yet another post on the cost cutting in custom software development
outsourcing. If you are new to this series, please check out the part 1 here
and part 2 here. This series builds on itself and you would be able to
appreciate more of what I am going to talk about today. With that note let us
get into out topic of the day “Prevention trumps Cure”.
Software development has come a long way since SDLC. Development teams are
getting smaller and project cycles are getting shorter with Agile
development methodologies & other practices such as scrum. However according to Gartner
researcher Theresa Lanowitz, agile software project teams reported a surge in project
cost from $3.2 million to $3.4 million in the span of last 4 years. Now that does not add right as project team
and time is getting shorter i.e. the two important resources needed for the
lies further in her research as well as in the interesting article written by Robert
Charette here in why software fails. It is noted that developers spend 50% of their
precious time in rework, which are avoidable in the first place. Now, if you
are a seasoned project manager or have done software development outsourcing
before, you would know that cost of fixing after go live as compared to
development can be 100 times higher.
Prevention is always better than cure
Defects are the most contributing factors to software failures and they drive
up the cost originally intended for the project. While the quality of the vendor who deliver the software does matter, it always comes down to a simple and most important
document: The Requirement specs. Write and document all those nitty gritty details
of the project, do not leave anything to common understanding or
assumptions. What is common for your
business may not be common for the vendor or his developers who will be coding
Requirements should be stated clearly and they form the bible for both business
and developers. This would help us to
check the features of each module delivered, thus avoiding reworks in the
Requirements to some extend could be avoided using documentation and well written
test cases. However, it all depends on not what the software deliver but how
well it delivers. This usually depends on how well the vendor understands your
business and the quality of the coding that goes into the development.
I think by now;
you understand that cost cutting in custom software development does not always
depends solely on the initial project cost. Thanks for dropping by and stay
tuned for few more posts on this series. Alternatively, you can head over here to read on the same subject. Have a fantastic day!
Business Analyst - Snr Software Consultant.