min read ·
May 27, 2021

The Process of Building Custom Software - A Walkthrough

Off-the-shelf software can benefit your organisation because it is cheaper, readily available, and has more functionality. However, if it cannot address your users’ unique needs, you may consider creating custom software. It is usually developed for specific users by a third-party or in-house group of software developers.

Off-the-shelf vs. custom software illustration

While custom software is typically more expensive than an out-of-the-box solution, custom solutions ensure features and functionality with your organisation’s needs in mind. As a result, you can increase your productivity and eventually scale your business. To get started in building custom software, here are the steps you need to take:

1. Define your process and needs

The first thing you need to do is determine your current process, expectations, and verifiable success. You have to ask subject-matter experts who handle the work daily, ask why you want to make the necessary changes and sketch out workflows that the software is designed to support. Doing this will help you ensure a smooth project management process. 

2. Work with the right people

It’s tempting to handle every process involved in custom software development in-house to save money, especially if you are starting out in product development. But working with your own IT team for this purpose has disadvantages. 

For instance, it could cause slowdowns for your operations because they already have responsibilities and daily work they have to accomplish. They may also not be trained or experienced in this line of work.

To ensure you work with the right people, outsourcing this task makes the most sense. Consider working with teams who successfully designed other customer software or hiring a software engineering or development company.

3. Create a realistic plan 

Your team should include developers, subject-matter experts, and a product owner who will direct and oversee the project. Once you determine the right people you want to work with, create a realistic plan together. 

To keep the project on track, set specific deadlines. For instance, there must be different stages to be completed at a particular time and budget. Make changes to your planned timeline or budget when necessary.

4. Test your software

There should be two levels of testing before implementing the new software. Technical testing has to be performed by IT professionals and software developers to ensure every element is working. In contrast, user testing needs to be conducted by beta users to see if the software works as it should.

5. Document the process

Each stage of software development and implementation has to be documented. You should have project plan documents containing all the team members, roles and responsibilities, set dates, and expectations for the project. It also must include the following:

  • Test plan
  • Checklist 
  • Statement of scope 
  • Implementation plan 
  • Training plan 
  • Detailed user documentation


Developing custom software allows your organisation to use technology to address unique issues in your company. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your custom solutions are right for you, and you can implement them in a way that supports and advances your business’s growth.

If you need custom software development services, reach out to Fabric Group. We create custom digital platforms that help generate your maximum business value using analysis, design, quality automation, and development. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you!


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