There is always a strong correlation between a project’s budget and its deadline. Common consensus holds it that to deliver the final product faster requires either to compromise the quality or to pay more. This is especially important not just concerning software development but engineering in general. Essentially, time is money, and to complete a project faster without compromising its quality will definitely cost more. Therefore, the relation of a project’s budget to its deadline is non-linear. Read further to know more about price/time ratio in regard to software development projects.
These are: 1) quality 2) deadline 3) price
fast and best – expensive
fast and cheap – low quality
best and cheap – slow
What clients want: best, fast and cheap
In truth, though, there should be a compromise as it always happens when business is good.
So, you can choose the 2 variables which influence the outcome. Consider it an equation: insert the inputs and you get the determined outputs. This is called a project management triangle and there’s even a Wikipedia article about it.
You can release the project faster without compromising its quality by reducing the number of features. In software development that means doing a Minimum Viable Product (we’ve already covered that here) in order to speed up the delivery and have core product with crucial features that is further gradually improves over time.
Price / Budget
Quality things cost money. Never forget that something cheap just can’t be valuable and nothing that comes easy (or free) is worth having. And if you don’t pay for the product, you are the product. Making a quicker release without compromising quality means additional work for developers or a bigger team for the equal distribution of tasks communication gaps and integration issues that go with putting more developers on a project. This is simple math and that means higher costs because time is money. When you’re buying time, be ready to pay for it. Surprisingly, to add a developer to the project costs 50% more but the project will be completed only 30% faster.
Business owners often have serious reasons for a faster release of their products. Sometimes there’s a certain time frame or existing market conditions that can favor the release and make its marketing/promotion more efficient. You should also keep in mind the competition because someone may get there earlier and ruin your entire business plan, stealing users that you aimed to target as your potential clients.
Certain development methodologies exist in order to streamline and optimize a project development cycle. They can either shorten or extend the time frame and postpone the deadline. Keep in mind that communication may take up to 25% of development time but it is crucial to communicate effectively to guarantee that the end product will meet the expectations.
Development Methodologies like Scrum and Agile are built around proper communication models with daily meetings and prompt feedback. There are companies that still use the waterfall model. But Scrum and Agile are the best options nowadays used by us by default. Nevertheless, in case you’re working with a small team, ask them what project management model they use. Fail to plan is a plan to fail.
Complexity of the Project
Business owners and startupers in search of the best affordable software development offers often oversee the complexity that certain processes require. Traditionally, being unable to look at the problem from an engineering point of view or a design perspective, our clients confuse what it costs to implement a certain features or what it takes in terms of time and effort.
For example, take a registration form in almost every app out there. It can be pretty simple and straightforward or it can be very complex. Now, a client might think that to add login with Facebook or SMS verification is simple but it requires to implement additional algorithm to the existing code which means more work in terms of days, even though it looks simple on the surface. Even to make additional line for a family name or a place of residence is tedious task for designers and developers to work on for hours.
you can pick only two
Things to Keep in Mind
There’s a saying “money today is more expensive than money tomorrow”. This is not a study in economy and we’re not talking about inflation or why banks desire to keep your money while you don’t need it. It is conventional wisdom that time is of the essence in business and you simply cannot get the same product faster without paying more. It will either be a slightly different product or a more expensive one. You choose.
Always rely on the expert’s opinion when it comes to ETA. Don’t go fast and break things. Fixing issues in software development is much more expensive than avoiding them in the first place. To ensure this certain tasks should be dealt with in a certain amount of time. You cannot make “app like Tinder” in 1 month. If you can, it wouldn’t be “like Tinder” at all, believe me.
All this doesn’t mean that you should give your development team creative freedom to use it as they please. It is up to project managers and business analysts to oversee how much time it takes developers to complete certain tasks. Unless it is estimated by senior developers themselves, PM and BA calculate it based on the average data.
So, why a project made two times faster will be three times more expensive? The simplest answer is because with more developers communication becomes more complex. And to rush things up in software development is never a good idea. What one developer makes one day two developers will do two days. It may sound like a joke but there’s truth there, since communication takes time and more people on the project mean more communication. And it is also true that the dilemma of the project management triangle requires you to pick two out of three: quality, speed, price. Make the right choice!
Have a project in mind?