Industry Commentary - 2 min read

Stop costs from getting out of control

AUTHOR Lou Crane

DATE May 2020

CATEGORY Industry Commentary

I’ve previously talked about how the wrong path to software can cause escalating budgets, a financial loss or paying for something that is no longer suitable; and that applies to both bespoke and pre-designed systems.

However, there’s also a point within a seemingly great project where you could encounter unexpected budget hikes. Fortunately, it’s avoidable, but here’s an example of the cost of errors in some research conducted by IBM:

When building bespoke software, they found that if an error was discovered in the design phase, it would cost approx. £100 to put right. If an error was found in the testing phase, it would cost approx. £1500 to put right. BUT, if an error was uncovered in the post-live phase, you could expect to pay over £10,000 to get it put right.

If you are currently finding yourself in that position, I sympathise greatly because it could mean that your project is out of control and this will be reflected in your spend. If that’s the case, it would be wise to suspend all activity until you can carry out a ‘retrospective’ meeting with the software company. In some instances it would be cheaper to re-work the designs and to start with a fresh architecture rather than battle on trying to compromise and make it work.

To try and avoid getting this far, make good use of video calls and online drawing kits where you can mock up a visual of exactly what you want (try for free). It can be as rough and unsophisticated as you like – it really doesn’t matter because what is important is ‘showing’ an idea rather than ‘writing’ it.We can’t all read a spec and translate that into a living piece of software in our heads. Your software company should be very happy to show you over and over in as many mediums as they can so that you both understand what is required.

At Urban our Planning service is carried out before any coding begins. It gives us both the opportunity to fine tune the design of your software and for you to add/change/review your processes which saves time, resource and money as we work through your project. Measure twice, cut once! It’s all in the preparation and designing with an open architecture, structured to give you flexibility and growth.