Posts Tagged Under: User Stories

How to Lower Development Costs

With the time and willingness on our hands, it quickly becomes difficult to sit back and twiddle our thumbs. Naturally, therefore, when beginning new software projects, our customers are often filled with an eager desire to help.

Of course, in these particular cases, most of the work will still be left to the software engineers; yet here at Software Planet, there is always room for expediting development.

In fact, by following the steps outlined in this article, not only will companies profit from noticeably faster deliveries, but developers too should likely benefit from a clearer understanding of the project at hand.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the main things that you can start doing today to help speed up development — and concurrently, as a byproduct, effectively lower development costs!

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What to Expect from Our Estimates

If you are reading this article, our trusted business analysts have likely agreed to impart upon your project some much-needed estimates; and well, you’ve come to the right place!

After all, for today’s blog post, we would like to spell out our meticulous process for preparing estimations, the different sorts of artefacts you should be ready to receive and how this all will play out in the end — on that note, by the by, if you find that any or all your expectations have not been adequately lived up to, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. This will help SPG to continue improving our company’s services for you as well as our future customers.

So, with this in mind and without further ado, let us dive right in!

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User Stories: Bridging the Gap Between Customers and Developers (Updated)

When choosing a software provider to create the web or desktop solution your company needs, communication is indeed key, but this may be easier said than done. The gap between programmers and customers can quickly become apparent and is often a challenge to master, as most customers are unprepared to discuss their projects from a strictly technical point of view.

In order to get past these difficulties and effectively relay their requirements, some companies resort to UML or workflow diagrams, while yet others go for UI sketches and lengthy free text descriptions.

At Software Planet Group, however, we think both customers and developers should always be on the same page, and speak the same language (see our article on the system metaphor for more on this subject). This is why wherever we can, we aim to simplify the management of requirements, using tried-and-true techniques that enable us to quickly determine the full scope of a project, estimate and re-estimate particular features and releases.

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How We Estimate

Just as with any other service, software companies are rightly expected to estimate the time and costs associated with completing a project. Without estimations, it quickly becomes very difficult for customers to compare providers, as they all tend to look the same on the surface. A good estimate can also validate or discredit a customer’s expectations, empowering them to give developers the go-ahead on their projects with much more confidence.

For many companies, however, the estimation process is fraught with complications. Striking the balance of cautious optimism can be an arduous chore for software engineers, as evidenced by those who enthusiastically reflect their quick-thinking skills in short-sighted estimates, and those who bleakly tally up every possible risk the project could introduce in the long run.

This, however, is not unlike two individuals trying to determine how long it will take to travel from Brighton to London by train. While the first one may decide to only take factors such as speed and distance into consideration, thus arriving at an estimate of one hour and 45 minutes, the second person may be a lot more concerned with cancellations, delays and strikes and conclude that his journey will probably take four and a half hours — A huge difference.

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