Software Development Project Planning – Stages and Features
Having a great idea for a new product is excellent, but you need to have the people who can make it a reality. This is true for both the projects that you actualize in-house and the ones that you outsource. This is why Skywell Software would like to share with you how to properly plan out an enterprise software development project so that you can decide which one will suit you the best.
How to Plan a Software Project
Choosing a project model is important because it will determine how everything will unfold in the future. The most popular model is Agile because it offers a higher quality product and increases customer satisfaction and engagement. In an Agile model, testing is integrated throughout the SDLC, which allows for regular checkups to make sure that everything is working correctly during development. There are different ways you can plan out your Agile model: Scrum and Kanban
Let’s take a look at each of these methods in greater detail.
In the Scrum project plan, the development cycles are organized into sprints, usually lasting somewhere between 1-4 weeks. Each sprint will be geared towards creating a certain functionality that will be able to deliver added value to the user. Scrum is one of the most popular methodologies out there and includes several participants who will be in charge of planning out the project. These include Project Owner, Manager, Business Analyst, Testers, and all the teams involved in the creation of the product.
Let’s take a look at Scrum software development project plan example:
- Prior to planning out all of the sprints, the project owner will comb through the backlog of tasks. They may choose to include some new functionalities to address certain business needs and removing things that are irrelevant.
- The project owner will then have to prioritize all the tasks in the backlog. If certain tasks are not possible to accomplish during one sprint, they will have to split them into smaller chunks and get those done during several sprints.
- At the beginning of a sprint, all a planning meeting is agreed upon where everybody involved will determine the goal of each sprint. This includes taking into account the overall how much work will need to be done and nail down a timeframe for the completion.
If your company is transitioning to Agile, you might encounter some resistance to change. As a result, team members might try to fit Agile elements into a non-Agile framework, which could lead to disaster. It is always a good idea to make such a big change incrementally because otherwise, it can cause outright resentment.
Kanban is very interesting because its origins can be traced back to Toyota manufacturing plants in Japan. They used a lean system of manufacturing called Kanban, way back in the 1940s. The same principles involved in care manufacturing are applied to software development. At the heart of this method is the Kanban board. Today, you might walk into an office of a lot of companies nowadays and see a Kanban board with ten or more sections, but in reality, it can be as simple as “To do, In progress, Done.” The purpose of this board is to show the project flow and identify bottlenecks. The new participants in this methodology will be the team, and the others are the same as in Scrum.
The Kanban project planning process looks like this:
- Based on the project owner’s requirements, the project manager plans to put all of the tasks that help achieve the goals that are close at hand.
- The tasks are then delivered to the team leads who set up priorities and timelines.
- The team leads assign the tasks to specific developers and post these tasks on the Kanban board.
- As each task advances, it is moved along the board until it is finished.
One of the problems that teams experience with Kanban is that they fail to keep the Kanban board up to date, which is problematic because it does not reflect the current workflow. You have to be careful to monitor this process because only an updated Kanban board will be able to give you the insights that you need.
If your project is not suitable for Agile, or you simply feel that it will not be a good fit for your company, there is an alternative called Waterfall. This is more of an incremental approach where the entire project is broken down into stages, and each stage needs to be completed before you can go on to the next one. It will also include all of the same participants as in the Agile methodologies.
The planning will be broken down into the following:
- The project owner will have a discussion with the business analysts about the business goals.
- All of this will be relayed to the project manager
- He or she will create the stages and sequences based on the information with which they were provided.
Waterfall is a very rigid system, and as you can imagine, this possesses a lot of problems. The main one is that there is little flexibility. If something was not done correctly at a prior stage, you would have to go back to square one and start all over again. This is true even if you were at an advanced stage. This is why a lot of people tend not to choose this model.
Choosing a Software Development Project Plan That’s Right for You
Before starting development, it is important that you sit down with the people managing your project to tell them your needs, goals, and expectations. They will be able to suggest the software project plan that will help deliver the results you are looking for and within the necessary timeframe. Therefore, it is essential to choose an experienced software development provider because they will be able to help you navigate throughout all of the processes.