Ways to Reduce Software Development Costs
Whether you are setting up your own software development company or you need to develop software as part of a project, the costs involved can leave you hamstrung, unless you keep in mind the following factors that contribute to software development costs the most.
One way is to hire remote software developer, other would be to optimize workflows.
At Nerdii, one of the main parts of our training is to teach prospective developers ways to optimize their workflows in order to reduce costs in the long run!
Best Ways to Reduce Software Development Costs
Planning, Communication, and Documentation:
Taking on a project and figuring it out along the way is not the way to go about software development. Before you reach out to your team you need to plan extensively. A strong plan that focuses on the design and scope of the work involved makes the entire project requirements slightly more transparent.
Not only that, but the process of planning allows one to refine the goals of the project, and more importantly everyone can get closer to being on the same page. It allows for decisions like prioritizing features that are an absolute must over features that might be just nice to have rather than providing functional value. Planning is extremely important but one must also take care to not overdo it.
Getting down into the nitty-gritty can become redundant as software development is a long collaborative effort requiring input from multiple people and so finding the right balance of being inquisitive and letting things work out is key.
Closely linked to planning is the need to document your requirements in case you’re reaching out to an external software development company.
It’s in your best interests to communicate what you want strongly and to keep a record of the specificities of the tasks you require so as to avoid ambiguities and so that conflicts don’t arise later on.
After extensive planning, you should have a document ready that notes down all your requirements in a clear and not a vague manner which then acts as a roadmap that can be referenced to whenever in doubt.
Testing and Automation:
The next step involves being mindful of the frequency with which testing occurs. Software development is as I have mentioned before a collaborative effort between many minds and before it can be fine-tuned into its final form it needs a lot of trial and error to get there.
Regular testing sessions need to be incorporated in the schedule so as to not have to re-design and re-work complete components because of issues and bugs that have been accumulating since the beginning. It can save you a lot of money to begin testing in the initial phases. Furthermore, you should look into automation.
The most expensive part of a software development project is the software developers and automating tasks leads to fewer hours put in by your developers meaning fewer costs. Despite the obvious, I do not recommend automation just to replace humans with computers, I do so to create space for quality from your developers since automation of certain tasks frees them up to contribute to the creative aspects of the project.
Since research shows more than half of the time, effort and costs are involved in testing, the best place to incorporate automation is to start investing in writing tests which despite being a heavy initial investment, pays off in loads later on.
The People Involved:
As I have mentioned before, it is the people that are central to a software development project in terms of the concentration of costs, so it becomes a priority to hire the right kind of people.
You want to minimize the time spent coding while the quality remains top-notch, so your developers need to be well rounded and well suitable for your project. A key thing to remember is to always test your team with a small project before handing them one big in scope.
Or, you can choose to outsource. Given the huge gap in the demand and supply of software developers in the US, you can benefit a lot from outsourcing your projects to countries like India, China, or Pakistan.
Companies like Gaper.io from these countries exist who are aware of this gap and their business models revolve around capitalizing on this shortage by providing teams of the best talent while maintaining quality standards. These countries have an endless pool of talent that compounds with the massive wage gap between them and their US counterparts.
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Incorporating Agile is a popular recommendation for organizations in general. It involves the empowerment of the workforce to be able to make quick decisions for themselves instead of impending approvals that cause time lags and communication breakdowns in all the layers of hierarchy.
This means that your software development team is a self-governing entity on its own and can make decisions about which development processes to proceed forward with on their own. This cuts down on costs in terms of the time saved that would otherwise be lost in bureaucratic functionings.
However, like all things incorporating Agile may not be so straightforward. It’s a mental attitude and value that needs to be promoted throughout your organization or company and not something that you can apply to for instance, just your software development team.
On average, companies spend from 4.1% to 6.9% of revenue, (if they are small to mid-sized) on IT. Despite the fact that it probably is impossible to predict from the onset, the costs, and processes that may be involved, you can definitely implement these methods to significantly reduce the costs of your development project.