Optimizing Software Development: From Dimensions to Decisions

Putting It All Together

Thus far, we have examined and described every dimension of the software development process. Each of these is mandatory, lacking which a software project’s failure is highly likely. When a client needs to make a choice of budget and spending, it is much easier for them to see a single number instead of an array of line items each with its own variance. And hence we come to the central idea behind this blog: can we provide the sizes of each of these dimensions so that a client can make good decisions on how much they want to spend?

Here is a sample computational worksheet that can be used to perform the estimation:

#ItemUnit of MeasurementRequired UnitsCost
2Delivery Manager   
3Software Engineers   
4QA Engineers   
5DevSecOps Engineers   
6Cloud Environment   
8Production Support   


Over the past several years, we at SWStrategies have been working with several clients, both large and small, to help them build enterprise-class applications. Our approach is unique in that we provide our clients with one or more “Containers” or Pods of Development bandwidth. In this article, I’ve attempted to capture the ideas involved in estimating the size of such Pods. Note that a Pod is more than just people, it includes every dependency required to successfully execute the software development project and our clients do not have to consider any other aspects. In other words, our Pod is a “fully baked” container capable of delivering usable production-quality software. We also provide a t-shirt sizing model of such Pods such as Small/Medium/Large and a fixed cost per month for each. This allows our clients to purchase Development Bandwidth at a monthly fixed rate and enables them to execute their software project in whatever schedule they choose (sequentially or in parallel). Finally, such a model helps our clients plan fiscal year budgets by easily factoring in Pods and not having to compute detailed line items of spend.

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