Quite often even the most precise technical specifications in the beginning of cooperation cannot guarantee that no changes to the project plan will be made during the development.
In the following piece we discuss what changes may be done on the go and why you can never be 100% sure that your final price tag is going to stay the same over the course of the development. We will see what changes may occur, how more time can be added and more money spent to deal with issues that cannot always be predicted in advance.
Software development is scrupulous process. Team members and business owners often make decisions on the go during this process. Simply put, occasional corrective maneuvers are absolutely necessary in order to shape and guide the development process.
Many things in the project can be estimated as taking an X amount of time. When it comes to actual development, the team can face challenges doing some Y things for X amount of time. This process is also called scaling and no matter how thorough, precise, and detailed are the specifications, there will always be some fringe project details that can be estimated only once the actual development is underway.
Business Analyst is the main intermediary between you, our client, and the development team responsible for your project. A business analyst knows enough about software development pitfalls but BA is also familiar with user’s perspective and client’s business logic behind the app’s functionality.
Therefore, a Business Analyst ensures that developers move in the right direction. In the process of estimation you will have a chance to talk with a senior developer as well. Together with business analyst they will provide you with as detailed and thorough specifications as possible, outlining every feature, every man hour, and every development stage.
Do It Right
The process of software development is a very nuanced one. Even something plain and simple like a landing page or a presentational website done by a team largely depends on fluent and effective communication.
Agile and Scrum methodology are responsible for cost-effective meetings and generally meaningful and purposeful communication. Imagine yourself building a model of the house with lego blocks. Well, first layers and first levels you do are foundational for everything you do afterwards. Without solid foundation, everything you do is at risk of falling apart. Same can be applied to many things in life.
More specifically, software engineering and coding can only go smoothly if it works right in the beginning from the very start. Little issues in software development become big issues if they’re not attended to.
Scaling on the Go
You might need an example or two to better understand what cannot be predicted in advance before your project enters development stage. Some things you might not even know about because they are minor, yet very important for the overall health of the project.
Business Analysis – Be Precise
Don’t get confused. You should be precise but do not expect your project to go flawlessly. This just doesn’t happen so and it is exactly the issues and engineering problems faced during the development that make possible true creative breakthroughs and really innovative decisions. Thus, be precise and always ask for precise planning with the wider access to information. Mind the devil in the details.
The more information you provide us with, the better the outcome will be. The lack of information can lead to misunderstandings made by people trying to fill the vacuum. You may have more than enough information on your project, making our BA spend days on deciphering it into task blocks and development process stages. Working closely with BA always pays off quite well.
Most companies will give you a “rough” estimation because they know how many variables can affect the final price tag. There are certain but very ethereal headbutts which can really hurt the project, adding more hours and more dollars to the final cost of your app.
That’s why we give rough estimation is often 70% accurate. It means that your project can end up costing 30% more than it was initially told to cost. Or, some 30% of its functionality can be cut down without any harm to the overall core processes, making your app development project 30% less expensive.
It is important for you to know that changes to justify these time/money adjustment are most likely to happen, since in any project a lot becomes clear on the go. You should have a plan and stick to it, although be ready to change your plans according to the changing landscape and evolving circumstances. Be flexible and be adaptive.
Updates and Upsales
A lot of “nice to to have” features and additional functionality can be left out in the additional ETA in order to launch the project with whatever money investors have as of the moment. This is done to force the development and start making the idea into reality while it is still topical.
Because of this rush the additional features and richer functionality are added later via the updates and for extra cost (upsales). Even working with fixed price / fixed materials always requires some additional extra features to integrated later for additional cost. Moreover, often these extra features are not even that evident to foresee their development in advance on the specification stage of the development.
By this time you must understand that getting a precise ETA of your project with fixed cost is critical. You should also keep in mind that even the most detailed cost analysis that provides a fixed price tag risk of missing the details that are impossible to foresee in advance. It results in scaling and change of the project cost and deadline to adjust to the circumstances that have changed since the project’s start. Good luck!
Want to calculate the cost of your project?