How to Plan a Software Development Project
As developers or entrepreneurs, a lot of us have ideas and things we would like to build. Often we fail to succeed or finish the projects because of not knowing how to do that gradually.
If you are new to any type of development project or any type of business, the main advice is to subdivide a project into smaller components. That is the first thing to do. A defined plan with a set of actions to achieve makes the big picture easier to handle.
How to Plan a Project for Success
Every project should have a plan. Understanding the importance of planning allows you to be agile and react to what is changing in the industry fast.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell.
5 Steps of Every Software Project Planning
A software development plan outlines the development process step by step. It is more than just a plan. It includes ideation, documentation, development, launch, and maintenance of a product after a release.
- Brainstorm the ideas. Consider a general idea of a project. Is it just for you or a huge category of people? Who is the audience of your application or website? Who is going to use it? What is the purpose and concept of it? Do you realize the type of person you are doing your project for? How is your project going to fit his/her needs? Think from the perspective of your clients. What would they like to see in your app or whatever your project is?
- What are the resources required? How much does the project cost? Evaluate the budget. The easiest way to make a project more cost-efficient without losing the quality is by hiring an outsourcing company to help with services and technologies.
- Project organization. The human aspect of development is even more important than technology. Having a good team with bad technology is always better than having a bad team with great technology. Find the right team. At the same time, a group of professionals is something you can save on without losing the results. You have to look for a respected company, which provides web development services whose results are proven by years of experience. It is a chance for success.
Compose the team’s structure. A professional team is not something that happens on its own. You have to organise it by yourself or hire someone to distribute software development team roles correctly.
- What is the predicted duration of a project? Give yourself deadlines. Have an attainable early goal and the expected release dates. Not all goals are capable timewise, no matter how big and experienced your team is. To avoid procrastination and late project releases, you have to set clear deadlines. Be realistic and productive at the same time. Keep in mind, the work on a project keeps going even after a launch. Allow extra time for your first release. If you are new in the industry, have some time in case of project risks during the implementation process (skills resource risks, tech risks, design debt risk, cost risks, etc.).
- What is going to define the quality of a product? Create quality metrics for a team to have a clear vision of whether the project is efficient enough or not.
As we have already mentioned, planning is more than just planning. It is maintenance and support as well. A team should have a separate testing plan and be responsible for the issues found in the code. A highly skilled development team is responsible for delivering documentation and cooperation after the current release and the future releases. A clear algorithm of support provided is key.
There is more than one type of planning out there. Get feedback from your managers and developers to decide what fits your team best. Analyze work after a project is done. Decide what you can improve. What should stay? And what should go? A team should provide you with custom software solutions by analyzing your ideas and goals. They will help to convert those ideas into a unique product on the market of IT.
Reduce the risks associated with planning by approaching each section of it seriously. If you look at promising but unfinished software projects you will see most of them are unfinished because of poor or incorrect planning. Bad planning does not allow IT companies and potentially successful projects to progress the way you want them to. Thus, always reduce an idea to something manageable by following a plan. Subdivide a project into smaller chunks and work on each of them individually.