September 19, 2022

Estimating a project

Software estimating is a tricky one.

I think it's the same in any industry really. The market has moved towards a more agile approach defining deliverables as you go rather than upfront. Which from a consultants perspective makes total sense. However, that takes complete trust from the customer. Ultimately, the provider won't commit to fixed deliverables. Therefore, you are buying time from a team. Not something that would float well in the construction industry which is a well established fixed cost mentality.

Cutting corners

I've lost count of the number of fixed costs projects which go over budget. Features are underestimated and the complexity and mutual understanding through a 50 page functional spec doesn't always get the desired result. From a customer perspective it reduces the risk and can often benefit the end result. However, if the project is underestimated, effort is appropriated to what are deemed the high priority features to launch the product. Which often are viewed from a design and development perspective, rather than a performance perspective. For example, SEO or page speed optimisation would be the first to go. Which in the short term is viable, but in the long term erodes the site performance if not picked up.

Hybrid projects can enable the best of both worlds

Delivering successful products require incredibly high levels of collaboration and performance. Aligning customers and product teams is essential, only then with a trusted environment can amazing products be built. Hybrid delivery enables essential planning upfront where other effort may be appropriated in different styles. You plan what matters not what may benefit your company best. Writing a digestible spec with a clear business plan motivates product teams, lack of guidance or too much rigidity creates a 'do for me' environment where reducing risk has run riot.

It does depend though...

There's no one size fits all approach. Building products together can be intense but incredibly rewarding. If you can create an amazing environment, a strong vision and a clear plan the rest should follow. Changing the vision or focussing on too many features will rock the boat. Work hard early and the quality will follow.

Related Post

No items found.

Want to start a project?

Let's Talk