PandaTip: This software development proposal should be used to set out the scope and costs of a proposed software development. If the software proposal has already been accepted you should use the software development template agreement instead.
Software Development Proposal Template
PandaTip: Part 1 is a cover letter which should be printed on the software developer’s letterhead.
Dear [CONTACT NAME],
Re: Enclosed Software Development Proposal
Please find enclosed our detailed software proposal for your kind consideration.
At [SOFTWARE FIRM] we are aware that creating client-oriented software takes a mixture of technical excellence and clear communication and our firm hires only the very best to ensure you receive both. We know that every client is unique and we strive to deliver an individual, innovative and affordable proposal every time and to follow it through with an outstanding delivery which is both on time and within budget.
We have over [YEARS] of development in this area and our previous clients include [PREVIOUS CLIENTS]. Please let us know if you would like to get in touch with our existing clients from whom you will receive nothing but positive endorsements. You may also wish to review our website at [WEBSITE] to see our portfolio of previous work and learn more about our organization.
PandaTip: If you are going to include previous cilents’ details then you may wish to obtain permission first. Alternatively you may wish to state something like “our previous clients include industry leading payment providers.” or “…world renown technology companies.”. You can also remove this paragraph if desired.
We also pride ourselves on our after-sales client-care including our guarantees, staff-training and onsite and offsite support.
PandaTip: Remove or amend this section if your firm doesn’t provide any of the above services.
Finally, we realize that you are very busy and wanted to thank you in advance for your time spent reviewing our proposal.
PandaTip: Try to include a logo for the proposed name or code name of the software (even a generic logo is fine). This will make the software project appear more tangible to the reader.
PandaTip: The executive summary should be between 150-600 words and should summarise the remainder of the report without preempting it. It is usually written last of all when you have a clear idea of the proposal as a whole. The aim of this section is to engage the readers’ interest and encourage them to read the rest of the software development proposal. You should include a helicopter view of the project including the software project name and objectives as well as a general mention of the technology. Don’t go into too much detail or include price (as both are included elsewhere). Also remember that the reader may not be technically savvy so avoid losing their interest with too much technical detail which can be included later.
Project Overview and Obstacles Page 1
System Architecture Page 2
Technology Requirement (Software and Hardware) Page 3
Milestones (including Man Hours) and Reporting Page 4
Deployment and Testing Page 5
Documentation, Warranty, Support, Training Page 6
Pricing, Payment terms Page 7
Contact details Page 8
PandaTip: These page numbers should be changed to accommodate the amount of detail included in the software development proposal (for example some software architectures may be larger than one page). For simpler software proposals you might want to combine some items onto the same page to reduce the size of the proposal.
Signed as accepted by client:
1. Project Overview
PandaTip: Include a detailed description of the project stating the aims, scope and intended operation. Include details about design process, functionality, choices of technology (hardware and software) as well as details of the distribution of the software, capacity for users, ownership of intellectual property, testing, support and warranties.
PandaTip:This section serves to show that you have considered the possible risks involved in the software development and thought about how you will manage then. The aim is make everything appear under control and as positive as possible, for each obstacle, risk or problem explain why it is not a major issue and outline how you will mitigate the risks.
3. Technical Obstacles
PandaTip: These might include integration between different systems (such as integration of the new software with Outlook for example). Explain how your choice of technology will mitigate such risks.
4. Industry and Market Risks
PandaTip: These might include the technology becoming outmoded during development or after launch or a decrease in the userbase of a core part of the software (i.e. Facebook apps are dependant upon Facebook users). For each risk explain about mitigation through best practice development, future-proofing and, if applicable, modular development.
5. Budgetary Risks
PandaTip: These might includ missed deadlines and going over-budget. Consider explaining how the milestone and reporting process (below) will mitigate such risks.
PandaTip: You may also wish to include a SWOT analysis in this section (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).
Technology Requirement (Software and Hardware)
PandaTip: List the hardware that the proposed software will be compatible with and which it will be able to run on. For example: “The software will run on 32bit and 64bit Windows desktop systems from Windows XP to Windows 8.” or “The software will run on Java which can be implemented in a virtual environment on all major operating systems (Windows, Mac and Linux) on all modern hardware architectures (iPhones and Android smartphones).”.
PandaTip: List all software technologies that will be used in the development of the proposed software as well as all software that will be integrated with the system, for each one try to explain why it was chosen. For Example “Software will integrate with Microsoft Office which is the industry-standard word processing and spreadsheet software.” and “Software will be coded in Java SE which is an open source and future-proof development language which runs in a virtual environment and so can be implemented easily across platforms including new hardware architectures.”. Where there is a choice of equally valid software technologies you should list the options.
8. Milestones and Reporting
PandaTip:This area is one which will be very specific to the project you are creating but please see the below example which shows the common stages:
Analysis and design stage, gather data and create system mockup
Design work plan (distribution of tasks to development teams)
Client meeting to review work plan
Import existing client data
Client meeting to review GUI
Integration with Outlook
Integration with PaperlessOffice.net
Integration with smartphone network
Port to iPhone environment
Alpha testing desktop application (Closed)
Alpha testing smartphone application (Closed)
Open Beta (volunteer employees)
Deployment to desktops
Deployment to smartphones
Total estimation of man hours: 256
The software will be distributed in the following manner(s):
PandaTip: Examples include DVD, by download, pushed on restart to all domain users, on USB pen etc. Remember to mention how updates and bug fixes will be distributed and whether they will be manual or automatic.
The testing process shall be as follows:
PandaTip: Examples include: Closed Alpha (Desktop)–Four developers, part time for two weeks; Closed Alpha (Smartphone)–Two developers, part time for two weeks; Beta (Desktop and Smartphone)–Ten users (volunteers), for one month.
PandaTip: Remember to include stress-testing, if any.
The document provided will be as follows:
PandaTip: List the documentation you will provide including the estimated length of documents and how they will be distributed and updated.
PandaTip: Outline the proposed scope and length of the warranty period.
PandaTip: Set out the support package including type of support (onsite visits, off site maintenance etc) as well as the envisaged support period and the estimated cost of work outside this period. If it will be easy for the user to engage other software developers to support this software project (if it is, for example written with in a standardised way or uses Open Source software) you can make a virtue of this by pointing out that the customer will not be bound to you (many people commissioning software are put off by the fear of later being held to ransom by the developers for support services).
PandaTip: Set out the proposed training with reference to the milestones. Detail the number and length of training sessions, videos or other resources you will provide as well as the proposed dates of meetings and the number of staff you can train in a single session.
Our fee for seeing the project through from start to completion will be [FEE]. This is calculated at an hourly rate of [RATE].
PandaTip: You can include a table of hourly rates of different professionals if relevant.
16. Payment Terms
We propose the following payment terms:
PandaTip: This depends on your relationship with the client and to a certain extent the type of project you are contemplating but we include an example here.
Paid on acceptance of this proposal and signing of our software development agreement.
Paid at completion of Milestone 1.
Paid at completion of Milestone 2.
Paid at completion of Milestone 3.
Paid at completion of Milestone 4.
17. Contact Us
You can get in touch with us in any of the below ways:
[CELL NUMBER] (Cellphone of [SALESMAN])
[OFFICE NUMBER] (Main Reception)
On our website
If you would like to proceed with our proposal then you can sign the first page and return a copy to us by fax, email or post.
In any case please feel free to call us to discuss the quote, request more information or for any other reason.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!