Whether you operate as a startup business or an international company in need of a unique software solution writing a solid project brief is essential. The reason for that is simple – IT projects are quite difficult to manage from their inception to launch without management difficulties.
Table of Content
- 1. Benefits of a Proper Software Development Brief
- 2. Writing a Project Brief for a Software Development Agency
- 2.1. Brief Overview
- 2.2. Software Features Outline
- 2.3. Project Team Breakdown
- 2.4. Technical Requirements Matter
- 2.5. Budget & Development Roadmap
- 2.6. Project Brief Writing Mistakes Can Happen
- 3. In Conclusion
According to Medium, average IT projects overrun their budgets by 27%, with the average sum going up to 66% higher than planned in most cases. Most importantly, 17% of those projects go so badly that they threaten the existence of the company itself due to legal issues and budgetary limitations.
While budget management is a part of software development, its workflow consists of elements geared toward a common goal – the successful launch of said software app. That being said, let’s take a closer look at writing a project brief for a software development agency and the potential pitfalls which can occur.
Benefits of a Proper Software Development Brief
Before we discuss the “how”, let’s tackle the “why” behind proper software development brief writing. Adequate enterprise resource planning (ERP) is an essential part of sustainability for any development agency. Failing to properly break down your software app requirements can lead to unnecessary downtime, revisions, and miscommunication between developers.
Given the complexity of software application development, many companies opt for outsourcing rather than risk a potential loss of precious resources. Even if you opt for outsourcing, however, you still need to provide the development agency with a detailed outline of what it is you’re after. Writing platforms such as Trust My Paper, Evernote, and Top Essay Writing should become pivotal elements of your project brief writing, editing, and formatting processes. Properly utilizing dedicated writing tools to create a cohesive software development brief will subsequently lead to positive end-product outcomes, such as:
- Better software developer motivation, productivity, and quality of work
- Happier and more engaged user base of the final product
- More generated revenue from software app utilization and/or distribution
- Minimized margin for development error and risk of miscommunication
Writing a Project Brief for a Software Development Agency
Whether you decide to tackle software development in-house or ask for outsourced custom software development, your project brief should start with an overview. A project overview is a type of short-form abstract, a one-to-three paragraph introduction to your briefing, and what the project is about.
Some software developer agencies treat overviews as tables of content and present their teams with a bullet point breakdown of each section of the document. Brief overviews are used to quickly differentiate one project from another without reading the entire document. You should write your brief overview after the rest of the document so that you can summarize the briefing in a few short sentences.
Software Features Outline
As your own company may not be tech-savvy, you should include a detailed list of features and functionality your software app will require. You can simply refer to your existing ERP solution, project management tool, or other apps you use and look at the features available there.
Follow the same logic and write up a list of options your software app should have in order to fulfill the daily necessities of your staff. This list, alongside the technologies you list in a different section, will give the developers ample information to work with. Likewise, it will allow them to gauge the viability of developing your software app goals versus the set deadline and available resources.
Project Team Breakdown
Depending on the type of software app you need to be developed, your project team will consist of different personnel with a variety of development skills. It’s good to include information on your existing software infrastructure, intranet, and whether you already use technologies such as Blockchain, Angular, or Node.
Including this information in your project brief will allow the software development agency you choose to have a better understanding of your needs. If you have specialists or a team of IT experts in your company with knowledge of related technologies, you should include them in the development. Their active feedback and communication with the development agency will ensure that the final product suits your company’s needs more closely than it otherwise would.
Technical Requirements Matter
Outsourced software development services can take many shapes, depending on your needs. If you have preexisting code based on technologies such as .NET CORE or ASP.NET, you may not need software development services from scratch. Professional software maintenance can help refine and update your existing software solutions and make them more efficient for the foreseeable future. This means that including as much information on your current state of IT affairs in the company is highly recommended for a good project brief.
Samuel Avery, Chief of IT and Content Developer at Grab My Essay,“Internal company audits can often reveal bottlenecks and development opportunities. Writing these bugs down and including them in your formatted project brief can make the work of your chosen software development agency easier. It will also ensure that the final product of their assistance toward your company is relevant to the day-to-day application your staff requires.”
Budget & Development Roadmap
Lastly, your available resources and development timeline are pivotal parts of the project brief. How quickly do you need your app up and running? How much are you ready to pay for its development in accordance with the deadline?
Break down your budgetary resources and make sure to reach out to the development agency for additional discussion on the subject. As we’ve stated previously, feature creep is a serious issue in IT-related development projects. You can spend a lot of resources and wait for months on end without any tangible code delivered to your doorstep. Create a mockup of your roadmap and finalize the timeline with the agency you chose to outsource to.
Project Brief Writing Mistakes Can Happen
- Lack of Objective App Utilization
- Any good software developer will ask you for a list of practical applications for the software app you requested. Do you want to automate customer outreach, maintain your user database effectively, or both? You need to know what your app will be used for before you ask a development agency to work on it for your benefit.
- Bloated and Unfocused Software App
- It’s easy to see the appeal of wanting “everything” in a software app. However, no application has ever been created that can do everything at once. This is what is commonly referred to as “feature creep,” and it represents a literal loss of focus and objective goals in the project brief.
- Poor Budget VS Deadline Balance
- You need to invest resources into your software app if you want it to perform as intended. Likewise, you should have an understanding of your development agency’s suggestions on how to move forward. Be realistic about your goals and find a balance between invested resources, achievable deadline, and fully functional software app while working with the development agency.
Don’t feel overwhelmed to write a perfect project brief for your software app on the first try. Apply your practical experiences and draft a list of features and technologies your staff will need for efficient day-to-day operations. Project briefs are used as guidelines and to present your initial goals to the development agency before proper discussions take place. However, be as precise, professional, and cohesive in your writing and formatting to make the process as smooth as possible.