Fewer things are as important for modern companies as high-quality software development, as industries of all types utilize software applications to varying degrees. Unfortunately for startups, small businesses, and even multimillion dollar companies, tightening costs and rising competition mean a desperate scramble to find areas in which to slash expenses. Reduce your software development costs without sacrificing the quality of your product by following these budget-saving strategies.
Draw Up Your Requirements
Before beginning your development process, take the time to sit down and draw up a requirements analysis, essentially a business plan for your software aims. Think of it as a check on your prerequisites; software development relies on a host of other factors. By drawing up documentation of all the things you require, from start to finish of the process, the chances of miscommunication are decreased. Taking the time to write and rehash your expectations will streamline the development process and serve as a roadmap template for both developer and client to assess at any point throughout the project.
Use Agile Strategy
Software development is complex, affected by a multitude of variables that can impact the project at each turn. Up until recent years, many companies were following the waterfall method, in which the software follows a sequential lifecycle. In other words, companies would determine their software needs, hire a company to build the application, and wait for the developer to build said request. This method lends itself to error; misunderstandings and lapses in communication can lead to development of a product that fits none of the hiring company’s needs.
A better method was clearly needed—cue the Agile approach towards software development. Agile strategies require developer and client to define their goals and needs in an iterative fashion, following the process closely step by step. Following the Agile approach, small portions of the development are released, allowing the client to determine what works and what doesn’t immediately, saving time and development costs. Agile reviews of the product will drastically minimize the amount of rework that needs to be done at any point of the development process. Producing software changes in specified batches allows clients to provide invaluable feedback leading to immediate revision without affecting the rest of the development project as a whole.
Consider Your Outsourcing Options
Outsourcing your project is one of the easiest ways to drastically slash software development expenses. Initial savings come in the absence of in-house costs that accompany hiring full-time employees, including benefits, salaries, and overhead expenses. Outsourcing expands the pool of candidates worldwide, allowing you to access great talent at a fraction of the cost. By hiring freelance developers or outsourcing to offshore teams, you can on-board an individual or group for a set amount of time, and amicably part ways when the project in question has been completed. If you do elect to hire an off-site developer, always require a test project to determine that their skills are up to par and your communication is clear. As always, hiring the cheapest resources available doesn’t always lend itself to high-quality work, so tread carefully when attempting to cut costs in software developer hiring processes.
Utilize Automated Testing
The moment development starts, testing should begin, through both manual and automated means. Few things are as important to your software development aims as quality assurance, and using automated testing with the help of an ALM software system will catch bugs in the system and provide more info quickly and efficiently. Prioritizing automated tests over manual processes reduces the likelihood of human error, and often decreases the development time. Testing at each stage of development will help thwart issues before they start, lessening the chances of reworking needs, which in turn saves the development cycle valuable money. These types of software clients help developers to stay on track with the project, track hours and print reports on the status of any given portion of a project. Software like this can also reduce the margin of error, providing a safeguard against unforeseen issues.
Quick and efficient software development is essential for companies looking to keep up with the competition. If your startup or small business is looking for ways to significantly cut down on costs associated with software development without sacrificing quality, consider these strategies.