Software development BEST PRACTICES

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We work closely with our clients to capture their project requirements and then find the optimal technology partner to implement the solution.

{Building Efficient software, on time and on budget}

Improving the chances of success for any software project demands a clear understanding of the business and technical requirements that are to be implemented. Inexperienced software development teams frequently gravitate towards the technical aspects of a project, which can lead to project overrun and ultimately failure. It is critical that everyone working on the project understands the business goals and associated supporting requirements, therefore ensuring that every decisions delivers business value.

This guide is intended for business stakeholders who are preparing to undertake an IT software project. The information provided outlines industry best practices for ensuring your next project is architected and implemented efficiently, delivers business value and is completed on time and on budget. We also highlight the potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.

{Need Expert Guidance?}

We provide fully managed end-to-end solutions for start-ups and companies needing expert guidance.

Take advantage of our unique {SD:UK} CTO as a Service solution. Our experts help you to formally capture requirements, create a system specification, find the perfect partner and then fully manage the implementation of your project.

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{The Software development guide}

This section provides a guide that outlines the key factors every member of the team needs to consider when embarking on a new software project. The team encompasses both the technical (software developers) and the business (stakeholders) members. To use this guide simply select your role and the page will update to reveal your areas of concern:

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How to Create A Compelling Business Vision & Goals

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How to capture the goals and objectives for a software project

How to capture the goals and objectives for a software project

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For a business to have any chance of success, it must have clearly defined goals…

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How to plan and execute a software project (project delivery plan)

How to plan and execute a software project (project delivery plan)

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Every good software project needs a well-defined purpose, objectives, and a plan for how these…

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The importance of having an actionable software project plan

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The importance of having an actionable software project plan

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Best practices for capturing “business requirements” for your project

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How to capture the goals and objectives for a software project

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The importance of having an actionable software project plan

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Best practices for capturing “business requirements” for your project

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The importance of having an actionable software project plan

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Join our rapidly growing community and receive free advice on outsourcing best practices to save cost and reduce risk.

{Tips for ensuring the success of your software outsourcing project }

Poor software engineering practices can often result in lengthy setbacks and costly delays, as it is usually towards the end of the development process, during the testing stage that problems become apparent. The topics listed below aim to help you identify the common challenges that can occur during the software development process.


Communication is vital to any software development project’s success. One of the best ways to ensure that effective communication channels remain established between software developers and the rest of the team is to connect through instant messengers such as Rocket, Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Similarly, having all files and attachments available through a Google Cloud Platform (or similar) can help keep everything organised and together in one place. That way, you can monitor each step of the software development process in real-time and work together with the developers to find the solution to any problems as they happen.

Doing so can avoid miscommunication between project management teams and the software developers, helping to ensure that all tasks are dealt with in an organised and orderly manner.

As your business grows, the roles you have to play will likely evolve beyond your usual comfort zone. When this happens, it may be wise to outsource specific tasks to professional specialist developers.

When outsourcing software activities to a professional development company, you must retain specific tasks and duties as the business owner or director. These vary depending on the framework of each organisation, though it should include:

■ Quality assurance and brand consistency
■ Confidential information
■ Brand identity

A software development agency works best when the company retains control and is able to provide clear direction on IT tasks to be performed. This enables engineers to focus entirely on the software development process and achieve a higher quality end-product or result.

When considering the cost-saving of outsourcing certain aspects of the development process, there are certain factors you can use to determine the cost-saving benefits:

■ Firstly, make sure you’ve defined the specific business function you are looking to outsource. Whether this is anything from business analysis to software development tasks, you must understand what you are outsourcing for.

■ Next, businesses should weigh up in-house costs of avoiding outsourcing such that all tasks are handled internally. Some companies prefer this approach, as all-mission critical developments are handled under one roof, speeding up a project’s development and avoiding misunderstandings.

■ Once the expenses of handling tasks internally are derived, organisations should calculate the outsourcing overall cost. This includes both the number of functions which you are outsourcing for and your time requirements therein.

■ Businesses should deduct the total cost of outsourcing each stage in the development process from the savings made by handling everything internally. This should give organisations a clear picture as to how they ought to proceed.

Fixed-price contracts are often called ‘lump sum’ or ‘flat fee’ contracts and involve formal contracts being drawn-up before beginning any work. The project scope has to be fully defined upfront, meaning the requirements do not change as the work commences

These arrangements are standard within smaller projects and the construction industries, as there is usually a clear and definitive project scope and schedule for development and completion. Fixed-price contracts are often seen as safer for clients, as any fees are agreed up-front, and the risk and responsibilities of the project’s development are then passed to the contractor. If the work goes on for longer than agreed, the extra costs do not affect the customer. This makes fixed-cost contracts appealing to businesses who want precise and predictable expenses.

Otherwise known as ‘T&M or ‘Cost-Plus’ contract, a time and materials contract is when a business agrees to pay for all labour costs (time) and materials used within a development.

These ‘materials’ cover all of the developer’s expenses during a project’s software development life cycle. A time-and-materials contract is best suited for complex projects whereby it is difficult to accurately determine a project’s duration or anticipate costs to any certainty because the requirements are likely to change.

At SD:UK, we understand that outsourcing to someone you don’t know can seem daunting. However, we take the risk out of outsourcing by only partnering customers with highly qualified IT vendors that only employ the best developers and specialists.

Below are some of the steps we take in our conscientious vetting system when connecting our clients with IT vendors:

Do not choose your IT partner based purely on price.

■ Make sure you inspect their portfolio samples and work on previous projects.

■ Issue candidates with a test that proves their team abilities within their field of excellence.

Attach payments to clear and defined milestones in the development process.

■ Start with small outsourcing tasks and projects before building into something bigger.

For clients who are looking for a fully-managed solution, at SD:UK, we provide our ‘CTO as service’ solution. This involves a comprehensive development service where we pair customers up with suppliers who manage the project scope, development approach, architecture and design.

The relationship businesses form with the suppliers we match them with must be nurtured and developed by the client, and the following factors should be considered:

■ Ensuring all lines of communication are clear and that all goals and objectives are manageable.
■ An ‘Action Plan’ is agreed to and signed off by all internal stakeholders and external suppliers.
■ Ironing out all ‘grey areas’ or any ambiguity in a project’s scope and proposed development.
■ Respecting the practical workload-capacity of your supplier to avoid unrealistic expectations.
■ Building a solid rapport and relationship with your supplier through regular communication.
■ Keep things consistent by scrutinising all work created by both the supplier and internal workforce.

{Need Help Building Your Next Project ?}

Regardless of the size of your project {SD:UK} can help. It is recommended that you begin by reading our software development guide to understand the roles, responsibilities, best practices and processes needed to execute a software project successfully. With this knowledge you will be well equipped to proceed with defining the project vision and high level requirements.

If you need help with requirements gathering, software/architecture design, graphics design or project management then {SD:UK} provide a range of services that are tailored to your needs:


{B2B Connect}

For companies who have are looking for qualified suppliers to deliver their project.

Submit your project brief and we will review your requirements, then proceed to connect you with SD:UK certified software development companies. You can then assess tenders and choose the provider that best meets your needs.

LEARN MORE >>

{FAST-TRACK}

For companies who require help scoping their project and the tendering process

An experienced business analyst will work closely with you to scope your project and formally capture the business requirements. Our term will carefully review the requirements and ensure they align with the business vision. We will then help find the optimal IT supplier to undertake your project.

LEARN MORE >>

{Fully Managed}

For companies wanting a fully project managed solution, whereby we run the project.

This solution is best described as “CTO as a Service”. We will review your project requirements and then recommend suppliers who can work directly with your team, providing expert guidance to scope the project, design/oversee the architecture, manage developers and be the product owner who is responsible for the successful delivery of a quality solution.

LEARN MORE >>

The {SD:UK} team and the certified professionals within our software provider network have a proven track record in delivering projects within the following specialist domains:


{Latest News}

How to Effectively Manage Distributed Projects

How to Effectively Manage Distributed Projects



The remote work trend has been steadily on the rise year after year, and given…

Read More >>
How to Create A Compelling Business Vision & Goals

How to Create A Compelling Business Vision & Goals



Ideas are the bedrock of any successful company. Having a solid vision for your business's…

Read More >>
Future trends in the world of Software Development

Future trends in the world of Software Development



Software development has gone through numerous changes in recent years. With 2020 being challenging, many…

Read More >>
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