This article provides empirical advice for software project customers, product owners, project managers, team leads. Software project budget has to be clearly understood, examined and optimized. All the practices have been verified by ISS Art’s team.
When you run an IT project, you should always consider the work method, that defines how the value is delivered to the IT product. The development process, no matter how many members your team has, can be either efficient or not. The challenges of your IT project have a lot in common with the challenges of other projects in the industry.
Imagine: you are a customer of a big software project that tangled in chaos. Several practices will help you make your project manageable and profitable.
How successful is your business? How much of your business is done on the internet? Nowadays, every other businessman has a web application to offer their services online. Was it created locally or by a virtual team? I believe, a group of highly-skilled developers working across the road was hired to deliver the project. You must have paid quite a fortune for the time they dedicated to the product.
Truthful statistics of cost overruns
There is no secret that the cost overruns go closely with each software development project in the world. The average overrun amounts 40 – 50%. And 70 – 80 % of projects in the industry finish with overrun against the initial estimation.
The IT market is not only that is full of overruns. Big complex projects such as military and construction ones often get their budget over.
We’ve talked about time tracking issues in software development outsourcing in one of our previous articles. As a Project Manager, you need to monitor time spent by your team on the project tasks. As a Customer, you need to know what you actually pay for. This is where time tracking tools can help.Read More
In my previous post I told you about Scrum advantages. But there are a lot of issues when people try to use Scrum on their projects. Scrum is ideal when a company is developing a product for itself, when there are no outsourcing, deadlines and distributed teams. But when you try to use Scrum with outsourced development, things are getting more and more complicated. I have a half dozen projects in my portfolio, and today I will share my experience of Scrum in real life with you.
You already know that offshore software development brings the following benefits:
- Cost reduction when working with competitive labor markets;
- Unlimited access to highly specialized professionals;
- Maximizing the efficiency of time zone differences – less production down time.
Together with that, it brings certain challenges you should be aware of:
- The need for constant management and control (in particular, time and budget);
- Cultural differences (which were covered in one of our previous articles);
- Lack of face-to-face contact.
Let’s talk about control in more depth.
Classic waterfall software development approach originates in the manufacturing industry and is sequential by its nature. Phases follow one after another: requirements gathering, design, implementation, test, deploy. But currently this process doesn’t meet the needs of modern business. A medium sized project can last for a year, larger projects can take even more time to be completed. In a year original detailed functional requirements are often completely outdated. You can get a product that you don’t need.
We’ve already covered various aspects of software development process so far: how to choose a provider, which IP issues to consider, how to motivate your team, what challenges to be aware of when working on international scale… But how to make sure that the whole team is actually working? What if the majority of time is actually spent on non-project related activities (i.e. Facebook, chats with friends, etc.)?