Many organizations require custom software to effectively run their business. In fact, 1 in 8 spend about 50% of their budget on custom development according to Forrester. With so much money being spent, there’s not a lot of room for error within these projects. Unfortunately, more projects fail then succeed. However, don’t let that scare you away from attempting a custom development project. With specific tools and processes in place, it can be very successful for your business.
Before you begin your next project, review these 3 project fails to avoid:
#1: Unclear Goals.
Every project needs clear and concise goals. These goals need to be communicated with everyone involved including upper management who may not be directly part of the project team. Goals should include an achievable budget, deadline and outcome.
One of the biggest mistakes is miscalculating the delivery date and budget. Sometimes upper management will set an unreasonable time frame. This needs to be addressed before the project begins. Otherwise, trying to meet an unattainable completion date can deliver a sub par product and loads of stress for the software development team. Always allow time for changes to be made and slight deviation from the plan.
As for the budget, it’s always better to be under budget than over. Try to come up with a figure that allows for added resources if necessary. According to McKinsey, larger software projects run an average of 66% over budget.
#2: Poor Project Management.
Are you attempting to start a project without a project manager? Big mistake! Someone needs to own the project and keep everybody on track. Without a project manager, details may be overlooked and the deadline may never be met.
A project manager must:
- Monitor the project consistently.
- Pay attention to details.
- Document the process.
- Supervise team-members’ tasks.
- Manage the deadline.
Around 78% of IT professionals reported that businesses are out of sync with requirements on software projects stated Cerceca.
#3: Lack of Communication.
Communication is a big reason for a project going awry. This can include:
- Not functioning as a team with transparency.
- Not asking for help when needed or reaching out to other team members.
- Not all being on the same page.
- Not relaying information to upper management.
Any or all of the above can cause issues within a custom software development project. Instead, focus on improving communication within a team.
If you’re feeling unprepared to begin a project, you can always outsource. Most companies will have processes in place to ensure success of the project. Before you sign a contract with a developer, make sure to check with them on how they manage projects and communicate.
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