Software development projects, like any others, are not exempted from pain points and challenges. Therefore, we have rounded up for you a list of common pain points during software development and explained how you can sidestep them with your team.
Unclear requirements are one of the most prominent reasons for failed projects and one of the most common pain points in software development processes. This usually happens when clients are short on time and want quick solutions so they skip sharing the proper requirements or simply skim through them. Unfortunately, it obliges web developers to make assumptions that may turn out to be wrong, wasting their time and yours. The requirements of a software development project are the foundation of any client-developer relationship. They should be clear and detailed in order to prevent disappointments and steer away from working on the same features twice. To avoid this, there are two things you need to do:
- Explain your project goals
Before the development team begins building your software, they need to know the goals of the project, which also helps them determine the budget and set the timeline needed to complete it. Most importantly, they need to understand your business, its values, and its objectives. This makes it easier for them to build the project in a way that truly reflects your vision. Therefore, we suggest you properly introduce your company to your developers before proceeding with development.
- Write a Technical Requirements Document
To guarantee clear requirements, we advise you to prepare a technical requirements document. It is a document that entrepreneurs hand over to their developers at the beginning of a project that lists all the required features in detail. It includes the project’s overview, goals, main software features, and details of every requested feature. The main purpose is to lower costs, speed up development time, and identify missing gaps before the design and coding phases start.
Requirements can, of course, change mid-development but the timing and nature of those changes may result in additional charges for you and wasted work for developers which is why it should be carefully considered. The clearer the project specifications are, the easier it is for developers to understand them and work accordingly.
Inaccurate Cost Estimations
Several factors affect the cost estimations of a project. Make sure to address each one in order to limit inaccurate cost estimations, which is one of the major pain points in software development. Below are the main causes of inaccurate estimations and the suggested solutions to avoid them.
- Ambiguous Project Requirements:
Neglecting certain details in your project requirements often results in wrong cost estimates. Missing to mention some requirements means missing costs which will eventually be added later on. Be clear regarding the project goals, mention the features you want to implement in prioritized order, and specify the needs you’re trying to meet. This reduces miscommunication and wrong assumptions, which can hinder the timeline and cost estimations of your project.
- Requirement changes mid-development
Some entrepreneurs might change their minds about certain features during the development process. But, adjusting or adding features mid-development will cost you much more than if you had mentioned them in your technical requirements document. That’s because your developer will have to adjust or even re-write the code they have already worked on. Therefore, it is better to leave those additional adjustments for later versions of your software and save yourself extra time and cost.
- Unexpected challenges
If your development team encounters technical challenges, it can cause numerous deadlines to be missed. Discussing potential scenarios with the development team before they start the project will make you aware of how different circumstances might affect the cost. It is also best to break up the project into stages so that you can set a budget for each stage and pay in milestones. As each stage is completed, you can decide whether the schedule needs to be extended and the budget adjusted.
- Budget overruns
A common mistake is not taking into account the probability of overspending or product scaling, which means you won’t have a financial pillow for these cases. It is better to usually expect up to 20% budget overruns per project. Those include:
- Design changes after the coding phase starts.
- Requests that you forgot to include in the technical requirements document.
- Third-party fees like software licenses, transaction fees, etc.
Every business seeks to release its product the soonest possible to maintain its competitive status. However, delays are often inevitable, no matter how frustrating and costly they can be. Some of the reasons behind delayed deadlines are:
- Choose a skilled team
Under-skilled teams will take much longer to complete projects, while teams with experience and expertise will complete your project within the timeline you agreed on. So choose your development team by reading reviews and checking out their portfolio, to know whether they’re capable of completing the job in a timely manner.
- Choose the right team size
The size of your development team depends on the complexity of your project. If you are building a complex software solution and you don’t hire enough people, the project will take longer to complete, and will automatically cost you more. Make sure each team member is qualified for their position and your team is never understaffed.
- Ensure team’s productivity
The productivity of a team depends on their experience working together. A group that has just been put together is not as efficient as one that has accomplished many projects as a group. They will need to get used to working with each other, which takes time, risks disagreements, and hinders the project implementation.
It’s important to note that the solution to avoid human resources problems and guarantee a suitable professional team for your project is to hire a dedicated software development team. At Staggering ROI, our dedicated teams can efficiently plan, execute and deliver software solutions that will complement your business goals.
Miscommunication can lead to delays in the project and a poor final product. What you can do is establish a clear line of communication at all times with your team of developers to minimize disruptions and keep the project on track. Most importantly, maintain frequent and consistent communication with your development team. Leaving your developers on their own without any follow-up for a long period of time is not the best approach. We advise weekly meetings to keep track of progress.
Again, changing requirements does not only cause inaccuracy in cost estimation but also delays project deadlines. Once the building of the solution software begins, we strongly advise you not to change requirements since it will greatly delay the project’s deadline. Instead, if you’re not completely sure of your requirements, we suggest the following:
- Hire a strong project manager, who would predict the risks of unexpected changes while planning and setting the timeline. They can predict how developers would address the situation and how long it will take to apply changes.
- Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first. It helps minimize resources and costs, as well as test if the project has potential opportunities for success or not. Doing so dismisses the extra work that will be put on unnecessary features and avoids the effects of changing requirements.
Let’s work together on building your MVP
Quality assurance is conducted throughout the development process to identify flaws in the software code and design. It ensures that the final product is secure, works smoothly, and has a competitive edge. Testing the code is fundamental, but it is usually under-appreciated by clients for the time it takes, and because not everyone involved in the project can see the long-term benefits and time savings it provides. Consequently, developers might feel pressured to work faster, knowing that testing is indispensable. The lack of quality assurance in a project is considered one of the dangerous pain points in software development because the presence of bugs in your final product can ruin your business reputation. Therefore, ensure that your development team conducts a meticulous quality assurance process and give them the time they need so you can be confident in releasing your product.
Micromanagement is a management style where a manager or project partner attempts to control the development project, obsessing about small details and closely following up on every task’s status. People who micromanage immerse themselves in the work of others which usually negatively affects the team, making them feel untrusted and demotivated.
If you have the habit of micromanaging, you may not be aware of the impact it has on your organization or on the development team you entrusted with your project. These are some effects micromanaging has on working groups:
- Damages the team’s morale and trust
Team members lose their sense of autonomy which leads to decreased motivation and a slower work process.
- Increases employee turnover
Team members who are not comfortable with their work environment tend to quit. This affects the team’s work and slows things down.
- Discourages creativity
If you are constantly interfering in everything your team members do, you may stop them from doing anything original and creative.
- Results in project delays
You may think you are attempting to achieve perfection, but controlling every small task will slow developers down and lead to missing deadlines.
Here are a few things you can do to limit or stop micromanaging:
- Make sure everyone knows what they should be doing and when.
- Trust your developers that they know what they are doing.
- Ensure there are frequent updates through consistent meetings and encourage communication at all times.
It is only natural that you show concern about the end result of your product and feel like closely following up on the process. However, it’s important to acknowledge that some delays are unavoidable, due to one or many of the pain points discussed. What we suggest is to consider custom software development which is the process of designing and developing software applications based on the specific requirements and needs of an individual or company. In addition to cost-effectiveness and a competitive edge, custom software applications developed by a dedicated development team will give you more benefits than pain points during software development.
Great advices, I’ve just realized that my issue in scaling is the micromanagement.