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May 5, 2024

The Importance of Pre-Development Phase in Your Software Project


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SoftwareSeni Media · The Importance of Pre-Development Phase in Your Software Project

The Importance of Pre Development Phase in Your Software Project

Starting up a Software Project requires mutual understanding between you, the client, and the software house that will help you realize your dream. In order to achieve such a conclusion, there are a few things that require close attention. Just like any other great things in life, your software project needs a good foundation; in other words, a pre development phase.

This foundation comes in the form of a blueprint that will include the elements essential to the success of your software project. This blueprint is called “Specification Document”. This document will help lay a clear background of what will be worked on by the developers. That is not all, however, as you will also have a definite idea of what you can expect from your software.

Now, before you get started in making your very own Specification Document, we will touch on the essence of a project in general; yes, project management.


Yup, as previously mentioned, understanding the basics will get you miles ahead in the long run and to get you prepared in running your own Software Project. Let’s take a little look at Project Management.

Project management has six phases:

  1. Initiation Phase
  2. Definition Phase
  3. Design Phase
  4. Development Phase
  5. Implementation Phase
  6. Follow-Up Phase

We will separate all these phases into two groups. The first group belongs to the Pre-Development phase and the second belongs to the Development Phase. Those that belong to the Pre-Development phase are Initiation Phase and Definition Phase. The ones that belong in the Development phase are Design Phase, Development Phase, Implementation Phase, and Follow-Up phase. As the title of our article suggests, we will touch on the very essential phase that can get your software project off to a good start; the pre-development phase.

Let’s get to it.



Initiation phase

Initiation phase is where you explore all the possible outcomes that you would expect from your software. This is also the step where you will need to do some digging into who can help you in building your dream; a software house, for example. Just like a chef preparing his dish, you will need to lay the ingredients, in this case, all your ideas for your software, down in a form of a well-written, detailed paper. If you are able to think up a really amazing software, you really don’t want it to go away, so always make sure that you write down all the fantastic designs and ideas that pop out!

Alright, now writing your ideas down on a piece of paper sounds obvious enough (so that they don’t go away like they always do!). Yup, it can be quite tricky when you have all these amazing ideas. Sometimes they’re just too good that you can’t really tell where to start. No worries! To lay the foundation, below are the questions that can help you get started on writing down your ideas without being overwhelmed:

1. Why am I making this project?

Yup, you will need to ask yourself the reason as to why exactly you want to start this project to begin with. Whether you would like to automate the way a chair can turn into a bed at a specific time, or turn your microwave into a mobile robot that knows when you’re hungry, it all starts here.

2. Is it too much (or too little)?

Once you’ve laid down the reasons, you will need to ask yourself if your project is asking too much. What that means is that you will need to think about whether or not your project will require tons of resources to manage. The best product isn’t always the most complex. So, if you see your project as being quite too out-of-this-world, or as some call “overly ambitious”,  you might want to tone it down maybe a notch or two.

3. Who can help me get there?

Knowing your project well is important, but knowing who you can call “a friend” in making sure that your project comes to life is definitely something you must look into very closely. When you think you’ve found the right software house, please do more digging into that particular software house; you can look them up using your favorite search engine. Professional software houses will have their own website and you will also be able to tell how professional they are by looking at their website design decisions. Oh, and do look into their social media presence! You will have a very good idea of a professional software house if you can see that their social media is filled with engaging contents.

4. What is the expected result of my project?

When all is said and done, you will need to clearly define what you expect from your project. You will need to ensure your software will actually work well for the intended audience. If they can appeal to a particular audience, you can perhaps think of what you can add in order to appeal to a larger, but not too diverse audience.

5. What are the limitations of my project?

Setting up boundaries will let you and your potential partner have an even more defined understanding of your project. Just like a painter picking up their canvas; you will need to set these project limitations, or out-of-scopes of your project, to contain your ideas so that they don’t overflow. Overflowing your bowl of ideas will not only make things hard for you to define your project, but it will also complicate your partner in understanding where to begin with your project.

Definition Phase

So, you’ve carefully considered how your project will go and the software house that will help you turn your ideas into reality. The next step is to write down exactly how your project will be “moulded.” Now, in order to do this, we will require a list detailing the requirements for your project. According to Wijnen, defining a project must consider the following:

1. Preconditions

This first part of the definition phase will talk about rules and the conditions that will need to be met when working on the project. The distribution of roles regarding who is responsible for which part of the project will also need to be defined/clarified in this particular beginning of the phase. Yup, you can’t exactly drive a car without anyone literally owning the key, turning the car on, and actually driving the car with precision. Well, self-driving cars are here already, but honestly, you would truly appreciate having a real experienced human being driving the car because at the end of the day, even self-driving cars can’t really take care of itself when it breaks.

2. Functional Requirements

In this second part of this phase, you will need to consider how to guarantee that the quality of your project is as you have envisioned. As you will be working on a software project, one of the things that you will need to take into account in the brainstorming session for this phase is what programming language is best used to shape your project to ensure that the users and admin both have easy access to the website.

3. Operational Requirements

Alrighty, the third part of this definition phase will need you to think ahead, to envision the end result. You will need to visualize how your project will end up becoming. Flaws will inevitably pop-up and when they arise, you can then spring to action to solve that issue in the future. Yup, this is where having a partner who is very well-versed in software development really helps. Software houses will be more than happy to help you estimate how your software will go and what possible bugs might come up and the solutions to counter that.

4. Design Limitations

Phew! We’re now at the fourth part of this phase. In this part of the Definition phase, you will need to think about what your software project cannot possibly do. Yeah, at the end of the day, you want to be as realistically efficient as possible. So, you and your partnered software house, will need to understand where the limits of your software project lie. This is crucial in understanding  why certain bugs appear and will also help the developers know what to fix when that happens.

Alrighty then! That’s that for the definition phase. As you might have already guessed, you will need to already have a partner in order to get to this phase. You and your partner will both need to be present and understand what is inside your bowl of ideas, how to mould them, and where the boundaries lie. This will not only greatly enhance your collaborative relationship with your partner, but also ensure the stellar quality of your project. 


Planning out your project, especially a software project, you will need to map it out well, otherwise, you will end up risking all your blood, sweat, and tears for nothing. In order to plan your project out well, you will need to set up a good foundation.

You can achieve that by creating what is called a Specification Document. This document will include all the details about your project. You will have a clear idea of what you can expect from your project, and tone some things down if you feel like your project’s cost is quite high up.

Before you start creating your own Specification Document, there are a few things that you will need to have in your bucket of knowledge. Project management is one of them. This is an important element in ensuring that your project goes as you envision it to be, so naturally, you will need to have a good understanding of what Project Management embodies at its core.

Now, Project Management has six phases. We will now divide these phases into two parts. The first part being the Pre-Development phase, and the second is the Development phase. In the Pre-Development phase, there are two parts. The first phase in the Pre-Development is the Initiation phase and the second is the Definition phase.

In the initiation phase, you will need to explore all your ideas that you would like to put into your software project. There are a few questions that you will need to ask and address in this phase. 

First off, you will need to address the reason for actually making the project. Once you’ve reassured yourself by answering that question, you should then ask yourself whether your project is asking too much. Being ambitious is good, but being overly so will only end up complicating things in the long run. So, you will need to tone it just right. 

Afterwards, you will then need to find the right partner that can help you bring your ideas to fruition. Software house is the way to go. However, finding the right software house will require you to look up their resume online. Make sure that the software house you will be partnering up with has a well-designed website, good track record of projects done, as well as social media presence.

Then, you will need to objectively define what exactly is your expectation after your project is done. Who is your target audience? Is it too wide, or is it too narrow? Yup, you also want to make sure that your product appeals to an audience that is just the right proportion.

The last thing to note on the initiation phase is what your project’s limitations are. Understand what you will be working on, and also what you will not be working on. This will cut down so much unnecessary time thinking about something that will not even fit your project.

We now come to the second phase of the pre-development phase; Definition phase. In this phase, you will need to transcribe all the things you’ve done in the previous phase into well-structured writing. 

Things that you will need to put in the Definition phase are preconditions, functional requirements, operational requirements, and design limitations. These sound very similar to the previous phase! Well, yup, that is because, again, the Definition phase is basically the writing-down of your ideas in a much professional way.

Once you’ve done all of these, you will have your project standing on very firm and steady fundamentals. You are now ready to go turn your dream into a reality!

So, how’s your software project going? Are you doubting yourself? Fret not! We here at SoftwareSeni are always ready and willing to help you set your project on the right track and actualize it as you envision your project to be. Stay positive, stay creative!


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