Table of Content
- 1. Set goals and define objectives
- 2. Define the target audience
- 3. Create timeline
- 4. Build your team
- 5. List tasks
- 6. Plan costs
- 7. Evaluate the risks
- 8. Writing guidelines to follow
- 9. Write in plain English
- 10. Communicate your ideas clearly
- 11. Proofread the final document
- 12. Use proper formatting
- 13. Revisit your project plan on a regular basis
- 14. Conclusion
Do you want to develop a great software product and do it on time and on a budget? Start your project by writing a comprehensive plan. Create clear guidelines for developers and outline the expectations of the stakeholders. It will boost your team’s efforts and help you to achieve higher results.
Here is an ultimate guide for you. Use it to write an effective plan and make your project a success.
Set goals and define objectives
Plan writing always starts with setting goals and objectives. So the first thing you should do is to clarify what specific software you want to develop. You should define the necessary features, characteristics, and parameters.
Let’s say you’re writing a project plan for payment software. One of your goals may sound like this, “software must be able to proceed up to 10,000 payment requests per minute.” To achieve this goal, you can set such objectives as “to add XYZ module to enable the system to accept a large volume of closely-spaced requests” and “to rewrite ABZ part of the code to fix the performance bugs that slow down program execution.”
Define the target audience
The next step you should take is to explain to developers who will use your software, when, and for what purpose. You should specify whether users have previous experience with using similar software and whether they have a background in the field. For instance, if you plan to develop marketing software, you should clarify whether the software will be used by qualified marketers or eCommerce business owners who don’t have a marketing background.
Software development consists of multiple processes. Some of these processes are running simultaneously; others are followed one by another. You need to create a timeline of all processes to estimate the execution time of your project.
There are many visualization tools out there. Choose a suitable tool and visualize the timeline. Once your team starts working on a project, it will help you to track the progress.
Build your team
Now you need to decide how many qualified developers you need to bring your project to life. You can invite new programmers to your team or consider getting help from freelance experts.
Your task is to ensure that the qualification of developers matches the requirements of your project. Also, you should make sure team members have the same vision and are ready to work toward common goals.
The next step you should take is to write a full list of the project tasks. You should assign the tasks to team members and notify them about that.
When developers and other team players understand who is responsible for what, the project runs smoothly. Project participants do not shift the responsibility for work to each other. They strive to complete every task on time and meet the project deadline.
Naturally, if you want to put your plan into action, you should be ready to cover all associated costs. You must have enough money to pay salaries, bills, utilities, rent, taxes, and make other big and small payments.
Since you have already estimated how many team members you need and how long it will take you to complete the project, you can calculate the total cost of software development. List all the prospective expenses and calculate the total sum.
If you see that the sum exceeds the return you expect to get, you should revisit your project plan. You must find a way to cut some expenses and minimize the total costs. Otherwise, your project will bring you loss, not profit.
Evaluate the risks
We live in an unpredictable world where everything can happen. And we must be ready to accept risks and operate in uncertainty. If you want to launch your software successfully, you should plan what you will do in case of unforeseen events and situations.
You need to identify potential risks that can impede software development and prioritize them. Experts recommend using a risk matrix to define risk likelihood and risk severity. However, you can leverage any other risk management technique you like.
Writing guidelines to follow
We have already discussed what you should write in your software development project plan. Now let’s talk about how you should do it.
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Write in plain English
If some of your team members are not native speakers, write your project plan in plain English. Avoid using uncommon vocabulary and lesser-known euphemisms. Write everything in simple words to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Communicate your ideas clearly
A software development project plan is a formal document, so keep your writing concise and straight to the point. Don’t repeat the same ideas twice, and don’t jump from one topic to another. If you need someone to edit your plan, you can get help from a thesis writing company or use online services designed for this purpose.
Proofread the final document
Proofreading is an essential part of the writing process, and you shouldn’t skip it. You should correct all grammar mistakes and typos before delivering the document to the stakeholders. It will help you to ensure that no one will doubt your competence and project management skills.
Use proper formatting
Each section and subsection of your project plan must have a relevant heading or subheading. Besides, you should use readable, simple fonts and list your ideas using bullet points. In such a way, you will make the text of your plan skimmable and help your team members find the necessary information quickly.
Revisit your project plan on a regular basis
Software development is a complex process, and you can’t predict how exactly your project will be running. So it will be wise of you to use an agile approach and revisit your plan on a monthly basis.
Now you know what you should do to build an effective software development project plan. So jump into writing!
Create a plan today and get one step closer to a big success.