When a company decides to start a project, the foremost thing a developer does is create a project plan. Sounds easy, right? But it's not!
Software development projects tend to be multifaceted and complex. To finish a project on time and under budget, software developers must efficiently plan, organize, and monitor. To ensure a satisfying result, projects must start with specified parameters to produce the desired outcome.
Without a proper project plan, a custom software development project may be at risk of not meeting all its deliverables or even failing.
Thus, in this blog, we will tell you why project planning is so important in custom software development— not just for the project but also for the entire company.
What is Software Development Project Planning?
A software development project planning refers to a sequential and organized process of activities and resources essential to successfully completing a project. The activities that a development project encompasses are defined by timelines that the team must adhere to. The plan describes all the phases of software development projects in detail. A software development company lays out a draft of product development based on the client’s requirements.
Some universal phases of software development project planning include planning, ideation, designing, deployment, production cycles, launches, as well as maintenance. If you want to plan a project effectively, you must document every single step of yours in detail.
The requirements of the project, the concepts, and the timeline of delivery must be pre-defined. Hence, the quality of projects highly depends on how well the software development project plan is built.
What are the Main Stages of Software Development Project Planning?
Irrespective of the size of the project, the entire software development project plan is majorly divided into four phases:
Stages of Software Development Project Planning - Digging Deeper
In this section of the article, we will discuss in detail the 4 important stages of software development project planning. But before that, it is important to understand that other than effective planning, the requirement of a software development project is the need for a project manager.
A project manager is responsible for the entire project, from planning to implementation and execution. Besides, the project manager has all the prerequisites essential for each of the below-mentioned stages of software development project planning. Most of the software development services are designed by catering to the 4 important stages mentioned below:
The scope of the project is one of the most important aspects of every project. A project manager must approve the software development project plan that you come up with. We are highlighting all key points of the projects at this stage.
Some important points of discussion include:
- Project description
- Compliance matrix
- Discussion of assumptions
- Defining goals and results
- Discussing the limitations
The foundation of software development project planning is understanding and defining a precise scope. It is necessary to have a clear idea and understanding of the idea that you are about to develop.
The requirements include a list of all the following:
- Major tasks for execution
- The functions
- The architecture
- The designs
- The communication plan
- The logic
This is the second stage of software development project planning. At this stage, you must have an explanation regarding why someone would be interested to buy your product as well as how it will benefit them. You can also start a small demonstration for limited users by giving them limited access to your product (prototype) and take their feedback.
3. Detailing the Budget
If you want an approximate figure of the total cost of your project, you will need to divide the entire project into sub-components. Once divided into sub-components, you will find it easier to determine the cost of each of these sub-components rather than deciding the budget of the whole project. You can also come up with individual timescales for each of these sub-components.
An elaborate list of components and equipment will help the software development team land on a rough estimate of the total cost. You will have a rough idea of the total tenure of the project and its total cost.
4. Setting up a Timeline
Once you have finalized the list of requirements, a software development team can estimate the time it would take to turn your product into a fully functional market-suited product.
For this, your timeline may be divided into milestones. You must ensure that the software development project planning team achieves the milestone as per the schedule. As the one with the project idea, you are the project owner. Hence, you must establish a direct and regular communication channel with the software development project planning team. Several project management tools such as Asana, Zoho Projects, and TeamGantt simplify this process.
Points to Ponder
Two crucial factors for any software development project planning are the total cost as well as the total time to build the product. However, the time required to build any software project depends on the project’s requirements and available resources.
When you talk of mobile application development, with the right set of developers, you will require around three months to convert your idea into a fully functional app. Furthermore, Mobile app Development involves lesser complications as compared to a large-scale software development project.
Secondly, an effective software development project plan is essential for:
- The product owners and co-owners
- The stakeholders
- The product development team
- The software development team
- The project managers
Lastly, an effective software development project plan is a crystal clear approach to a cost-efficient, reliable and efficient software solution. Moreover, It is easy for the custom software development company to develop and easy and user-friendly for the customer.
How to Ensure Your Software Development Project Plan is Effective?
If you hire developers to cater to your software development needs, Narola Infotech can come to your rescue. We are a leading Custom Software Development services provider in the US and India. We assist our clients in an effective and efficient software project plan that will help them minimize the following risks:
- Incomplete specifications
- Incomplete documentation
- Lack of communication between the product owner, the software development team, and the project manager
- Delays in delivery
Alternatively, here is a checklist to cross-check that you are not making the above mistakes. See if you can find answers to the following questions:
- Did we successfully complete the assigned tasks for the day?
- Did we achieve the milestones?
- Are we target-oriented?
- Are we using our available resources judiciously?
Once you find an answer to the aforementioned questions, you will have your progress check, thus completing the project and delivering it on time.