We hardly need to tell you that creating software is no cake walk. Taking a project from conception to completion successfully – on-budget and bug-free – requires access to fairly vast resources and stringent planning.
On any given software project, developers will be working hard to deliver code on time against a large number of unseen challenges, from integration with other software, legacy data formats, scalability criteria, government regulations and hardware requirements.
And while the growth of containerisation technology and no-code development systems are increasingly introducing pre-built components, for the most part, custom software is built from scratch, and every line of code is a potential point of failure.
How software projects are managed in industry
Given the complexity and uncertainty, software project management is a vital component to effectively carry the software development process through each of its development phases, which will tend to follow:
- Analysis – the team will agree on what the software needs to do, how users will interact with it, and what they will want from the solution. Decisions are backed by hard evidence, brainstorming and transparent conversations/interviews with all stakeholders/users where possible.
- Design – all necessary components of the program will be broken down using pseudocode and diagrams – including visual appearance, programming behind the software, and its system, hosting and hardware requirements – to provide design specifications for the implementation stage.
- Implementation – design requirements are broken up into modules and units, and the code is written by developers. This is the most intensive stage of the software development cycle.
- Testing – this is a crucial stage of the software development process that tests the program under various conditions, comprising functional testing – system testing, unit testing, integration testing, acceptance testing – and non-functional testing. If errors are found in the code, the coding process may be repeated.
- Evolution – once the software is error-free and finalised, it is deployed or delivered to the customer. Updates are made in real-time, and ongoing maintenance ensures the software remains adaptable to new systems and scale.
Why is software project management important?
Software development teams are made up of highly-skilled individuals with a range of technical and creative skill sets and disciplines, from business analysts, solutions architects, UX/UI designers, technical writers, testers, and programmers.
Software project management – led by a designated and experienced project manager – ensures that these individual team members are organised and work effectively in concert with one another through each stage of the software development cycle, to produce a single, cohesive end product. This is an essential role that directs the software development cycle through planning, scheduling, allocation of resources, execution, tracking, testing and delivery.
Ultimately, a project manager ensures that every stage of the software development process is thorough and runs as smoothly as possible to produce an effective and robust end product, in-line with customers’ expectations for budget and timescale.
Managing software projects requires a different approach than traditional project management in that software projects require multiple rounds of testing, updating and feedback and ongoing support and maintenance. Efficiently managing software projects is becoming increasingly important as more businesses invest in digital transformation, and increasingly explore custom software as solutions for their unique set of challenges.
Software development traditionally followed the waterfall model, where project activities are broken down into a linear sequence, and each phase depends on the completion of the previous stage. Software development projects today tend to follow an agile approach, where the stages form a cycle of continual improvement. Agile methodologies have become a more popular way of effectively keeping pace with modern digital business demands and customer feedback.
How to get software projects for my company
If your company creates digital products and has a developer team at hand, it’s possible to develop software solutions in-house. But without an experienced software project manager, complexity might take over and difficulties might be faced in delivering the project on time, to specifications.
In actuality, it can be much more cost effective to partner with an experienced custom software development company that can act as an extended team of specialists that are equipped to take your project thoroughly through each stage of the software development cycle.
A professional software company will ensure your company doesn’t waste time and money – they will provide a lot more bang for your buck than novice software developers, and help to avoid the additional cost of software project rescue when something goes wrong. Successful specialist IT companies will have worked on a wide range of projects and will have experience in identifying risk in advance, whether it’s a lack of data, software bugs, incomplete designs, and so on, and taking action to circumvent it.
If they have a good reputation, it will have been earned through taking on complex projects and delivering them in line with client expectations.
Helastel has 17 years experience in developing digital solutions for complex problems, get in touch today and we can set up a quick chat to discuss your requirements.