Software Development Timeline: How Long It Takes to Create Software

Are you looking to develop custom software?

Want to launch your software in the market as soon as possible?

Then, you will surely have this question – how long does it take to create a software?

Here is the answer to the software development timeline.

  • Small business software project timeline: 3 to 4 months
  • Mid-level business software project timeline: 5 to 6 months
  • Enterprise business software project timeline: 12 or more months

However, most of our clients ask the following questions about the software development timeline:

  1. How to calculate the software development timeline?
  2. Which factors play an important role while deciding the timeline?

Being a leading software development company, we have developed software for all types of businesses from small-scale to enterprise-level. Based on our understanding and mostly developed software solutions, we have written this article to help get answers to your questions. Let’s dive into the blog.

How Much Time Does it Take to Create Software? A Quick Answer

Check the following software table to quickly know the timeline of different software projects.

Type of SoftwareRequirements of SoftwareTimeline
Small business
  • Involves 5 to 10 screens
  • Supports single platform
  • Simple business logic
  • Simple requirements
  • Includes 4-5 modules
3 to 4 months
Mid-level business
  • Involves 10 to 15 screens
  • Supports single platform
  • Administrative control
  • Third-party integration
  • Includes 5 – 10 modules
5 – 6 months
Enterprise business
  • Involves 20+ screens
  • Supports multiple platforms
  • Third-party integration
  • Includes 10+ modules
  • Complex business logic
12 months or more

Let’s understand the project timeline based on the software process once you hire a software development company.

Timeline Bifurcation by Software Development Process

Whether you want to develop a small or large-scale software solution, these are the common phases that every software development team follows. In this section, you will learn about time estimation based on the software development life cycle (SDLC).

  1. Analysis of the Software Requirements:

  2. During this step, all the requirements are collected precisely about the project to create a solution as per the client’s expectations. For collecting requirements and conducting analysis, a business analyst and project manager schedule a meeting with you to discuss the project plan. In this meeting, we discuss the following information:

    • Which problem do you want to solve with your software?
    • What are the functionalities and features you want in the software?
    • Which type of software do you want to build?
    • Who will be the end-user of your software?

    So, how much time does it take to do an analysis of a software requirement?

    Here is an answer. The below table shows the time taken during planning and analysis.

    Software TypeFactors Considered in AnalysisApproximate Timeline
    Small business
    • Requirement elicitation
    • Requirement analysis
    • Creating user stories
    • Documentation
    • Creating a wireframe
    • Creating an SRS document
    • Writing test cases
    1 Week
    Mid-level business2 Weeks
    Enterprise business3 – 3.5 Weeks

    These are the factors that are considered while performing analysis of any time of software whether small, mid-level, or enterprise size. Usually, the most of research time is involved in defining features, functionalities, tools, techniques, a development approach, and risks involved.

    After analysis, the design of the software is getting started. And, all these software development processes are managed properly using a project management tool. So, every in the team and stakeholders are on the same page.

  3. Designing the Software Solution

  4. As the requirements of the software are present in the software requirement specifications document, the design is created. When you discuss the requirements of your software development project, you also mentioned the type of design you want. Even, you can consult an experienced UI/UX design agency to help you create an appealing and smooth user experience for your software.

    Depending upon the design of your software, the UX/UI design team works to create an appealing and interactive user interface of your software. But, creating quality and user-centric takes time as it involves factors like understanding requirements, creating wireframes, connecting wireframes, and then designing the actual screens. That’s a lot of work, right?

    So, how much time does it take to create the design of the software?

    Check the following table to know detailed information on the time estimate of creating a design for small, mid-level, and enterprise software.

    Software TypeFocusing Factors in DesignApproximate Timeline
    Small business
    • Following design principles
    • Defining user experience
    • Maintaining a standard of design
    • Goal-focused design
    • Platform-oriented design
    • Following design consistency
    • Avoiding cluttering the screening
    • Testing of design
    • Number of screens
    • Ensuring responsive design
    1 Week
    Mid-level business2 Weeks
    Enterprise business4- 5 Weeks
  5. Development and Testing of the Software

  6. Once the design of your software is ready and gets approved, the development of your software starts. At this stage, Software development kit the software development team starts writing the code of your software application according to the scope.

    The development is done according to the pre-built design. Developers follow suitable software methodologies to code the functionalities and features. Based on the complexity, developing software solutions can be simple or complex and includes various third-party integrations.

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    Now, you might wonder how much time it takes to code software. Check the following table to know the time estimates for creating the software application.

    Software TypeThings Considered in Software DevelopmentTimeline
    Small business
    • Size of software
    • Complexity of the functionalities
    • Number of screens
    • Software platform
    • Software development kitto use
    • Software development tools
    • Development techniques
    • Third-party integrations
    • Software development methods
    • Unit testing
    • Black box testing
    • Bug tracking
    • Bug resolving
    2 to 2.5 months
    Mid-level business4 to 6 months
    Enterprise business10 or more months
  7. Deployment of the Software Application

  8. After testing and ensuring there are no bugs in the software, the team now deploys the software based on the platform. Generally, software developers deploy the software or new applications using manual and automated processes. Using any of the following strategies the software deployment is done.

    • Basic
    • Multi-service
    • Rolling
    • Blue Green Deployment
    • Canary
    • A/B Testing

    Let’s now check the timeline required for software deployment.

    Software TypeThings Considered in Software DeploymentTimeline
    Small business
    • Deployment on decided environments
    • Performing testing after deployment
    • Resolving bugs with the help of developers
    1 Week
    Mid-level business2 Weeks
    Enterprise business2 Weeks
  9. Maintenance of the Software Application

  10. This is the last stage of the software development life cycle. During this stage, the software team provides the maintenance of the application until it is deployed and functions correctly on the web servers. Afterwards, if any problem arises, you need to opt for a maintenance package for the software. This totally depends on your requirements whether you want the maintenance of the application or not.

    So these are the steps to create software, and you learned about the time estimate for each step of software development.

But, you might have this question – which factors influence the timeline for software development? Check the next section.

Factors that Influence the Timeline of Software Development

In this section, you will learn about the 5 different factors that have a direct impact on the timeline of creating software.

  1. Software Development Team Size

  2. The size of the software team depends on the type of project and its urgency for development. If you want to develop small business software, you might need a small team of developers.

    Whereas if you want to develop enterprise software, you need a large team of developers who can work on different components of the project and finish it by the decided deadline. It’s obvious that the more resources allocated to create software, the more the cost will be of your software. As you hire dedicated software developers, you will get developers who will work only on your project. So, the time of developing your software will decreases as you increase the resources.

  3. Software Complexity

  4. As the complexity of your software increase, the time required to develop increases.

    For example, you want to create software like Todoist. Todoist is a web-based software that allows you to create your to-do list and track and update it accordingly. The complexity of Todoist software would be less compared to software like Netsuite. Building a Todoist becomes easy when compared to Netsuite software.


    Reason: Netsuite has complex features and includes different features like customer relationship management, account payable software, and inventory management software. As you increase the complexity, and features and make your software more user-friendly, then your developers need to add more effort.

    In short, if you want a fully-customized software solution, it is a complex and tedious process as it is time-consuming for your hired developers. Because developers create new code from scratch for the functionalities you want. In addition, developers also perform the testing of their written code.

  5. Platform of Your Software

  6. Depending on your audience you need to decide on the platform of your software. There are chances that your audience might be present on different platforms. So, you need to build a cross-platform software application for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

    Or you can build individual versions of your software by hiring dedicated developers who have expertise in a particular operating system. Whereas, developing a cross-platform application means that developing software in a single operating system works well on all types of the operating system.

    For example, SAP ERP is a cross-platform software that enterprise firms use to optimize business processes. SAP ERP can easily function on Windows, Linux, macOS, and Unix. This type of ERP solution is usually developed in the cloud.

    Based on this example, if you develop Windows, the timeline would be different when compared to macOS software.

    Reason: The programming languages and development tools would be different and the resources available for each operating system also create an impact timeline.

  7. The Number of Your Software Screens

  8. Performing different functions in a software application depends on the modules you have developed in your software. To create clean and aesthetic software, you need to create different screens of the software. When you create enterprise software, the screens of the software will be more than small business software.

    This directly increases the project timeline. As efforts increases, your software project timeline increases. So, the cost of developing software increases. To get an accurate timeline of your software project, you must create a proper software development plan. So, the project managers are able to manage your entire project without any hassle and complete it within the decided project timeline. To accurately track software development, project managers usually use project management tools.

Want to Hire Dedicated Software Developers?

Schedule a free consultation with us. Our experienced software developers will create tailored-made software as per your business goals.

Do you still have questions? Check the below section of the FAQ where we have answered to most asked questions.

FAQ About Timeline to Create Software

  1. How much does it cost to create software?

  2. The average cost of developing custom software starts from $25,000. Certainly, the cost of software development depends on factors like the technology you choose, complexity, features, platform (OS), type of software like SCM, ERP, and CRM, the hourly rate of developers, and UI/UX design.

  3. Why is a software development plan important?

  4. A software development plan makes it easy to visualize and track the overall project development. Using different tools like Gantt chart and Kanban you are able to monitor the overall progress and meet the project goals.

  5. Which are the common challenges in software development?

  6. Here are a few challenges generally you face in software development.

    • Miscommunication and expectation mismatch
    • Continuous changes in requirements
    • Avoiding the testing of software before deployment
    • Limited tools and resources for proper development
    • Meeting deadlines and finishing the important milestones
  7. Which are the different models of software development?

  8. According to Wikipedia, there are 10+ SDLC methodologies in software development. But, here are the most important models.

    • Agile methodology
    • Waterfall methodology
    • Scrum methodology
    • Lean methodology
    • Spiral methodology

Ready to Get Timeline Estimate for Your Software Development?

In this blog, you learned about project timelines estimated based on different project phases, factors affecting timelines, and average timeline estimation for different size software. Certainly, if the developed software development plan is accurate and followed properly, then there are chances of delay in your project development.

If you have any questions or want to get an estimate for your project development, then contact us. Being a leading software company in Toronto, we have developed over 300 custom mobile and software solutions for our clients. Let’s connect to discuss your requirements.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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