We have often heard the stories about a Custom Software Development Project that went over time and budget; no one wants their project to end up like that.
Yet, we have met many companies who are hesitant to spend a good amount of time on the Planning, Analysis and Design phases of a software project; they want to get as fast as they can to the Development stage. This reminds me of Benjamin Franklin and his famous quote, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Consider this scenario: You are going to meet a new client in a new country you’ve never been to before. I imagine you would most likely plan your trip very carefully; searching in advance whether or not you can rent a car,
where you’ll be staying, what kind of food you’ll be eating and many other things. You may be nervous because you don’t speak the local language, or perhaps because it’s not the safest place.
If a stranger told you “Just trust me. Go there with me and everything will be all right,” would you? A more thought out plan would require you to search for a reputable company with years of experience and solid references, instead of a freelancer who swears you will be fine
But many times a lower price is tempting so we put our personal safety at risk.
The same thing happens in the software world: it may be more tempting to go with a freelancer who says on the first day “I am sure it will cost $ 5,000.00” than with the company who says “Let’s spend 5 days doing a good business analysis of your requirements.”
Without a proper plan in place, you are putting your professional career at risk and the well-being of your company.
A good Business Analysis before the Development Phase is started will give you many advantages:
- It will detail your requirements to the screen-and-button-level, solving in advance many problems and issues that you may not have realized before
- It will give you a very precise time frame on the duration of your project
- It will let you know what kind of resources you need
- It will give you an excellent projection on the cost
A careful analysis that is done in advance will eliminate many surprises that you could avoid if you had not taken a planned route which will let you sleep peacefully at night, while the project is being developed, and after it has been completed and delivered.
Remember Karen May’s words about the famous Scott expedition to the South Pole:
“What is so compelling about the Scott Expedition is how close these men were to surviving, and just how many unfortunate incidents ultimately led to the tragedy…
Examining the Scott Expedition, one sees a pattern of minor mistakes by a number of people, which were not necessarily fatal in themselves, but when taken in conjunction with everything else, led to catastrophe.”