Software or web development process, especially when you hire 3rd party contractor, has a wide range of challenges. There is always a chance to face time overspent on the project.
There are a lot of reasons on why it may happen, so project planning is a key to success, and there are some steps that you probably would never heard from your contractor but that really matters.
Detailed Project Viion + Data flow + Communication
• Detailed Project Vision
If you are a Customer and you are planning new website or new mobile app or software, please try to do your best to prepare detailed project concept.
• Data flow
Answer question how new data should be added to the app and where we take it from and how we manage the data (calculations, storage, displaying etc).
Knowledge transfer is a real key to success. It’s great to share a couple of links for references but it’s always better when you share written details/sketches/scenarios and when you have prototype before development starts.
6 Tips on how to protect project from troubles before it is coming:
1. Project brief
Create tech specification that will describe all functionality and use cases and thus allowing to avoid any kind of misunderstanding regarding project scope.
HOW TO DO PROJECT BRIEF
Use Balsamiq or proto.io to prepare UX (black and white scheme) and then try to describe it screen by screen. If there are any issues, for example, workflow is pretty complex, please feel free to contact professionals for help. Also please have in mind that your description should cover backend and dashboard details. Small unclear description, lack of important details and misunderstanding of the technical side of project are main reasons of all possible fails. So try to clarify scope of work in technical documentation. This project brief will help you to receive predictable results.
2. If you have a budget for detailed tech specs, make it happen. This will help you to save time and cost on later stages
HOW TO DO TECH SPECS
If you have necessary background, you probably know that already. If you are a business owner, hire IT professionals, who will analyze user roles, user permissions and workflow in details. Remember, UI/UX design and specs always cost you less money comparing to changes that comes out during development and implementation stages when there is no specs available at the beginning. If your document is not pretty clear, please send us request, we would be happy to help and re-write it, goal here is to have all issues to be absolutely clear for developers or analysts.
3. Eat elephant by small pieces: Project Planning and Setting Milestones
For large project it might be reasonable to use best practices from Agile and prepare Project Plan with Sprint planning. Our perception is that it’s not necessarily to follow SCRUM/AGILE strictly, but using best practices like Sprints, calendar planning and arranging task lists per Sprint is something that we consider as a MUST HAVE’es. Divide scope into separate milestones with absolutely clear steps for development. Make sure that you have all user stories available somewhere in Redmine or JIRA for doing that.
4. Ask Developer to Prepare Feature list
Focus on feature list together with contractor hired before you started. Estimated cost depends on the feature list heavily. This is something that may decrease risk of misunderstanding scope of work. Developer will be more attentive to details. Also it’s a good time to double check everything and notice some differences between original scope and feature list. This helps developer to avoid underestimate.
5. Define Top Priorities
Based on feature list, define top priorities. Let’s say, you don’t need an extended stats at the very beginning, so you may have that postponed to later stages.
6. Ask Professional Advice for Technology
Feature list will also help you to select the most appropriate technology for project implementation. Let’s say, government portal can’t be done on WordPress due to security reasons, and small website does not need powerful CMS like Drupal. Also, native iOS SDK would be probably more preferable for mobile app comparing to cross-platform technologies for stable and predictable app behavior.
Please feel free to discuss your project scope with us, we are ready to turn your ideas into live apps.