Here at ProPet Software we are constantly working on new features. We’re always preparing for the next big release or making updates to improve the user experience for the features we already provide.
With all of these moving parts it would be difficult to stay focused if we didn’t have a carefully moulded development process keeping our projects on track. ProPet’s expertly crafted development process ensures we are regularly releasing useful products that also meet our high functionality standards.
This development process allows us to concentrate our time and resources effectively. By identifying high priority needs and creating a road map we are able to turn an idea into a fully functioning reality
Here is a sneak peek into the inner workings of ProPet’s development process.
Phase One: Suggestions
The first step of the process begins with the customer expressing a need.
All requests and suggestions made by customers are added to a suggestion bank that is monitored regularly. Whether it’s a brand new suggestion or a suggestions we’ve heard a few times, the request is noted and run through an algorithm that ranks each idea based on a number of factors.
Some of these factors are:
- The cost of developing the feature.
- The amount of time it would take to complete.
- Whether or not there is a strong demand.
- How much value the new feature could add to ProPet’s existing repertoire and vision.
After the algorithm weighs all of these factors and the merit of the project is evaluated and deemed worthwhile, then phase two begins.
Phase Two: Planning
Before diving in, we evaluate the potential of the new project and see whether this feature can have multiple purposes.
Sometimes certain features have a little bit of overlap and so they can be used to address other suggestions floating around in our suggestion bank. So why not try to solve two problems at once?
When possible we like to address as many concerns as we can with each new project. This not only provides our customers with a larger breadth of features but it also allows ProPet to use its resources more efficiently.
To examine all possible uses for a new feature, our developers and project managers devise a list of needs that the feature must address. This primary list determines the initial scope of the feature and ensures that the original purpose of the feature takes priority.
Then our developers and project managers add a list of secondary functions that will enhance user experience in other areas of the software.
From here they whittle down their secondary enhancement list until they have a well-rounded feature with a strong core. It is at this point that the basic blueprint of the feature begins to take shape.
Phase Three: Design & Development
At this phase our developers begin coding, constructing the skeleton of what will eventually become a ProPet feature.
This phase consists of long hours of creating and breaking, writing code and then re-writing code. Making a product functional requires it to be both intuitive and simple. It needs to be easy to understand but still be able to handle more complicated tasks.
This phase is a constant cycle of writing, testing and rewriting code in order to create a feature that does a complicated task in the simplest possible way. Just because the problem the software solves is complicated doesn’t mean the software interface has to be complicated.
When we develop a new feature we recognize that it needs to play nicely with others, meaning it needs to do more than functions on its own. It must be able to fully integrate into ProPet and communicate with all the modules and features that it might be associated with.
Software is not a solitary entity, it’s an ecosystem where multiple elements depend on the functionality of other elements. If one feature is broken, it can have a massive chain reaction that impacts the capability of other elements. So it is essential to ensure that all features are not only functional but compatible.
This is where good code and good design merge to create something that runs smoothly while solving problems, not creating them. The last thing any developer wants is to solve one problem but create two more, and we’re sure our customers feel the same way. So by following a rigorous coding process we are able to create a framework that quickly becomes a full-functioning structure.
Phase Four: Testing & Optimization
At this point the product is operational but still at a basic level and our developers begin to work with our alpha testing team to improve the user experience.
During this phase bugs and clunky obstacles are removed and reshaped to improve the user interface. Our testing team spends hours going through every element of the new product looking for anything that might pose a problem. Each potential problem is flagged and then reviewed to make sure we find the best solution and not just a solution.
This process prepares us for the products release and allows us to be confident that we are providing a capable new feature that is not limited by bugs or broken elements.
Phase Five: Release
Once the product is released customers get to take it for a spin!
If you click the little bell icon in the bottom corner of your ProPet dashboard you can see all of our new releases. This is a really quick way to see what we’ve been up to and find new ways ProPet can work for your business. For larger features, ProPet offers a BETA period in which customers can opt-in to test out the feature and provide feedback, allowing us to improve the feature before it is released.
If you have any questions about new features or if you’re not quite sure how to make it work for your business, our customer support team is always happy to answer any questions.
We periodically provide updates to ensure that each and every part of the product is working as intended, so if you run into any problems feel free to reach out.
ProPet’s development process allows us to consistently provide a comprehensive user experience. The easier it is for you to use our software, the happier we are.