through determining what features will provide optimum efficiency for both data entry and retrieval

phoenix consultants group 25 years

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