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5 Factors Affecting Software Development Costs

Ways to cost your software development projects

The time will come when the following question will be asked: how much money do I need to develop our next software development project?

What we aim with this article is to teach you how we cost our project so you can keep it in mind and allocate your own budget for software development.

To estimate the cost of a software development project, you will need two things, first determine the size of the software you are going to develop, using a unit of measurement, then you will need to know how many units of this measure your team can develop at a certain cost.

There are as many ways to estimate the cost and timeline of a software project as there are development languages. Research has shown that if a project can be broken down into small chunks of work, and each chunk is estimated, the estimates tend to be more accurate.

Here we have five factors affecting the cost of your software development projects.

Involving Business Stakeholders in the Software Estimation Process

Involving stakeholders early in the software estimation process helps to define more accurately what is important in the software development life cycle. This helps both the business leaders and the technology team gain a shared understanding of the project. It also helps to hold everyone involved accountable to the initial estimate.

Asking Why Do Most Software Estimation Projects Fail

The answer is simple, poor requirements and weak leadership. The technology in itself is rarely the cause of project failure. Great technology and developers will fail without good requirements and leadership. Beware of this red flag: leadership that cannot explain the end goals or the business drivers behind software during estimating sessions with the project team. Developers can’t develop quality code when requirements are not clear.

Building the Right Team

There’s more to a team than just developers. They need a good supporting cast and good requirements that hold everyone accountable. In order for the project to provide business value, users need to be able to use the application effectively. This means that the project must have good business analysts to write good requirements, which drive efficient development. The user experience is more than just how it looks. Include a designer on the project who can provide both an effective interface that is pleasant but that also facilitates meaningful user flow.

Good Software Estimation Metrics Should Reveal Problems Sooner

If the estimate is based on the developer’s velocity, then it is easier to determine whether a team is developing at the expected pace. Metrics allow you to identify team members that are not producing as expected. Rarely do all teams or developers produce at exactly the same speed. Some will work faster, some more slowly. If they are too slow, you can begin to investigate where friction occurs, from requirements to design, architecture, scope creep or lacking technical skills. Comparing actual velocity to original estimates allows stakeholders to identify budget misalignment sooner and take corrective action when needed.

Breaking the Requirements Down to Increase Transparency in Software Estimation

Begin by breaking the requirements down far enough so that each requirement can be built in a short time by a single developer. Any requirement that cannot be broken down may not be understood well enough for accurate estimation (with some exceptions).

This process will help the stakeholders understand what it will take to develop the software. Demanding more details upfront may seem to add time to project estimation, but the transparency it creates usually shortens the software estimation, improves quality and shortens the approval time through better understanding amongst stakeholders.

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What is a software development life cycle (SDLC)?

A software development life cycle is the process followed in the creation of software, as it defines a methodology that helps ensure the improvement of the software’s quality and the entire software development process.

This life cycle is made out of a number of different and clearly defined work phases. Each stage produces deliverables required for the next. The data gathered during previous stages is translated into requirements for the next which at the same time are translated into design. Code is later developed according to the design and subsequently tested to make sure it complies with the requirements provided after the previous stage’s data gathering phase. After that, everything needs to be deployed with regular scheduled maintenance becoming the final step of the development lifecycle. Take a look at the detailed description of each stage below:

software development life cycle

  1. Requirement Gathering and Analysis

    In this stage we gather all business requirements. It is managed by team leads or senior members and all decisions are made by combining input from the customers, market surveys, stakeholders and industry experts. All of this information will allow the team to determine who is going to use the system, what should the system provide or do and then make decisions on what would be the best approach to assess every requirement in the most efficient way.

    Finally, a Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document is created which will serve as a guideline when entering the testing phase.

  2. Designing the Product Architecture

    This stage will be entirely based on the Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document and will tell which are the best procedures to create an optimal software architecture along with its data flow.

    Main stakeholders will review the SRS while the testing team will create a plan on what should be tested and how it should be tested.

  3. Development – Coding

    This stage of the SDLC is when the actual product is built. After receiving the design documents created earlier, work has to be divided into different modules and here is where coding starts. This is the longest stage of all and should be followed as instructed. Languages, tools and any other details have to be done accordingly.

  4. Testing

    Testing is generally involved with all SDLC stages in order to fix and perfect the quality of the product developed. You run all types of functional tests like system testing or non-functional testing to help encounter issues that have to be fixed and tested again until the product reaches the SRS quality standards.

  5. Deployment

    When the product is tested and ready to be deployed, it’s delivered to a real customer environment to be tested again. After collecting all the feedback, changes might be required and the product will be released again with all enhancements in the actual target market.

  6. Maintenance

    Most of the issues will come up once real customers start using the product, meaning the software will need to be in constant upkeep in order to remove or solve any bugs or errors it might be presenting. This process is known as maintenance.

    There are a couple of SDLC models designed for software development process. Each model follows a set of unique steps to ensure the right processes of software development.

    The following are one of the most popular SDLC models:

    • Waterfall Model
    • Big Bang Model
    • Iterative Model
    • Spiral Model
    • V-Model

administrator February 19, 2018 0 Comments
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Definition of Software Development Life Cycle SDLC

A software development life cycle is the process followed in the creation of software, as it defines a methodology that helps ensure the improvement of the software’s quality and the entire software development life cycle process.

This life cycle is made out of a number of different and clearly defined work phases. Each stage produces a deliverable required for the next. The data gathered during previous stages is translated into requirements for the next which at the same time are translated into design. Code is later developed according to the design and subsequently tested to make sure it complies with the requirements provided after the previous stage’s data gathering phase. After that, everything needs to be deployed with regular scheduled maintenance becoming the final step of the software development lifecycle. Take a look at the detailed description of each stage below:

software development life cycle

  1. Requirement Gathering and Analysis

    In this stage we gather all business requirements. It is managed by team leads or senior members and all decisions are made by combining input from the customers, market surveys, stakeholders and industry experts. All of this information will allow the team to determine who is going to use the system, what should the system provide or do and then make decisions on what would be the best approach to assess every requirement in the most efficient way.

    Finally, a Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document is created which will serve as a guideline when entering the testing phase.

  2. Designing the Product Architecture

    This stage will be entirely based on the Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document and will tell which are the best procedures to create an optimal software architecture along with its data flow.

    Main stakeholders will review the SRS while the testing team will create a plan on what should be tested and how it should be tested.

  3. Development – Coding

    This stage of the SDLC is when the actual product is built. After receiving the design documents created earlier, work has to be divided into different modules and here is where coding starts. This is the longest stage of all and should be followed as instructed. Languages, tools and any other details have to be done accordingly.

  4. Testing

    Testing is generally involved with all SDLC stages in order to fix and perfect the quality of the product developed. You run all types of functional tests like system testing or non-functional testing to help encounter issues that have to be fixed and tested again until the product reaches the SRS quality standards.

  5. Deployment

    When the product is tested and ready to be deployed, it’s delivered to a real customer environment to be tested again. After collecting all the feedback, changes might be required and the product will be released again with all enhancements in the actual target market.

  6. Maintenance

    Most of the issues will come up once real customers start using the product, meaning the software will need to be in constant upkeep in order to remove or solve any bugs or errors it might be presenting. This process is known as maintenance.

    There are a couple of SDLC models designed for software development process. Each model follows a set of unique steps to ensure the right processes of software development.

    The following are one of the most popular SDLC models:

    • Waterfall Model
    • Big Bang Model
    • Iterative Model
    • Spiral Model
    • V-Model

administrator February 19, 2018 0 Comments
Read More