Planning a software development program is daunting. We wish we could say it’s the hardest part and that everything after that is a breeze, but if you’ve managed a project from beginning to end, you know it gets worse. To help you start off on the right foot, we offer a little bit of support by outlining some ways to calculate how many developers you need for your project.
- Break down the entire process into tasks: It does not work when you try to estimate an entire software development project. The projects are comprehensive, complicated, and have varying stages. Different tasks, teams, and timelines are all unique from each other in the amount of time, effort, and the number of developers they will require. This first step will allow you to estimate more precisely given the needs of each task in the project. By separating each task in this way will help you to explain the logistics of the project to other departments so that they can help through the process.
- Create a well-rounded team: A good software development team does not consist of only the developers, but management and leadership (even outside of the actual project managers) are important as well. The project needs to be based on sound business analytics, and if the public uses the software, then your team will need to include some members that are not tech-minded ensuring that it is user-friendly and that the design appeals to your market.
- Make sure the leadership is in place: Don’t overestimate the importance of leadership in a software development project. Weak leadership is often the reason that development projects fail. Given optimal managerial guidance and team cohesiveness, you can always develop the technology.
- Involve business stakeholders in the estimation part of the process: It is an easy mistake to make. Everyone is working with time constraints, and it seems counter-intuitive to involve the business side with the developers’ work. But the business stakeholders can help developers sort out what is important and what isn’t from the earliest stages. Regarding the estimate of how many developers are needed, this can help project managers figure out if there are places they can trim the workload or if they need to add someone to the project. The tech-minded development team can miss things like costs because the business side is there mainly for that. Furthermore, it helps keep everyone accountable for the initial estimates.
- Establish baselines: Use one segment of the process then have everyone come together and spend some time to agree on realistic requirements for how many developers will be needed and the timelines and costs. Use this baseline to calculate the other tasks in the project so that you can be sure that your calculations are right.
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Calculating how many software developers your project needs is an essential step in ensuring that we execute the project at its optimal potential. Breaking down the project into small stages will make this process much more manageable. When doing the calculation make sure you understand the importance of creating a team that is well-rounded, well-managed, inclusive, and has the right baselines in place.