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How to specify requirements for IT systems and applications?

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The purchase of an IT system for a company is a very important decision that has many long-term consequences. To take the right steps, you should carefully prepare for the proper software selection process in advance. After joint arrangements with the application provider and creating the final brief, we will receive a final tailor-made offer.

From our entry you will learn:

Below we present the most important advice regarding two stages allowing for the preparation of the final offer by the IT solution provider. These are:

1) the stage of sending the inquiry

2) preparing a brief in cooperation with a sales specialist


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Do I need to know all the details before sending a request for an application?

You don’t have to know all the details at the inquiry stage. Proper application development begins with pre-implementation analysis with our experts, during which all aspects are discussed in as much detail as possible.

It is good, however, to send an inquiry where you are able (at least in general) to outline the necessary functionalities of the system and indicate the type of technology to be used during the implementation of the project. At the stage of preparing the inquiry, meetings within the organization with the participation of employees/teams covered by the future operation of the system and the IT department (e.g. brainstorming) are helpful. It is worth appointing a project manager and indicating other people from your company who will be responsible for running the project. If the initiative to introduce a new IT solution is bottom-up, the involvement of decision-makers at this stage may be crucial for the reality of carrying out the project in the company.





What components should the brief consist of and what should the brief contain

The brief should describe the basic assumptions about the application. The main components we include in the brief are:

Determining the type of application: the type of application is crucial and determines the solution architecture in many aspects.

The main types of business applications are:
– B2B (business-to-business)
– B2C (business-to-client)
– enterprise (application supporting internal work at the client; in this case, the area of ​​software operation must be specified)

Technology: due to a large number of solutions on the market, it is important that the technology is defined at the very beginning of the project. Very often it results from the preferences of your IT team or your existing infrastructure. When preparing the brief, we will also jointly decide on which devices the application must work (smartphone, computer, tablet, touch screen, etc.), which also affects the choice of technology.

Documentation/list of requirements: this section should include your expectations regarding the functionality of the application as fully as possible. The list of desirable functionalities developed by your company will also be evidence of the needs awareness and determination of their service by the system. The list of application requirements makes it easier to make an initial valuation and determine whether ready-made applications available on the market meet your expectations or whether it will be better to create a dedicated application.

The need for data integration:an important element of the brief is to indicate the possible need for integration with other systems used in your company so far. In this case, specify the interface type, data synchronization method and frequency, and use the integration bus for more systems.

Budget and implementation deadline: abudgeted project for which a deadline has been set demonstrates the feasibility of completing the project in accordance with the assumed time frame.






How to prepare a brief to help you evaluate the application

The brief should be prepared based on at least one of our meetings, during which the needs of your company will be discussed. It is best to work on the basis of existing documentation prepared by your company, in which you will post information about your requirements.

One person or substantive team should be involved in creating the brief from your company. For our part, we guarantee the care of a sales specialist, and in the case of technical inquiries, we also offer analyst support. Based on the brief, the application is priced by a sales specialist and project manager. Then the full offer with information about costs goes to you.

It is also worth emphasizing that the implementation of projects at Kotrak S.A. is based on agile management methodologies (AGILE), which means that in monthly periods the progress of implementation is jointly verified by us. The goal of such action is to best adapt the created solution to the needs of your company, which is also associated with the fact that the original assumptions of the project may undergo significant changes during the course of planning. It’s a natural process.


evaluate the application




How accurate a brief should be for the initial valuation of the project

It is difficult to clearly describe and rigidly define the degree of brief accuracy. To make only a preliminary project quote, we must have a general list of your company’s requirements at the very least. It should be noted, however, that the more detailed your expectations are or will be determined on the basis of an analytical meeting with us, the better. The elements related to the budget and deadline are less important from the point of preparation of the initial valuation alone.

The entry was prepared in cooperation with Piotr Bargieł.

(Read more: What is Agile Scrum and why should you use it when designing IT systems?.)

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