Need SME business software but don’t know where to start? Start here.

As your business begins to grow and your customer list gets longer, managing daily tasks and operations becomes increasingly more complicated. When you find you’ve outgrown your spreadsheets and folders, it’s time to start shopping for business software.

Developing the right business software for your SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) is no easy task, though. Maybe you know that the methods and tools you’re currently using aren’t cutting it, but you don’t know what your needs are exactly. It’s nearly impossible to build the right software for your company when you’re not sure what services or features you require.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be able to speak “IT” to create a custom software program. At least, not when you have the right software designers on your side.

At Code Dock London, we may be supernerds, but we also understand businesses. Once we’ve familiarised ourselves with your unique company, we can define your software needs for you, and then build the perfect system to streamline all your business operations. From start to finish, Code Dock puts the pieces together for you, while keeping you informed and involved in the technical and creative processes along the way. Here’s how:

Meet and Collaborate: The first step in developing the right business system for you is to get to know your business. During this meeting, you get to tell us how your business is currently operating, and what processes aren’t working for you at the moment. This is where we start to understand what your true business needs are, and how to create a process that will best serve those needs.

Developing User Stories: During the collaborative meeting, any processes we plan to design for your business functions are explained to you in the form of user stories. Each user story is made up of three main components:

The user (who is this service/feature for)
The narrative (what scenario the user needs this service/feature for)

The goal (why the user needs it)

Source: https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/agile-delivery/writing-user-stories

For example, let’s say that you’re the office manager, and you tell us that your current online calendar isn’t very efficient. You’re frequently run into scheduling conflicts with employees’ time off because the holiday hours are easily overlooked. We might create this user story for you: “As an office manager, I want a calendar that prevents me from scheduling employees to work when they have time off in order to minimise scheduling conflicts.”

The user is the office manager, the narrative is to create a calendar that prevents scheduling of employees when they have designated time off, and the goal is to minimise scheduling conflicts.

To develop your comprehensive user stories, we use the information you provide us with to help you determine your business values, as well as what your goals are for creating a system. With your operational goals clearly defined, we are able to design the most efficient ways to meet them.

Draft Proposal: Now, we can create an initial draft of the functionality your final business system will require. We will then send you a detailed written description of our vision and timeline for your project, which you can review and revise as needed. Once a final draft with all of the desired specifications has been agreed upon, we will begin to build your bespoke business system.

Milestone reviews: We understand that it is in the very nature of innovative business system projects to evolve throughout the project lifespan. As part of Code Dock’ agile project management methodology, we allow for change management in our service plan.

Each project is split into a number of milestones. Upon completion of each milestone, we will meet with you to review the development process. During this time, should you decide to add functionality to any of the system parts being reviewed, it in some cases makes sense to implement these changes before continuing the project development.

This would also be the time for you to revisit the specification of the next milestone and tell us about all the little details you have in mind.

Training: At this point, you will have a good understanding of the system functions, as we’ve been communicating and collaborating together along the way. Nevertheless, to make deployment across the company easier and user acceptance faster, Code Dock spends a day in-house to provide training to all members of staff. For any questions after the training day, we offer a reasonable amount of training via telephone or in-house.

Are you ready to ditch the spreadsheets, but don’t know where to start? Code Dock will work with you to determine your software needs. Using our expertise of best practices, we’ll help you discover all the best processes and features that will make your custom SME business system the perfect fit.

Contact Code Dock London today and start developing the software that will revolutionise your business operations. For more information, contact us at contact@codedock.co.uk or call +44 (0)20 3637 8870.

Marcelo Lazaroni