Your agency for software development and digital product development

We are your agency for software development. Why? We will not only programme your website, we will also provide strategy and other services. Find out how our developers proceed and what makes for good software development.

Your contact for all things digital

Susann Höpel 

Susann Hoepel

Consultant Digital Projects

The bits and bytes of success

Software has become paramount to every company. The same goes for marketing. Without data and the right software, the development, implementation and success control of measures are inconceivable.

In short, whoever has the better data and the better software can secure valuable competitive advantages. And this is precisely where an experienced software development agency or software development consultancy for digital product development comes in.

Most business applications such as ERP, DMS or CRM systems cannot be used without customisation, as they most often do not reflect a company’s processes and specific circumstances.

Software also supports a company in many different ways. From marketing and sales to production and logistics to bookkeeping, financial accounting and controlling. Software makes companies more productive, more profitable and more competitive.

This is exactly where digital product development that ‘thinks and works with agility’ is needed. One that knows how to proceed iteratively and understands how to give work processes a clearly defined structure with Scrum and the like. We at the Ruess Group have been successfully providing this expertise for many years.

The more customised, the better

Only a customised software solution can meet all of a company’s requirements 100 percent. Be it for production, maintenance and quality assurance solutions or business applications for the control and optimisation of processes.

The advantage of a specially developed software is that a company can determine what the priorities are, what range of functions the software should have, how it should look, how it is operated and used, etc.

This ensures that it can provide the full scope of possibilities without the restrictions that come with standard software. And that the software integrates perfectly into the existing infrastructure and perfectly supports the company’s processes.

Since customised software only includes the functions that are really needed in the company, it also requires less training and familiarisation for the employees. With the great advantage that it can be used more quickly and efficiently.

The more agile, the better

The more agile the development process in the software development agency, the faster it can be deployed. Below are three of the most frequently used frameworks:

Scrum

Scrum is the original method for agile software development. The framework establishes a culture of transparency and alignment and focuses on high-priority subsets of the team’s tasks by working in fixed time frames.

Scrum consists of two main components: Ceremonies (events) and roles. The four Scrum ceremonies aim to create regular, predictable sequences for different types of communication within the team. These include:

  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrum (or daily stand-up)
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective

The Scrum Master plays a very important role in the implementation. This is because he or she manages the process or the backlog and thereby ensures that all processes in the software development agency or in the company run quickly and effectively.

Graphic Scrum Process

Kanban

Kanban is a lean agile framework that was introduced after Scrum. Kanban achieved widespread attention in a short period of time due to its visual nature and its pursuit of continuous improvement (Kaizen).

Kanban requires the team to visualise all phases of the process and every task element that goes through it. This way, the process is managed, the number of ongoing projects is limited and efficiency is improved.

Kanban encompasses six core practices:

  • Visualising workflows
  • Limiting work-in-progress
  • Workflow management
  • Transparent process guidelines
  • Feedback loops
  • Continuous improvement

At the core of Kanban lies a paradox that is not immediately obvious to new agile teams. By limiting the amount of work in a defined period of time, the team becomes more productive. In other words: Kanban makes more out of less.

Scrumban

Scrumban is by far the most popular approach with its combination of practices from both Scrum and Kanban. The method is highly adaptable and, depending on the organisational context, tends more towards one of the two pure frameworks.

Scrumban is best suited for teams that already have some experience with agile development. It helps understand Scrum and Kanban ceremonies, roles and practices. Since it is a hybrid approach, each team uses Scrumban in its own customised way.

No software development without strategy

The idea for a digital product always originates in the mind. But in spite of all the creativity required, it is important to ask yourself: What problem does the idea solve in practice? How big is the benefit of the innovation? And which and how many customers actually have this problem?

The prerequisite for such a digital product development is that it creates a real benefit that also means a business advantage for the commissioning company and its agency.

This can result from the fact that a large number of potential customers benefit from the product and are therefore willing to pay a suitable price for the solution.

Or the product idea helps the company so much that the resulting savings are greater than the investment in its development. For example, if the company uses it to simplify or even automate its internal processes.

The eight cornerstones of software strategy:

  • Target group
  • Needs
  • USPs
  • Business goals
  • Competition
  • Monetisation
  • Cost factors
  • Channels

A digital product that overlooks the needs of the target group doesn’t have much chance of success. Accordingly, these needs have to be openly identified and taken into account in the run-up to the launch.

No software development without a plan

Once questions about goals, target groups and economic viability have been answered, the conception phase can begin. A rough idea develops into a detailed plan – from the perspective of user guidance and technical implementation.

Now the functional scope of version 1.0 is defined and its technical infrastructure is determined. Furthermore, the challenges that the software can solve in addition to its core task are determined to increase its usefulness.

This concept can initially be written or drawn up in the form of mind maps. Individual functions and areas of the application are linked with each other so that the software development agency is given a holistic impression.

In the next step, increasingly detailed sketches of the application are produced based on the concept. The individual screens are drawn and headlines, buttons and other elements are defined.

They depict how the user is guided through the software. With a prototype that becomes more and more detailed as development progresses until it shows the later appearance of the digital product – screen by screen, clickable by the user.

This creates a first, real impression of the application and its benefits without having to develop and deploy the entire technical infrastructure. The aim is to generate initial feedback from the target group and to assess market opportunities.

No software development without MVP

Instead of developing and designing a digital product in detail, it is advisable to develop a so-called a so-called Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – that has exactly the scope it needs to be useful.

In this respect, the MVP is limited to the core functionality, for which only the most important functions are developed and programmed. Any additional applications, gimmicks and extras are not considered for the time being. With several advantages:

  • The time and financial outlay for software development is significantly reduced.
  • Initial tests to see how the product performs in the market require less cost and less time.
  • It is possible to respond at an early stage in the event of negative feedback.
  • Feedback from the target group can also be incorporated into further product development.
  • The digital product is essentially developed together with the market and adapts to its needs.

So instead of immediately developing the product 100 percent and incurring 100 percent of the costs, the focus is first on solving the original issue. This allows users to test the software as early as possible.

Another advantage is that the testers become agile co-developers whose feedback and feature requests flow into the process from the very beginning. This also ensures that customer needs are considered throughout the entire software development process.

No software development without an interdisciplinary team

An interdisciplinary team is needed to develop a digital product from the initial idea to market maturity. One that is made up of experts who bring a wide range of skills to the table.

A venture manager, business development manager and marketing manager who lay the strategic foundation for the digital product and ask the right questions. To determine the goals and target groups and match them with the product idea.

Also important are visual designers who, with their expertise in the areas of user experience and user interface design, determine, question and optimise the software’s user guidance. To ensure that the application is easy to use, looks good and meets the preferences of the target group.

Then the technical infrastructure is set up by the developers and the functionality of the digital product is defined.

There are also special positions in software development consulting: from the agile coach, who accompanies the team with agile methods to increase the value provided for the stakeholders, to software testers, copywriters and data analysts.

After all, the components of a digital product can only be further optimised with the right specialised skills. Therefore, a generalist is always superior to a software development agency consisting only of technicians and software specialists.

This is what a good software development agency should be able to provide:

Digital User Experience

The digital customer experience is the experience a customer has during their digital interactions. The goal is to offer customers and users clearly positive experiences along the customer journey.

These positive experiences generate long-term customer loyalty. What could be better than good loyal customers who regularly contribute to the increase in turnover and growth of the company?

Commerce Solutions

E-commerce solutions are software and technology tools that support the online sale of products and services. These can include a website, an online shop, a shopping cart, payment processing systems and inventory management tools.

Commerce solutions often also provide marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) functionality to promote the products or services and effectively manage customer interactions.

Their purpose and goal is primarily to streamline the online sales process and facilitate the sale of products and services to customers and users via the Internet.

Automation Solutions

Automation solutions are processes that replace slow, outdated manual processes with optimised, automated workflows – leading to greater efficiency and accuracy.

Automation solutions help significantly reduce the complexity of many processes – by greatly simplifying and accelerating processes in both business and IT operations.

Production & Operational Services

Operational services deal with the transfer of all or part of the day-to-day system management responsibility (host/data centre, client/desktop or connectivity/network) for an organisation’s IT infrastructure.

They include system operation or support, administration, security, performance monitoring, technical diagnosis/troubleshooting, configuration management, system repair management and management reporting.

Also included are services to effectively manage and implement business continuity processes and to manage technology resources easily and simply.

Content & digital asset management solutions

Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems help organisations store, manage, quickly retrieve, share and deliver their entire content inventory to multiple channels – all in one place.

A centralised DAM system provides employees and all stakeholders with controlled access to the entire digital content library. Where – among other things – photos, creative files, videos, audio files, presentations, documents and more can be found.

Analytics data management

Data management is the process of collecting, organising and accessing data to support productivity, efficiency and decision-making. The data management process involves a wide spectrum of tasks and procedures.

For example, collecting, processing, validating and storing data, integrating it from different sources, and ensuring high data availability and disaster recovery.

In conclusion: Software makes the world go round

Software has been one of the most important assets of a company since long before the beginning of the new millennium. Simply because it makes its processes and procedures faster and more efficient.

Software represents a competitive advantage that also helps with marketing in the individual channels. Those who reach their target group faster and more effectively are a big step ahead. Software makes winners.

It can also make products better or become a product itself. Gaining and maintaining a lead here is no simple task. In this respect, it calls for an agile software development agency that has been doing this for many years. With specialists and generalists who don’t see software in isolation, but who understand how the individual sub-areas work so that they can be made better with software.

And not just programmers, but also specialists in e-commerce, content, media or marketing. We at the Ruess Group have all these specialists and software developers on board and many well-known clients, mainly from the B2B sector, who have come to appreciate us for this very reason.

Your contact

What challenging goals and tasks are you currently facing? I would be happy to discuss them with you.

Susann Höpel 

Susann Hoepel

Consultant Digital Projects