Proactively managing software costs is understandably a big priority when you are launching a software project.
Below are eight recommendations on how you can save money and reduce costs when building software.
1. Create A Clear Vision and Success Criteria For Your Project ASAP
Your vision keeps your team focused on the goal. Success criteria are a way to know for sure if you have achieved what you set out to do. Neither have to be lengthy or complicated. The simpler and clearer, the better.
Vision: Allow our employees to be self-sufficient in the field using only a tablet device.
Success Criteria: Our sales team can demonstrate our products, create proposals, generate orders, manage discounts, capture signatures and email customers from a tablet while in the field, without needing to call for approval or external help.
2. Create A Clear Set Of Requirements
Requirements provide more detail and substance to your success criteria and are the basis for the design and development by your team.
For example, what are all the steps needed to demonstrate products? How will the application act when there is no internet service available? Will the customer be given the tablet to interact with the products or will they be shown by a sales engineer?
3. Keep Team Member Participation in Design Meetings Small and Focused
Those who work for your company are the experts of your business. Your input is critical in designing a solution that will meet your exact needs. But there is too much of a good thing.
In design meetings, try to limit the number of people involved. This will keep conversations focused and tangents minimized. You want to pull information from the Subject Matter Experts while not giving conflicting directions to your software team.
4. Evaluate And Manage Changes Carefully
Change is the number one reason projects run over budget. When you have identified a change you would like to make to the original design, consider the value of the change in relationship to the cost.
What impact will this change have on the rest of the project? How important is this change to the company? Can it wait until after the software is delivered?
Once you have decided to go through with the change, communicate clearly to everyone that the budget of the project has been adjusted and start tracking to the new figure.
5. Provide Input and Material Requests Quickly
There will be several times during your project that your team will need your input or documents and files from you. Do your best to provide these as soon as possible. Keeping your team waiting may delay the project and add in costs.
6. Keep Internal Stakeholders and Decision Makers Informed
Managing your internal team is as important as your project team. Keep key stakeholders and decision makers informed. Lack of information and uncertainty makes people feel uneasy, and uneasy people can be disruptive when they search for answers and decide to personally get involved.
7. Review Progress Frequently
The misunderstanding of requirements is the second biggest cause of project cost overrun. The best way to catch this by reviewing progress frequently.
During a demonstration, if you see a feature wasn’t built the way you were thinking, you can immediately have a conversation with your team and course-correct. This is much harder to do at the end of the project.
A phrase we like to say is “Aim small, miss small.” By this we mean, develop a small scope of work at a time, review, and adjust if needed.
8. Stay Actively Involved
In addition to reviewing progress, feel free to have conversations with your project manager. Ideally, you should be meeting every week or every other week. Keep track of the team’s progress. Ask questions.
If a task is taking longer than expected to deliver, ask why. This may be an opportunity to address a misunderstanding or take a different approach, avoiding issues down the road.
The 5 Pillars Of A Successful Software Project
We want to help every software project begin on solid ground. In The 5 Pillars Of A Successful Software Project we share the five essential ingredients of every software project.