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Bespoke software development article

BENEFITS OF A BEHAVIOUR-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT APPROACH

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Introduction


Bespoke is what we do best at Awevio. Ensuring we deliver a custom software system or application that is unique and meaningful for our client.

That's why we've found employing a behaviour-driven development process works wonders.

Behaviour-driven development is an agile approach, which involves software developers proritising the user of the software.

From collaborating closely with clients for requirements gathering and analysis, to constantly delivering working prototypes for testing and evaluating progress at key project milestones during development. Working this way enables software developers to produce software that is truly supportive of the user's behaviours.

Dan North, the mastermind behind behaviour-driven development describes the process as, "a cycle of interactions with well-defined outputs, resulting in the delivery of working, tested software that matters.”

Here's our top reasons why, in our experience, the behaviour-driven development approach creates truly effective bespoke software development results.

Regular communications


One of the main principles behind behaviour-driven development is encouraging software developers to really see the software from a user's perspective. To fully get to grips with the user's behaviours, and how the software should be shaped accordingly.

This commences at the beginning of the project with the development team actively getting involved in eliciting requirements, and defining the project milestones side by side with the client. From the get go there are regular workshops and meetings to encourage constant dialogue and visibility.

There is always a great focus during meetings on usability, interactions and feedback. Helping the software developer to understand the user's behaviours and the business need, while increasing client confidence that the project is heading in the right direction.

Shared understanding of end goals


Using the behaviour-driven development approach, the project focus is steered towards purposefully designing functionality that reflects how the user interacts with the system. Ensuring that all features have a purpose.

Devising wireframes which aim to illustrate the user journey and their interaction within the software application, allows both teams to prioritise usability from the outset. Wireframes are a great tool for defining how the system should flow and behave, in response to the user need, without the distractions of branding and concept design.

Even at this early stage, there are rounds of wireframe amendments; further enhancing the software developers' understanding of the user, their business and how this software should fit.

Working Prototypes


By placing users at the heart of development, testing is never an after thought. It's every other thought along the way.

Software developers are testing as they code, and producing working prototypes to ensure the software application is working as it should. The user can then test at key intervals, and adaptations can be made swiftly.

Requirements gathering and specification building can be finely detailed, however it's often not until the users and business teams have the opportunity to operate features of the software that they can offer a true insight into what is needed.

By constantly consulting with the users, software developers are thinking beyond the technicalities of their work, and instead are considering the why behind their code.

Speaking the same language


Throughout the development process, example based scenarios are used to explain the system's behaviour. By writing test cases in a language that is understandable to non-programmers, all members of the client project team who may be non-technical can be involved in testing and evaluating.

Everything about this way of testing is transparent and easy to follow, which is great if a new team member was to come on board or if key stakeholders would like input at certain intervals. Speaking the same language definitely enhances engagement and ensures expectations are always managed.

Building a collaborative partnership


Using the behaviour-driven development approach, each and every member of the bespoke software development team is involved in the full cycle of the project. Although they may not be available for every meeting, the quality of communications means they are able to quickly get up to speed.

Software developers are also able to build a greater understanding of the client's business. In turn, a more personalised level of client engagement can be achieved, building client confidence and a solid collaborative working partnership all geared up for future projects.

Purposeful Software That Fits


Using the behaviour-driven development approach, each and every member of the bespoke software development team is involved in the full cycle of the project. Although they may not be available for every meeting, the quality of communications means they are able to quickly get up to speed.

Software developers are also able to build a greater understanding of the client's business. In turn, a more personalised level of client engagement can be achieved, building client confidence and a solid collaborative working partnership all geared up for future projects.

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Keywords & Tags

  • User behaviour
  • Awevio
  • Bespoke Software Development
  • Software
  • Software Developers