Software development is as in-demand as it could possibly be today. Big and small companies alike (and even independent entrepreneurs) are regularly hiring software developers to create programs, applications, and various online tools.
But just like with anything else, software development requires proper planning to create a product successfully. Hence, here’s why you need a software development project brief and how you can write one yourself.
What Is a Software Development Project Brief?
A software development project brief is pretty much what it sounds like. It is a project brief or plan for developing some kind of software – a program, app, or online tool. A software development project brief is necessary to plan out how you will be developing your software and what you will need for it.
At the same time, such project briefs are often used in communication between software developers and people who need software to be created. In some cases, clients will approach software developers with complete project briefs. In other cases, a client can explain their ideas and a developer will make their own brief. Then, both parties will need to agree on the project details and finalize them through the brief.
As you can see, software development project briefs play an important role during the negotiation and planning stage of software development, so they shouldn’t be overlooked. Without further ado, here’s how you can start writing your own software development project briefs:
#1 Write Down Ideas for the Project
First of all, you need to make a list of ideas you have for the project. If a client approached you with their own ideas, then you will have to propose more of your own and discuss them together. For example, you could propose some React app ideas if they are interested in something like this. Sometimes clients know exactly what they want while in other cases they will only have a vague idea of the software they need to be developed by you.
If you have the opportunity to create the said software from scratch, then you should definitely take the lead and propose ideas. Not all the ideas you write down while brainstorming will be used, so having a longer list will give you more options to choose from. It is important to keep in mind your own abilities and resources when listing ideas so that you don’t end up working on a project you don’t know how to handle.
#2 Decide How Many People You Will Need
Some projects will require more people to complete while others can be done by a single software developer. This depends both on the scope of the project and its complexity. Moreover, it can also depend on the type of software being developed and even whether or not it is developed from scratch or it is a remake of existing software.
For example, if you are developing an online tool, you will need to choose hosting and a domain name for it. But if the tool exists already, you will need to work with it and improve it instead of building it from nothing. Some projects are therefore better handled by one person while others will need to be completed by a team of software developers and other professionals (e.g. UX designers).
#3 Consider Getting Professional Help
Speaking of working in a team, you might want to consider getting professional help for writing your software development project brief. If you are a software developer, you may not be very familiar with writing practices and conventions. It could be better to let a professional writer handle the brief while you supervise the writing process.
You can hire an experienced writer from the custom writing reviews site Best Writers Online. Working with a professional writer who has background knowledge in software development is the best way to create a project brief that includes all the relevant details about the project and helps you communicate with your client effectively.
#4 Prepare the Information You Will Need
In some cases, you will need to do some research before you write the project brief. Preparing this information before you start writing the project brief will help you make important decisions already and write a detailed and organized brief.
The information you may need is usually about the software you need to develop. You can look at similar programs or apps and find resources about this specific type of software (e.g. listen to podcasts for software developers that could have some relevant information for you).
#5 Start with the Basic Details for Your Project
Once you have gathered all the relevant information for writing the project brief, you can actually start working on it. Once again, you can hire an expert writer from the writing services reviews site Writing Judge to help you write your project brief in case you don’t have experience in something like this. In any case, it’s best to start with the basic details of your project, including:
- Company Information – The name of your company, the company website, the type of activity the company is involved in, the company’s location, and contact details.
- Software Overview – The basic details about the project and the software that will be developed (you will go into more details later on).
- Project Budget and Timeframe – The project budget, deadlines, and goals (you will describe these in more detail in later sections).
#6 Plan Which Tools You Will Be Using
The next thing you should decide is which tools you will be using for developing the software. There are quite a few tools for software developers that can be helpful for working on all kinds of projects, but you will also need to decide which specific tools you will need for this specific project.
Choose the tools based on the type of software that needs to be developed (program, app, or online tool) as well as its requirements. Likewise, consider your own proficiency in using the tool so that you don’t have to spend time learning how to use it.
But remember that not everyone you work with will have the same technical knowledge you do. When collaborating across departments, consider integration platforms to connect multiple tools, like syncing Asana and GitHub, Trello and Jira, and more.
#7 Focus on the Project Details and Requirements
Next, you can get into more details about the project. This will be the bulk of your project brief, so you might want a specialist writer from the writing agency Trust My Paper to handle it for you. There are quite a few aspects of the project and the software to think about such as:
- Type of Software – Will it be a mobile app? A program for Mac computers? An online tool? Or something else?
- The Core or Concept – What is the software about? What is its main purpose?
- Target Audience – Who is the target user of the software? What are their interests, preferences, skills, and pain points?
- Features and Benefits – Which features or functionality will it have? Which problems will it solve for the users? What benefits do the users get?
- Technical Details – Which devices will the software run on? Is there a need for data synchronization? Will it work offline, online, or both? Will the software be integrated with other software?
- Design Details – What will the software look like? How will the design correspond to the functionality?
- Extra Details – Will it be free or paid software? If it is free, will there be monetization methods used (e.g. in-app ads)?
#8 Consider the Techniques You Will Be Using
Another thing to consider is your method of software development or rather which techniques you will be using to develop the software. There are ways you can improve your productivity as a software developer which will already help you streamline your workflow and complete the project faster.
On the other hand, you should also think about the more technical side of the project and which methods you will need to use to develop the software. It is crucial to decide this now so that you don’t struggle with it once you start developing the software.
#9 Set Deadlines and Determine the Budget
Setting deadlines (along with project goals) and determining the budget is one of the last but most important parts of writing your software development project brief. The deadlines you set need to be realistic and in line with your goals for the project.
Likewise, try to be reasonable when estimating your budget needs. If there are any extra resources you need, note that down. Consider any unexpected situations where you may need to have a backup budget to spend.
#10 Proofread and Edit the Project Brief
Last but not least, proofread and edit your project brief carefully. Before you send it to your client to read, you have to make sure that there are no linguistic or factual mistakes that could make you look unprofessional.
In addition to that, check that the project brief is formatted properly. If you need to, include any supporting visuals (e.g. screenshots of existing software that you use as an example of what the end product will look like).
All in all, creating a software development project brief is not that hard after you’ve done it a few times and know what you are doing. But if you are only starting out, then you should use this guide to help you figure out how to create a detailed and useful project brief.