Software development can be a challenging task. Seeing it through from start to finish can give even veteran developers a big headache. This is why many software projects fall through. Aside from complicated process and challenges, many software development projects also go over budget.
Common Software Development Project Pitfalls
There are many pitfalls to watch out for when you’re developing software. Here are some of the most common reasons why software projects fail.
Ideas do not always translate into goals. When you have an idea you want to run with it and see what works, but it is not always measurable or doable. In some cases, ideas are just great as ideas. Software developers know that this is one of the biggest risks in the industry. If a project does not have clear goals, it will not have direction and project engineers and developers will not understand why they are doing the work.
While it is true that necessity is the mother of invention, every software developer should first understand what the goals are, what problems are going to be solved and what the mechanisms are in order to measure the success of the project.
Not Enough Documentation
Coders and programmers know how important documentation is. Proper documentation is needed in order to keep track of all the aspects of an application and it improves on the quality of the software product. Most importantly, documentation is needed for development, maintenance and knowledge transfer to other developers. Software documentation reduces support requirements while improving quality and productivity.
Writing software without a clear User Stories & Acceptance Criteria is like building a house without a blueprint. Are you building a house for a family of 3 or a family of 8? Is it for a young family or for your grandparents?
A big factor in failed software development projects is poor communication. It is common for a single project to involve a lot of people. In the end it all boils down to how well people in a team communicate with each other. This is because communication is the glue that holds the whole project.
While documentation is important in software development, team dynamics plays a big part in how well information is communicated and understood. Managing expectations is also important in order to ensure that everybody is on the same page.
Communication should be easy to access. All team members should be able to access task management and reporting tools without having to ask other members.
Agile Project Management
Research shows that teams that follow agile project management are more likely to succeed. Agile framework promotes flexible and sustainable environment for software development. It is also responsive to change and allow for more complicated projects to be broken down into smaller tasks and achievable milestones.
This is very important for teams because hitches and changes can happen during the development process which can significantly impact the outcome.
Lack Of Shareholder Feedback
According to studies, lack of engagement from stakeholders is the reason why many projects fail. Keeping stakeholders informed and involved during the process minimizes ensures that the project continues because everybody is aligned with what’s important.
Actively seek feedback for improvement from stakeholders. Make sure that they know what’s going on during the development process and find out which areas they like, dislike or need improvement. Communicate these changes to the team clearly not only to boost morale but also to make sure that changes are acted upon.
Software projects usually face delays, setbacks and cost blowouts. They also sometimes lose their initial purpose. Teams lose interest when their goals are unmet, communication breaks down and projects come to a halt.
Luckily, these projects can be rescued. Whether it’s fixing poor quality code or improving communication and facing other software development problems, developers can face these challenges if there is a clear and actionable path ahead. This is why clear goals should be set for every software development project.