With technology changing the face of business the need for streamlined software projects continues to grow. However, as projects become more complex it can be hard to find the main reasons why projects fail. By studying reports on failed IT project patterns it is easy to find common reasons for failure.
Failing to forecast a proper budget for software development commonly causes projects to fail. Regardless of how much experience entrepreneurs have with finances they can find themselves unable to accurately budget for software development projects. Startups with limited budgets have the hardest time funding a complete development project so they often turn to outsourcing with companies that already have processes in place.
Project timelines are often written before the project begins and don’t offer much wiggle room for delays. This means project managers often rush the development process and may not schedule enough time for testing, security, or may have to leave out certain features. It is important to schedule adequate time for each step in the software development process to allow for changes and delays that may occur.
Lack of communication
There is truth in the saying “trust but verify” which is true for software development projects. Project managers must communicate often with software developers to ensure projects are on time and within budget. It is also important that all milestones are tested and verified for compliance. Having a great team that works fine together and has proven trustworthy is great but everyone makes mistakes once in a while so all work must be verified and communication must flow from developers to managers and managers to customers.
Insufficient Project Reviews
Similar to a lack of communication, it is important for managers to periodically review the progress of a project. Changes in software development as a project progresses must be documented, tracked, and monitored. Once this happens, challenges can be met early in development and all stakeholders involved will be aware so they can expect delays. Milestones should be set throughout development so they can be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.
Insufficient Testing or Testing in Production
When projects fall behind schedule or become rushed the testing phase often suffers. Either all testing is crammed into a short amount of time or is put off until the software goes live. Some testing after a product goes live is OK as long as it is minor. If a product is not completely tested until it is delivered it may be filled with bugs, holes in security, or may fail to meet the customer’s requirements. Regardless of the outcome, testing needs to occur throughout the software development lifecycle in iterations and as a whole once completed.
Lack of a Proven Methodology
Whether you use waterfall, agile, or some other software development methodology a project needs to follow a proven process to become successful. If you outsource your software development projects it is essential to understand what methodology you want to use. This way software developers that follow a proven process are more likely to deliver products that meet goals and expectations.
The reasons mentioned in this article for why software development projects fail can all be avoided. Proper testing, having a proven methodology, having an appropriate budget, and constant communication among team members can all ensure the success of a software development project.