5 Effective Ways to Reduce Custom Software Development Costs

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5 Effective Ways to Reduce Custom Software Development Costs

The cost of a project is always a concern, although sometimes overlooked. Keep the expenses of your custom solution within budget with these tips.

· Agile Zone ·
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Too many software projects fail. Yup, we did it! Someone had to address the elephant in the room. Planning inadequacies and lack of communication are the essential reasons for the failure of custom software development, way more than technical incompetencies or unattainable requirements. Custom software development is far from quintessential and thus, the word “custom.” There might be a few similarities between some projects, but each project is a cluster of innovative ideas and business logic.

A recent Harvard Business Review article revealed that one in six IT projects has a cost overrun of 200%. Sounds like an industry that loves to fail. So, how can we reduce the expense of custom software development? Do it yourself? That goal is unreachable when it comes to software. And it is unimaginable to think that a modern business can prosper without software. As a result, costs skyrocket and eventually might even displace the company’s overall profit, especially for a startup and new small firm. Then, is there even a way to develop a custom software without losing all your money? Can we save costs in software development & maintenance? Absolutely.

When the relevant requirements for a project have been laid out, costs of custom software development can be lower than you think. 

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Consider Your Outsourcing Options

Outsourcing software projects is one of the easiest ways to minimize software development expenses. Initial cost savings comes in the form of the absence of in-house cost i.e., salaries, benefits, etc., and then extends to cost-cutting in operational, marketing, and management costs. Offshore software development is also a great way to gain access to experienced developers in the required technical domain. But, at the same time, these lower rates don’t necessarily translate into a better price-quality ratio. Ensuring quality will require taking into consideration more factors than just cost. With the right attitude, not only will you save money but you will also find great quality software solution.

Draw Up Your Own Requirements

The main purpose of this is to avoid ambiguity in the requirements. If the requirements are misinterpreted or not read in its entirety, it will result in haphazard design, improper functionality, and will lack specificity, resulting in a disaster. Before approaching any software outsourcing vendor, make sure you are completely aware of your business needs and draw up a requirement analysis. Drawing up a proper documentation from start to finish results in decrease in miscommunication.

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The Art of Communication Is the Language of Leadership

52.7% of projects will cost 189% of their original estimates, as per a Standish report. Why? Impractical and unfeasible project specs and constant changes in project direction and management. This kind of phenomenon became so common that it even has a name: "Black Swan." Project aspects at most times stay moderately vague and the offshore software development team should step in and articulate any outstanding gray areas about the scope of the project. Correct and efficient translation of the project specs into a complete project flow that can act as a roadmap for both the customer as well as the outsourcing software development vendor not only effectively minimizes any guesswork but also decreases the potential latitude for misunderstanding.

Make QA Team Involved in The Beginning

The software testing mantra says that one should start testing early in the software development lifecycle. Errors or bugs often starts to accumulate during the requirement or design phase and then disseminates eventually. Involving QA in the initial stage identifies many issues prior to development and avoids sub-optimal application quality, the cost for redesigns mid-project, and even red flags for the release. Involving QA from the start also brings potential issues and conflicts to surface and also questions any functionality that might not have crosses the customer’s or the developing vendor’s mind.

Prioritize the Necessary Features and Eliminate the "Nice to Haves" for Version 1

When it comes to software projects, stakeholders are generally excited, and their imaginations are limitless before the costs are drawn. Be aware, when it comes to software development, an unabridged solution might take a few versions to roll out, when the budget is not that accommodating. Start with a small chunk of software with basic requirements and once it proves to be valuable and profitable, subsequent extensions of the software is always an option.

There Is More…

I just briefly selected a few tips that will help you effectively outsource software development projects at a much lower cost without giving up on quality. To sum it all up, when there is a proper foundation for the application and a very clear idea in mind, software development can be more affordable than most people realize.

agile, cost management, custom solution, outsourcing, software development

Published at DZone with permission of Ankita Banerjee . See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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