With the time and willingness on our hands, it can quickly become difficult to sit back and twiddle our thumbs. This is why when starting a new software project, our customers are often filled with an eager desire to help. Of course, here at Software Planet Group, there is always room for expediting development! In fact, by following the steps outlined in this article, not only will companies benefit from noticeably faster deliveries, but effectively reduce software development costs to boot!
Reduce Software Development Costs With a Clear Project Description
All too frequently when describing functionality, customers assume that developers understand what they mean. Yet without the appropriate context, this is simply an impossibility.
Thankfully, however, overcoming this issue is a surprisingly straightforward task, as it may easily be amended through a clear project description. When writing your own, by the way, try not to tell us about your project from a purely functional perspective — instead, take the time to consider your goals and what you’d like your project to actually achieve.
In this way, not only will developers gain a better comprehension of your success criteria, but they’ll also be able to more accurately gauge the potential magnitude of the workload ahead.
Come Up with User Stories
Next, it is time to focus on your project’s actual requirements.
At SPG, these take the form of so-called user stories, which are nothing but short narratives designed to express our customer’s requirements in both a concise and understandable way. Incidentally, as you may have guessed, putting together user stories is also incredibly easy.
Essentially, all you have to do is put yourself in the mind of your future users. In this way, a suitable user story could be something as simple as “as a prospect, I would like to be able to register for a free trial.”
Once you’ve followed the “as a , I can/want so that ” format for every feature you have planned, if you’re no stranger to Agile, it is time to move on to the following step:
Optional Acceptance Criteria
Alternatively known as the definition of done, acceptance criteria aim to provide developers with the necessary conditions that must first be met in order for a story to be regarded as complete. This is useful to all parties involved, as it helps to develop a common understanding of how each feature will be verified and accepted.
As explained in a previous article, for instance, possible acceptance criteria could be any or all of the following:
- Rate from 1 to 5 starts
- Unable to rate twice
- See my previous ratings
- Cannot rate my own recipes
- See animation for every possible rating
Reduce Development Costs with the Help of SMART Criteria
Developers may also opt for SMART acceptance criteria. In a nutshell, SMART is a particularly useful acronym for evaluating and adding structure to one’s targets. By asking yourself how Specific a goal is, how it will be Measured, how exactly it can be Achieved, if it is Relevant, and finally, if it is Time-bound to a specific date and time, you can equip your team with the clarity and focus that is required to meet your objectives.
Lo-fi vs Hi-fi Wireframes
For customers with an eye for detail, it is also helpful to provide developers with a visual representation of what you’re hoping to achieve. Though this may seem like a tall order at first glance, by using an uncomplicated tool like the excellent Balsamiq Wireframes (whose cloud and desktop versions are both available as a free trial), you can easily create UI sketches for mobile and web solutions.
Create an Interaction Diagram
And finally, customers determined to jump-start their projects may also resort to interaction diagrams. As seen in the example below, by drawing attention to the individual interactions between pages, these enable programmers to conveniently visualise any website — no matter how complex it may initially appear to be.
Reduce Software Development Costs Today!
While none of the above steps must in any way be taken by the customer, for those with extra time or a limited budget, there is no denying that they can certainly come in handy — so feel free to go ahead and get started as soon as you like.
In the meantime, of course, if you have any questions at all, our team at SPG will always be willing to help!