When picking a developer for a software project, it's smart to get estimates from different teams to make a good choice. Yet, it's common for estimates to differ significantly between teams.

For example, Team A might say it will take 2 months to make a social network with video streaming, while Team B says it will take 6 months.

You might think Team B's estimate is too high instead of considering that Team A might not understand the task fully and gave a too-short estimate. But is that true?

First, let's see why only trusting developer estimates can be tricky.

How do developers estimate tasks?

When developers estimate tasks, they usually think everything will go perfectly. They aim to provide the shortest possible timeframe for completing the task.

But real life is different. Unforeseen challenges come up during any project. These can include major updates to operating systems or libraries/frameworks, the discovery of previously unseen bugs, or unexpected user behavior that requires changes to requirements and functional rewrites.

Developers often overlook additional tasks such as testing, bug fixes, requirement adjustments, task formalization, and more. Additionally, if a developer goes on leave, transitioning the project to another developer becomes challenging, especially if documentation is sacrificed to save costs.

What should be included in estimates?

It's clear that developer tasks are just one part of the entire development process. To develop something successfully, you need to figure out what you want, make designs, test it to make sure it's good, and manage any changes or new ideas.

So, each part of the development process should be evaluated separately:

  • Analytics (requirements elaboration, planning)
  • Design (creation and integration of designs)
  • Project management (work of the project manager)
  • Testing (testing of requirements and designs, preparation of test cases, various types of testing such as stress, regression, acceptance, etc.).
  • Development (including some time margin for bug fixing)

Only by having all these estimates, it’s possible to provide a more or less accurate estimate for the project development.

For our clients, we create a comprehensive table that breaks down estimates for each function and stage involved in the project. This helps them see how much time they need for everything: not only for development but also for testing, project management, and other crucial stages right from the start.

We create a comprehensive table that breaks down estimates for each function and stage involved in the project
Detailed project estimations

To sum up

When comparing proposals from different development teams, make sure they've thought about all the steps in the project: planning, making it, testing, managing it, and more.

Furthermore, every project requires a customized approach and expertise in assessing similar systems.

To learn more about how we estimate how long the development will take, you can read more here

If you want to check the accuracy of estimates – we offer you a free tailored quote based on your requirements

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