Have you decided to implement new software or need to add some changes to the existing one? Whatever be the case, you need to create a thorough plan before you start. The main idea of a software development project is to organize the process and predict all the possible issues you may face during development.
It will allow you to:
- Divide responsibilities among team members effectively
- Evaluate the cost of development
- Ensure that all the features you plan to implement are necessary
- Create a timeline for each step and define the deadline for the whole project
Why You May Need Professional Assistance
Planning a software project well will help you avoid unnecessary costs and think of solutions to the possible hiccups at short notice. It might be challenging to create such a plan on your own if you’re a non-technical person.
A good manager acknowledges when they’re out of their depth and need help. Even if you don’t have the in-house expertise to plan such a project, there are a lot of reliable companies to whom you can outsource a large part of the development and post-launch support.
Trustworthy software engineering companies can evaluate your objectives and provide you with the most suitable suggestions. They specialize in helping to pick useful features, organize the process as well as reduce software development costs.
Executing such work for multiples clients in different fields on a daily basis means they come across a lot of problems that you, as an individual working with just your organization, are unlikely to have had enough experience dealing with.
What To Keep In Mind Before You Start
It doesn’t matter whether you create a plan with the help of professionals or make it on your own. There are certain aspects you should be sure of before you even think about developing a software:
- The purpose of the project and its scope – features, goals, priorities and expectations
- How much it will cost in terms of time and money, as well as the amount of flexibility on these two fronts
- The people who will be involved including their tasks and responsibilities
- The deadline and the metrics that should be tracked throughout the development phase
- Post-launch maintenance and support
How To Create A Software Development Plan in 5 Steps
Here are some key tips that will help you with software development project planning whether you’re looking at creating IoT solutions, enterprise software, mobile apps, CRM systems or otherwise.
Evaluate Your Goals & Define The Steps To Reach Them
It’s a good idea to brainstorm with a team and write down ideas that come to mind. However, if you want your project to be successful, you need to define clear goals. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of what you intend to achieve and what problem is being solved by the software you have in mind.
What is the perfect outcome of your development project? What steps do you need to overcome to reach the endpoint?
Plan The Budget
Another essential thing involved in any software development project is to plan the expenses. If you’re not creating a product you want your organization to sell — such a mobile app, for example — but need software for internal or customer-facing usage, are solutions already available in the market that your company can utilize instead of creating an entirely new one?
If not, what features are necessary in your software, and is there anything you can omit to save money? Do you need to outsource the job to a team of developers from another company, or you can handle the project on in-house?
When it’s too difficult to make such decisions on your own, consult professional companies that offer software development services. Many offer free consultations and will help you decide how to get the perfect solution at the best rate.
Create A Timeline & Decide How To Track Progression
As soon as you have a clearer idea about the project, decide on deadlines — but only after consulting the key individuals who will be working on the project about a realistic time-to-completion.
Divide the whole project into steps and create a deadline for each of them. It will help you control the progress to a certain extent, ensure every team members keeps pace with the rest of their colleagues and hopefully, complete the project on time.
Collect The Team
When everything has been planned, it’s time to gather together the team that will work on the project. You can either hire developers on your own or ask for expert advise. The latter would be best if you’re a non-technical person.
Professional software development companies can help save your time and money in case you don’t have in-house employees experienced in such tasks. They can not only provide you with a team suited to the job, but also help control all the processes.
Pay Attention To Testing
Don’t rush to press the launch button, and ensure that you devote enough time to testing. Are all the features working properly? Is there anything you need to pay special attention to? If any feedback has been received, you’ve hopefully included some time to make revisions to the original plan before the software is ready for rollout.
All in all, it doesn’t matter whether you need to change an existing software or plan to create a new one from scratch. In both cases, the most important thing is to develop a software development task list. Thoroughly plan all the steps, define your long-term and short-term goals, plan the budget requirements and set deadlines.
Note that if you are a newbie, the best option would be to ask for professional assistance. There are plenty of great software development companies that offer help at reasonable prices.