What?! Software Projects Fail?

Is software failure inevitable?

A surprising amount of software projects fail. A study conducted by the Project Management Institute in 2016, indicated that roughly 14% of all software projects fail. While the software industry continues to grow, a lot of software projects don’t succeed.

Knowing that, the question is how can you make sure that your project doesn’t fail? In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why software development projects fail and how to prevent failure in your company.

1. Unclear project requirements

Detailed requirements exist for a reason. They help us define clear goals and objectives for completing the project, but also ensure that the end product meets the expectations of the customer. That’s why defining project specifications should be the first step of every project. Unfortunately, companies try to please potential clients, and because of that, they often overlook details. However, companies aren’t always responsible for unclear requirements. Maybe, the client is unable to define the requirements of the project, or the project manager is unable to understand the specifications of the project. That leaves the developers unsure of what features are essential.

What to do?

Projects with effective communication are more likely to deliver a successful project and meet the customer’s needs.

The simplest way to ensure that there’s clear communication is to ask questions, like a lot of questions. Even if they seem silly or obvious to you, it’s always better to be sure than to be wrong.

Once you’re confident that you’ve discussed everything, write it down. Also, adapt requirement specifications, add extra details, and make sure that your company and your customer are on the same page.

2. Not enough time and poor planning

Often, the deadline date is decided before the project starts and is non-negotiable. Furthermore, some project managers don’t know anything about software development and don’t know how long a project will take. Which lead to unrealistic expectations. The result of this is developers who are in a rush and may overlook some features. Furthermore, there’s not enough time to create a good design. Not having a good design leads to changes throughout the development phase.

So what?

Involve upper management from the start of the planning. If the project requirements change, or expectations were overly optimistic, there has to be someone involved who can adjust the plan.

Clients will always want their project delivered yesterday, at the lowest cost possible and the highest quality. A simple way to avoid this is, to be frank. Speak facts and numbers to the client, and be as transparent as possible. If a deadline is unrealistic, make sure that the client is aware of it.

3. Lack of testing

A lack of proper planning and insufficient time usually lead to little or no testing. However, it’s crucial to test the software for bugs. When there’s a lot of pressure to deliver on a project, testing is the first thing to be abandoned.

If the app doesn’t function properly, and the app crashes unexpectedly, your customers will be disappointed.

OK, and?

Testing should also be carried out throughout the entire development lifecycle, with each component tested as it is completed.

4. Poor project management

Poor project management is the perfect recipe for failure. Time, scope and budget are the key factors involved in a project, but a proficient project manager is an essential element. The project manager should understand the basic lifecycle of the development of a project. Moreover, communication is a vital part of management. So, if the project manager doesn’t communicate enough with the customer, or with the development team, failure will occur.

What can you do about this?

If no one on your team has the skills required to push through a development project, you may hire someone outside of your company who can deliver the results you’re looking for.

Furthermore, the project manager should use an agile approach. In agile time and budget are fixed, but the scope is flexible.

5. Mediocre developers

If a software project doesn’t succeed despite having clear requirements, planning, and good project management – it might be time to face the truth: the developers of your team aren’t good enough. They might be mediocre programmers, just lazy or lacking the motivation. This is most usually a management failure.

What to do about this?

Before hiring developers, you can ask them to build a small project for you. And to be sure that all features work properly, hire a quality assurance team. By hiring the right QA experts, you can enhance the quality of the software that you build.

After reading this blog-post, we hope that you will not rush into the development process, rather find a perfect team to assign your project to and achieve the desired results. We’d love to help you bring your idea to life. So, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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