Software Development Approach


making it happen

Our software development approach

“The primary goal of business strategy is to create competitive advantage; the essence of that advantage is being different. Virtually all business strategies today have an IT component which commonly depends on custom applications” – David Chappell & Associates.

Ensuring IT meets business critical requirements: In the modern business world, Information Technology has taken on a completely new role within the organisation, as technology has become a chief enabler of business agility and competitive advantage. Shandon’s Custom Software Development capability will help to meet the specific business requirements pertaining to the development of the solution, resulting in improved operational efficiency and maximum return on investment.

There are four key elements to our approach for software development:


  • User Experience
  • Agile Development
  • Microsoft Solutions Framework
  • Application Lifecycle Management

Adding simplicity to your business needs. Creating Customised Solutions

User Experience

In today’s business context, an effective user experience determines the difference between products that fail and those that succeed. An effective, streamlined, and powerful design is imperative to deliver the types of compelling and engaging websites, web applications and desktop experiences that clients and users expect.

‘User Experience’ refers to the response a person has when interacting with a device application, and is generally measured by the user’s satisfaction with the design, features, interactivity, ease of use, and accuracy of the application.

An unsatisfactory user experience can drastically impact user adoption and customer satisfaction. The right user experience will result in increased efficiencies and usability, reduced overheads and training costs, and improved collaboration among designers and developers.

Allowing the user to engage the services from the device of their choosing through responsive application design, provides improved user experience.

The following figure illustrates our approach to User Experience and the phases that our clients are guided through.

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Agile Development

Shandon uses an agile development methodology. Core to this development approach is the following:

  • Development iteration – a period of time in which agreed deliverables are completed. The duration of the iteration can be varied according to the business requirements. The team’s ability to perform will ultimately determine what the optimal duration of an iteration is.
  • Product backlog – a prioritised list of work items which is based on what value the completed work item will deliver to the business and give the greatest return on investment.

The benefits of this approach are primarily:

  • Quicker delivery
  • Greater transparency
  • Flexibility to reprioritise business needs
  • Improved quality assurance (changes and fixes are quickly addressed due to shorter iterations)

Although the high-level scope of the proposed solution is defined in a proposal; as the development project progresses these may change for a number of business related reasons i.e. undiscovered requirements are introduced into the project at a later stage. An agile approach will allow clients to change the project plan with minimal disruption to the “velocity” (productivity) of the team.

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The main benefit of our approach is that our clients will be intricately involved in the development of the solution. Both stakeholders will provide input into all workable increments and have complete transparency of project progress. This approach allows for immediate corrections where necessary and ensures that clients do not get to see the final output for the first time at the end of the project. This also results in improved quality of outputs and when necessary the ability to reprioritize requirements.

Application Lifecycle Management

Shandon is a leading provider of application life cycle management (ALM) services using Microsoft Team Foundation Server to help organisations manage and improve custom application delivery. We bring together best practices, real-life customer successes and innovative technology to address the multitude of complexities faced by organisations.

Microsoft Solutions Framework

Shandon leverages the Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF), a five-phase project approach that has been executed across multiple customer engagements of various project types and sizes.

Every project goes through a life cycle, a process that includes all of the activities in the project that take place up to completion and transition to an operational status. The main function of a life cycle model is to establish the order in which project activities are performed. The appropriate life cycle model can streamline a project and help ensure that each step moves the project closer to successful completion.

The MSF for Agile Software Development methodology will provide process guidance enabling the project team to focus on prioritised requirements in a structured manner. A simple view of the MSF Process Model life cycle is shown below.

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  • Envisioning is about creating a business vision and defining the scope of work necessary to bring the vision to reality.
  • Planning continues until we have detailed functional requirements, system and application architectures, and a detailed project plan for the remainder of the project.
  • Development begins with the first iteration of development and culminates with the functionally complete milestones. Iterations are repeated as “sprints”.
  • Stabilization represents testing and acceptance.
  • Deployment includes final development, release management, and deployment.