In the world of software development, turning an idea into a fully-functional product can be a challenging journey. From sketching the initial concept to launching the final product, there are many stages and decisions to be made. At Fathom, we excel at napkin-to-launch projects, we will take you through the process of bringing a software project from the napkin stage to its successful launch.
Typically our napkin-to-launch projects are broken down into the following areas:
Ideation and Planning
The first step is to brainstorm and sketch out the basic idea of the software project. This stage is often referred to as the "napkin stage" because the initial concepts are often jotted down on a napkin or a piece of paper. During this stage, it is important to define the project's goals and objectives, and to identify the target audience and their needs. This is where we really listen to you. We try to understand what your intent is try to establish dotted lines connecting your vision to an actual software product.
Requirements Gathering and Analysis
Once the initial concept is defined, the next step is to gather the detailed requirements for the project. This involves conducting market research, competitor analysis, and gathering feedback from potential customers. The gathered information is then analyzed to determine the features and functionalities needed to meet the project's goals and objectives. This is where we really dive deep into understanding what features constitute the ideal product. Expect rampant whiteboarding!
Design and Development of the MVP
After the requirements are gathered and analyzed, the next step is to design and develop the software. This stage involves creating wireframes, prototypes, and finally the actual software. During this stage, it is important to ensure that the software is user-friendly, accessible, and meets all the functional requirements. At Fathom, we break this process into two steps. One is architecture and design, and the second one is UI/UX design. While the latter drives the former, the idea is to move as much in parallel as possible to minimise time to market. The overall intent is to build a Minimum Viable Product that can make it to the market sooner, so that the business can start learning how the product is being received.
Testing and Quality Assurance
Before, during and after the launch of the MVP, it is crucial to test it thoroughly to identify and fix any bugs or issues. This process involves conducting various types of testing, such as unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing. The purpose of this stage is to ensure that the software is of high quality and ready for launch. At Fathom we take immense pride in have a very robust and an established QA practice. This is not just limited to functional and technical testing, but we also plan and execute automated tests to determine limits of the application under load.
Deployment and Launch
After the software is tested and any issues are fixed, the final step is to deploy and launch the software. This involves installing the software on the target system, configuring the necessary settings, and making it available to the end-users.This may seem like one step, but really is an activity spread across a length of time. A newly launched product evolves quickly in terms of product market fit and its feature maturity, and we work closely with our clients as this is achieved. Post launch, we then work together to make fast changes to the product to respond to the market, measure feedback, and iterate again, over and over with the goal being that we mature the product as soon as possible.
To summarise, bringing a software project from the napkin stage to its successful launch is a long and challenging journey. However, when you work with us, we really help you increase chances of success. By focusing on planning, gathering requirements, designing and developing a quality product, testing thoroughly, and deploying and launching the software, we really help you bring your software product from an idea on a napkin to a fully-functional product in the hands of your customers.