The failure of software projects is a widespread issue in the IT industry. According to a study performed at the University of Oxford in 2012, 45% of software projects run over budget, 7% go beyond expected time, and 56% deliver less value than predicted. Many reasons lie behind these worrying numbers. Below is a discussion of the most important reasons.
Poorly Defined Requirements:
Technology experts need to spend enough time understanding the needs of end users. They should discuss thoroughly what business owners really want and set up clear goals to work on. Poor communication at the beginning of a project can lead to confusion and complications later on. Focusing too much on the software feature list is a recipe for disaster.
Poorly Managed Expectations:
Not enough time: As a company owner, you usually set deadlines for projects before they even start, and these deadlines are often non-negotiable. To meet up with your deadlines, some developers tend to jump straight into the coding phase. They assume that the sooner they start coding, the quicker they will finish. Proficient developers do not fall into this trap! On the contrary, they spend more time planning the software architecture. This will decrease the amount of changes they go through during the developing phase.
Not enough budget: Sometimes projects have an unrealistically low budget. With such a budget, requirements are almost impossible to satisfy. If you are a business owner asking for a software project, be realistic about your budget. Go for suppliers well-rated for delivering within budget, and avoid hiring developers simply because they provide low-price deals.
Failure to Review Project Progress:
Expert developers realize the importance of reviewing the progress of their project regularly. This will help them spot challenges and solve them early enough. As a business owner, ask for regular updates from the developers you are working with. Make sure they inform you of possible delays and changes to the product. Watch out though for too much management! Your focus, as a company, should be on getting the work done not on managing the process.
Testing is often left as the last phase of software development. The expected result is a project full of bugs and an unhappy costumer.
When receiving updates from the developers you are dealing with, make sure they are carrying out testing throughout the developing process.
Avoid letting developers test new software products in production environments. A software product which is not fully-tested may cause security breaches that disturb the production environment.
Quality Not High Enough at Release:
With the rush to deliver on time, the quality of software products may suffer. A bad software quality can lead to rework, lost time, and unhappy customers.
Make your expectations clear to your developer: a project delivered on time with code changes completely documented, no flaws in design, and complete implementations.