Information Technology is a truly fascinating industry. It is one of the most demanded market sectors worldwide. Software development outsourcing is a progress engine, it is the technological revolution motivator. However, there are always two sides to the coin. Such a global interest in this industry and the market volatility significantly impact the software project success rate statistics.
Let’s discover the primary reasons why most software development projects can’t make it to the end and figure out a way to secure the stable and efficient development lifecycle of yours.
Why Software Project Fail: How to Save Your Business From the Burnout
To be completely truthful, project success depends on each and every team member. Every single person’s motivation and proficiency matter. However, some crew members can make a greater difference to the software product future. We are talking about project management staff.
Although we can’t blame all IT-project fails on PMs, these people set a development direction, pave the way for the project, set objectives and monitor their timely achievement.
Software Project Management Pitfalls: Know Your Enemy
Whether you are a project manager, chief technical officer or a decision-maker, pay close attention to the following IT-project issues that ruin efficient performance and make the last hope of success fade out.
Unclear Project Requirements: Let’s Develop At Least Something
Ignoring the vital importance of crystal clear requirements is a one-way ticket to the failed projects dumpster. You can’t just pretend like poor customer specifications are enough for an effective project plan.
Here are the most substantial reasons why this leads to an irreversible disaster:
- You still don’t get the idea. No matter how talented and motivated your project manager is, unclear requirements create uncertainty on the solution purposes;
- The client thinks you understood the task when you actually didn’t. This brings immense frustration when your software doesn’t meet initial customer needs;
- You have to guess. You assume that the client wants to see the sum of three values, while he or she expects to see the average. These seemingly tiny blunders create an overall unpleasant cooperation impression.
With that said, unclear project specification is the last thing you want.
Lack of Success Confidence: We Will Fail Anyway
IT-industry faces more and more demotivated project management staff nowadays. People get involved in projects just because they believe they have to. This is where it gets really destructive.
You can be surprised by how this issue is critical. Genera report indicates that 75% of project managers believe their projects are doomed from the start. This leaves us a quarter of motivated people all over the industry. Doesn’t sound very promising, does it?
Now you know the background to one of the most impactful failure reasons – demotivated team. The project manager should be a motivation booster, a role model for subordinates to look up to. You can’t get an efficient developer team if you are not confident in the project yourself.
Resistance to Changes: Don’t Mind the Stats, We Don’t Need No Pivoting
Our nowadays rivalry-driven IT-market dictates us to stay high-quality, timely, and cost-effective at the same time. It brings us to the level where flexibility becomes integral to project success. This means being ready to pivot defines your chances to succeed.
This is the most relevant to agile software development methodology. As soon as you accept the possibility of unexpected changes and pivots, you increase your success chances radically.
Lack of Timely Testing: We Can Just Test It In the Production Environment
Do you test your software? Experience has shown that very few outsource software development companies pay enough attention to testing a product. This brings us the following consequences:
- You can hardly predict anything. Having insufficient performance and stability info, you can’t say for sure what is going to happen on the production deployment;
- There will be countless hotfixes. And it is not about how many bugs will come up during the software delivery. It is about whether you will manage to keep the product up and running.
Lack of Experienced Project Manager: We Can Handle the Project Management Ourselves
The nowadays IT-market realities force us to implement the cutting-edge management techniques to keep our heads above the water and to ensure project cost-effectiveness. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many project managers capable of making an impact on the business economy.
Quality project managers are the core of your successful project planning. PMs are very valuable team members when it comes to roles and tasks management. With that said, don’t skimp on your management staff if you don’t want to end up low on budget eventually. A major reason that software development projects to fail is due to poor project management.
Lack of User Input: We Know What User Wants
Ignoring user feedback is one of the most common practices leading to failure in the software development industry. Inexperienced software development companies can’t see why it is wrong to base a product strategy purely on their predictions and assumptions. However, they understand it as time passes.
If you create a software product for users, you have to find out what they want and figure out how to deliver the needed functionality. The user input collection tools include but are not limited to the following:
- Survey. The traditional question-based feedback collector is often considered outdated. Nonetheless, you still can make an interactive survey and deliver quality feedback collecting experience to the users;
- Minimum viable product. An MVP launch brings immense market study opportunities. You receive first-hand feedback and raw impression of a product. You get a broad picture of how your software meets user expectation and what you have to adjust;
- Social media interaction. People love to chat. Just come up with a content that is not a 100% product data collector, and you’ll be able to get all the needed info.
For instance, if you are developing an Augmented Reality app, post some interesting facts about the AR industry and then kindly ask users what they have to say about your app. You’ll be surprised how loyal users can be when treated not as a marketing tool only.
Poor Communication: We Could Discuss This, But Let’s Not
IT-geeks have a specific mentality. They often don’t want to talk much, especially when it comes to work discussions. So, we should just leave them alone and enjoy the silence, right? Wrong.
Let’s be honest, everyone has a right to do whatever he or she wants to, but not when we speak about business. Software development is a highly collaborative work, it’s a complex system of solutions that need discussion. How many people work on your project? If the number is more than one, you need to ensure quality communication to establish the clearest project understanding possible.
Remember, you need people that want to communicate and collaborate, not the ones that feel like they have to.
Technology Incompetence: We Don’t Know The Tech, But Let’s Build an AI With It
One more thing that ruins promising projects is technology bandwagons. As soon as the new framework or development tool appears on the market, an enormous amount of agile project jumps into software development with this technology. Without a doubt, the new often brings faster, fresher, more powerful capabilities. However, it also takes time to learn.
The problem is, a considerable part of companies ignore the latter aspect and start acquiring the new technology right away. As you may have guessed, it almost always turns out to be a total disaster.
Here are the reasons why implementing the newfangled tech is a questionable decision:
- Lack of community discussions. As time passes, the developer community solves countless issues you may face during the project. New tech is an empty page, and you’ll have to write it yourself;
- Raw and unrefined documentation. New technologies often come with an unfinished or, let’s say, not the perfect documentation. It doesn’t matter for the small-scale projects, but if you are planning to play in the bigs, quality tech documentation is a must;
- Uncertain future of further technology support. We all saw how seemingly promising frameworks rise and then fade out in a year or so. Now, imagine how the companies using these technologies struggle right now. No community help, no improvement perspectives, no nothing.
Taking this into consideration, be careful when deciding on the newest and freshest tech stack. Or be ready to pay a fortune to geniuses able to acquire a new tech in one night.
The Bottom Line
There are a million pitfalls that can undermine the motivation, skills, and progress of a project in a blink of an eye. However, if you play your cards right, the project success is a matter of professional approach, dedication, and ultimate motivation to make this world a better place.
If you need expert assistance in your project planning and management, reach out to our professionals at Gravum. Our projects can boast of cutting-edge management technologies, which increases their cost-effectiveness to the max. Contact us today and bring your business economy to a new level with our software development outsourcing services.