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Software Development: How Long Does It Take To Build A Software?

Author: Innotech Vietnam
Date: 02/11/2022

In the software development industry, building reliable, secure software for your company’s needs requires tackling a wide range of issues. Custom software programs, suites, and packages will take a certain amount of time to meet your business standards. The length of time needed for software development might vary depending on many different factors. 


Typical Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) models usually involve five to seven stages. Each of them has a distinct time schedule, as illustrated below:   

  • Planning and Requirements: 2-4 weeks 
  • Design and Architecture: 2 weeks 
  • Development and Coding: 3-8 months 
  • Implementation: 2-4 weeks 
  • Testing and Maintenance: 3-6 weeks 
  • Production: >3 weeks 



The average time for custom software development is normally 4-12 months. However, no two projects are the same, and they require different amounts of time to develop. But according to our experience, 80% of the projects we work on fall into the categories listed below. Continue reading if you’re thinking about building your own software and want to know how long it takes! 


Software Development Timelines Depend On the Scope Of Work 


The diverse complexity of every project makes it difficult to estimate the correct amount of time needed for custom software development. These specifications could ask for the essential inclusion of certain functionality, security features, modules, APIs, or external libraries.  


The length of the development timeline is also dependent on how the application must be linked and implemented with current software systems, such as legacy systems.  


Remediation may need an additional week or month if QA testers discover bugs or software problems. Other factors to take into account include the complexity of the business logic, the migration of database software code, the support for many platforms, the scalability of the coding language (in relation to the project’s size), and more.  


The size of the project, however, makes the final decision on whether a software project can be finished quickly or whether additional time will be needed. 




Software Development is like Building A House 


Each of the following stages is taken into account independently while planning and estimating a project: 

  • Requirements & Design 
  • Planning, Architecture & Development 
  • Software Testing  


Developing software is a lot like constructing a house. In the requirements and design phase, you would choose the kind of home you like and then hire an architect to create the construction drawings. After this stage, you should have a clear roadmap for your software application and have made all the architecturally essential spending choices you need. 


Building a home, arranging contractors, and building a foundation are all examples of planning, architecture, and development. A project manager plans the work of creative designers, technical architects, software engineers, etc. when it comes to software. Program engineers implement all the logic, while creative designers build the user experience and the architects develop the structure and basis of the software. The program is finished being constructed at this point. 


Just like a home, you must ensure that the application satisfies certain requirements before you can move in. The last stage of the project, known as software testing, may be compared to the inspections, walk-throughs, and punch-out of a home. 


Requirements & Design: 2-4 weeks 


The Requirements & Design phase in software development is predictable and focused. As the main stakeholder and decision-maker, you will collaborate with your selected IT team to: 

  • Keep track of the system requirements (the things that the software must accomplish) 
  • Work together to develop different concepts and software features that will combine to fulfill your system needs. 
  • Talk about your users’ skills and the software’s ideal design and feel. The software design (your software blueprint) should be documented, reviewed, and any last-minute adjustments should be discussed. 
  • Select the project’s starting scope (what are the features you are building in the first release vs. later releases) 

A Requirements & Design phase normally lasts between two and four weeks. The timeframe is mostly decided by your and your team’s availability, reactivity to design reviews and inquiries, and the speed at which important choices are made. 


Planning, Architecture & Development: 3-6 Months 


The process of planning includes listing out each step to be taken, determining who will be responsible for what, and determining whether or not any of the steps can be completed together. For instance, you can’t hang the drywall until the plumbing and electrical are completed, and you can’t put the roof on until the framing is finished. Prior to beginning development work, planning is a quick process that lasts 2 to 3 days. 


The system requires a foundation or structure to build upon when planning is complete. Which technologies will be employed and how they will interact are determined by the technological architecture. Similar to planning, technical architecture is often simple unless the project entails sophisticated system connections or applies innovative or uncommon technology. Depending on the size and complexity of the system, developing the design normally takes one to two weeks. 




Coding the software takes up the most time in software development. The software is usually built-in 3-6 months after the system is defined and the technological framework is chosen. 


This is the stage of the project when the timeframe is most often pushed. Additional software development resources may be used to speed up the process when there are many tasks to do. But then, the added resources will actually result in less efficiency since more coordination and preparation will be required, not to mention that people will start stepping on each other’s toes. 


Testing: 3-6 weeks 


There are several types of testing that should and need to be employed, depending on your software development project. End-to-end testing and user experience testing should be conducted on every project. End-to-end testing involves putting a system’s features and capabilities to use just like a user would. Features are tested separately, not together during development. Once all of the software has been created, an end-to-end test puts the whole system through its paces and enables the tester to assess how closely the finished product follows the original design goal as well as any adjustments that may have been made along the way. 


During a user acceptance test (UAT), you, the stakeholder, test the system and give your permission for the development. You may think of it as the final check for a custom house. It is your responsibility to check everything, find any problems that the testers could have ignored, and begin planning for production. 


software development it outsourcing timeline


You may also choose to have extra testing done, including load testing, performance testing, integration testing, and cross-browser or cross-mobile device testing. If your application will be used on a variety of browsers or mobile platforms, you may test it on a variety of browsers and platforms. This will make sure it appears and functions properly on any platforms that your user may choose. 


Load and performance testing should be taken into consideration if your software will have many users logged in at once, process a lot of data, or reply to users in a short amount of time. Load and performance testing, respectively, determines the slowest parts of your program and confirms that it can manage high loads. 


Integration testing should be taken into account if your application will interface with systems from other companies. To ensure that two systems can smoothly manage all known and unknown permutations of data and circumstances (a timeout, a damaged file, an incorrect value, etc.), integration testing delivers both expected and unexpected data over the connection of two systems. 


We see that the majority of testing efforts take between three and six weeks, depending on the size of your software development project and the complexity of the required testing. 


Key Takeaways for Software Development


On average, it takes between 4 and 9 months for a software development process. The length of time it takes to complete a project depends largely on its size and complexity. A project’s timeline may also be affected by the following factors. Controlling this kind of risk is a part of a project manager’s responsibility so that it may be discovered early and addressed to keep the project on track. 

  • Alterations to the project’s scope or design after development have begun 
  • Delays in collaborating with other parties, such as the failure to get necessary technical documents, testing credentials, or help for technical problems. 
  • Lack of transparency in requirements or the system design, 
  • Inconsistent guidance from a variety of parties 
  • Applying new technology 
  • Fixing incorrect or missing data during a data transfer 


If you want to learn more about managing these risks for better software development, don’t hesitate to contact us.  




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