Software project development is no easy feat. Even with a team full of professionals in your arsenal helping you accomplish the project, plenty of things can go wrong — especially in the absence of proper planning and strategizing. In fact, statistics show that 3 out of 10 software projects fail.
They say that failure is not something to be afraid of. But the same thing cannot be said for a software development endeavor. A failed software project has a lot of dire consequences that can harm the company. Other than being expensive, it can even cause the failure of the company itself.
But mistakes can be avoided with proper preparation, planning, and strategizing. Being aware of the common mistakes that people make in a software project can help you avoid pitfalls, conduct solutions, and emerge successfully.
Why Software Projects Fail
A lot of things can go wrong in a software development project. Here are the most common factors that cause a project’s failure:
Lack of proper planning
What is the most important and crucial phase of a software project? Some people might say it’s the development phase itself. Others might say launching or testing. But contrary to popular belief, the most crucial part of a software project is actually what should happen before it even begins — planning.
The planning phase is a very important step that the team should take before starting a project. It’s the backbone of the entire endeavor and is what gives structure to the whole thing. Without proper and adequate planning, the team will not be equipped to handle developments. And worse, they won’t know where the project is heading.
Lack of proper communication
Like any project, proper communication is needed for a team to succeed. Every course of the project must be communicated to the relevant employees clearly and properly. Even the slightest miscommunication can cause detrimental problems.
Lack of clear and defined goals
One common problem in software projects is going off course. This is the result of not having clear, defined, and attainable goals. Make sure that you outline the results that you want to accomplish. Set milestones throughout the course of the project so that the team knows what they’re aiming for.
How to Prevent a Failed Software Project
Now that you know what causes the downfall of most software projects, here’s what you can do to avoid them:
Create a concrete, detailed, and clear plan
Never skip the planning phase and get ahead of yourself when undertaking a software project. Proper planning is crucial for the success of your team and the effectiveness of your output.
To help you plan your software project properly, here are some key things you need to consider:
- The project’s purpose and goals
- The target market and their pain points
- The timeline of the project
- The strategies you will undertake
- The costs involved.
Set goals and communicate them to the team
Having clearly defined goals not only motivates the team, but it gives them a clear path to walk through. Set attainable and realistic goals for every phase of your project. To determine if your goals are helpful, consider these questions:
- Are they realistic?
- Do I understand them?
- What does it fulfill?
Hire and train the right people
A software development team is made up of a lot of different professionals, each undertaking their own tasks and contributing to the project’s success. Hiring the right people for the job is extremely important because you need professionals that you can trust when it comes to getting the work accomplished in the best way.
Remember that IT skills are not the only things that you should be looking for in the potential members of your team. They also have to be able to work well with others, communicate effectively, as well as share their ideas, feedback, etc. These are the kinds of people who can pave the way to your project’s success.
Further, training your team is also necessary before beginning your software project. Make sure that they know your goals, how they can contribute to them, what to do in case of conflict, etc. A team that is trained can align with your goals and work together to achieve the best results.
A software project can be complex. And because there are so many things going on, it’s easy to overlook seemingly minor things that can end up harming your efforts. Everything starts with a solid plan. Take these insights and make your way to a successful endeavor.