A software development project is a complex process conducted in several stages by various members of the development team. It’s important that all the team members, stakeholders, or product owners are on the same page and have the same goals. That’s the only way for the final result to be successful and for everyone to be happy with it. But, things can easily get out of control if there isn’t a written software development project plan.
Writing a software development project plan helps everyone communicate their responsibilities, goals, and deadlines. It optimizes the process of software development and makes sure things run smoothly. This is why we’ve prepared this ultimate guide to help you write a software development project plan successfully.
Let’s break it down.
What is a Software Development Project Plan?
Let’s start by defining what a software development project plan is and why you need it. Simply put, this is a document that defines all the major elements of a successful software development project, including:
- the problem it’s supposed to solve
- the functionalities
- the stages of development
- team members
- metrics to measure project success etc.
That means that a software development project plan gathers and presents all the essential information anyone involved in the project might be needing.
What to Include in a Software Development Project Plan?
Writing a solid software development project plan is crucial for the success of the project. Below, you’ll find a list of the key elements you need to define and elaborate on in the project plan.
1. Communicate With Everyone
The first thing you need to do is get everyone involved in the project to communicate with each other and with you. Everyone needs to state their vision for the project and establish whether they are on the same page with the rest of them.
- team members
- software users
- project manager
Allow them to share their suggestions, ideas, and specific preferences regarding project development and completion. Once you do this research and gather all this information, you’ll be able to move on to writing the project plan.
2. Project Goal
The first and key element of your software development project plan should be the introduction section, which will cover the project’s main goal. You need to define and elaborate on the project’s goal in terms of:
- what you want to achieve
- what are the individual objectives and goals
- what is the desired result
- why is this a solid solution
Once you define what the project aims to achieve, you can break it down into more specific details.
3. Project Stages
Every software development project needs to be conducted in separate stages. Each stage accomplishes one of the set objectives until the main goal is achieved.
Define those stages and list them in chronological order. Here’s what you might include:
- maintenance etc.
Set a timeframe or a deadline for each stage.
4. Assign Responsibilities
The project plan needs to define who’s responsible for which tasks and include a detailed description of everyone’s roles. Create a table describing:
- different teams working on the project
- each team’s responsibilities
- team leaders and manager
Also, define which teams need to communicate and collaborate and at which stages of the project development process.
5. Define the Resources
To complete a software development plan successfully, you’ll need to use different resources for each stage. Your software development project plan needs to define these resources and explain what they’ll be used for.
It would be best if you define the resources for each specific stage in the project development process. That means you should:
- communicate with individual teams
- have them explain their resources
- specify why each team need the resources in question
- list skills
- list software
- list hardware
Also, make sure to differentiate between the resources you already have at your disposal and those unavailable that you’ll have to acquire. You must know exactly what resources (tools, materials, external experts, etc.) you’ll need to complete the project on time and successfully.
6. Explain Project Monitoring
Set metrics and performance indicators that will help you and everyone involved keep track of the project’s process. These metrics should help you measure different components, such as:
- project budget
- correspondence to requirements
- project risks
The project should explain how these metrics should be measured and controlled to ensure the project runs as planned, from the beginning to the end. It should also show who’s in charge of project management, monitoring each stage and the entire project.
7. Write Professionally
Finally, you need to keep in mind that this is a formal document that different parties are going to read. Write it professionally:
- set a clear tone
- use technical vocabulary where needed
- keep it concise and to the point
If you think you need help with putting this document together, get custom writing help online. Just make sure the document is fully edited and revised before submitting it to other parties.
Writing a software development project plan is a complex task that requires defining all the main concepts, stages, resources, and team members responsible for a project.
Hopefully, the 7 steps we’ve shared above will help you write a software development project plan without any trouble and provide all the essential information to those who’ll be reading it.