How To Save On A Development Budget
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Custom software is well known for its “never done” thing – you can always add more features, implement a few more ideas and throw away mint of money. How to save on a development budget and deliver the planned valuable product?
Some companies don’t plan a particular budget at all and keep throwing money for unnecessary features, others allocate less than their project need and miss a lot of opportunities.
At ASD team, we use the term “smart budget”. What is it? This is the budget that provides you with enough funds to deliver a product able to pay for itself as fast as possible.
Here’s a quick practical guide on how to save on a development budget and deliver a valuable product at once:
This simple step may not be obvious for everyone, but it’s essential in the very beginning of your path.
Why you want to seek advice from your IT or business consulter:
In case you consult your IT partner you’ll have an opportunity to start developing your Development & Implementation Plan.
He shared with me a few basic issues this app’s supposed to solve and the main was AUTOMATION.
His web app will allow not only to choose the best provider, but also automate the process of applying to an account or getting an insurance quote in one click, and so on – he had a really long list of features and needs to be covered.
As his IT consulter, I helped our client to pick up the set of features for MVP and prioritize them. Now we’re on Phase 1 of development and will release in a month.
If you need help with planning your project and budgeting, we can help.
Validating your idea is an essential step before diving in developing a fully-featured app.
How to validate your idea and product?
Before starting to search for someone to code your web app prepare a Request For Proposal. This is a common practice in IT business.
Actually, RFP is the process from planning to project delivery. But it’s a good idea to start with RFP document which usually includes:
Let’s review the most important points from this list.
The next step on saving development costs is finding the outsourcing technology partner, that understands your requirements and have enough expertise to deliver your app, rather than hiring the entire in-house team from scratch.
Remember, the most important on this stage is to get your web app into your customers’ hands. Outsourcing the design and development processes will save you both on the cost of hiring a team and a lot of time, therefore.
Here’s your motto for Phase 1: “Build less, release sooner!”
The fact about custom software development – it’s never done. There will always be more features to add or platforms to extend. So, the amount of ideas usually exceeds the allocated budget.
In the process of development, your team may uncover previously unknown complexity that can add cost to a project.
And it’s wise to allocate 150% of the ballpark estimates from your technology partner and be sure that you avoid being undercapitalized. It’s not necessary to spend all 150%, but protect yourself from the unknown risks.
Work with your software developers’ team and set a fixed budget for Phase 1 (or MVP).
This will keep both you and coders focused on prioritized features and build your first release faster. Remember – “Build less, release sooner!” Still works.
After releasing an MVP you’ll start receiving first feedback from your users and you’ll still have budget left for bug fixes and further updates.
Scope of Work or SOW is a real document with tasks to be done within your project. It usually includes:
Every customer imagines a perfect picture: he/she explains all the needs and requirements to the team and ‘ta-da!’ receives a ready-made product in a few weeks.
The reality differs a bit. You should regularly take part in meetings with your team, watch milestones and deadlines by constantly checking in
Here’s a common milestone breaking down:
Summing up this 8-Step Guide on how to save on a development budget, I’ll show you how we estimate a project budget in ASD team:
If you love numbers more than words, here’s a brief stats of custom software development costs: