Archive for November, 2007

From idea to reality

November 11, 2007, No Comments

From idea to reality

To be able to increase the value of our projects, this is the main thing we have to pay attention to: How quickly can we make a new idea a reality?

Reducing Cost Of Software Projects (’Why we get paid’-Series)

November 3, 2007, No Comments

a: cheaper people or smaller team

The most obvious way to keep cost small is to hire people that cost less. What is a lot less obvious is the negative impact this practice can have on both: b and c. While the per month cost is lower, the project is likely to get done later, and maintenance will be more difficult.

A more promising way is to use a smaller team. For example use 5 instead of 15 people. By cutting down communication overhead, b may not even be threatened.

b: be done earlier

Everybody would like to be done earlier. Having people work overtime isn’t the way to get there. Why? Because if you try it this way, you’ll likely increase a and c, resulting in bigger overall cost.

There are several things that can help you get done earlier:

  • Simple systems (don’t use technology you don’t need)
  • Yagni - You ain’t gonna need it (don’t create things you think might be necessary some time in the future)
  • Get started early (don’t specify every detail of the system)
  • Technology (good frameworks, programming language etc.)

c: maintainable code base

Creating maintainable code sometimes competes with a and b. Some of the things that help keeping maintenance cost down:

  • Well designed code (another argument for good developers)
  • Good communication (the more people know about the software, the better the chance that somebody knows what’s going on)
  • Original team maintains code
  • Automated tests

Good documentation is only a last resort.

What other practices do you see, that can reduce the overall cost of the project?