The Top 6 Reasons Why Software Development Goes Wrong

What are the reasons software development goes wrong? Well, there are actually many ways that the experience can be tricky, and unfortunately, a lot of these come down to poor planning and communication before development has even started.

Any type of software development project or IT overhaul is a big deal for a business. It presents opportunities to completely revolutionize your operations and for some industries, it makes compliance possible. For this reason, it’s very important that the experience is positive and goes smoothly for a business.

6 Reasons Why Your Software Development Will Go Wrong

We asked some experienced project managers what the most common reasons were for development project failures – here’s what they said…

#1 Weak Requirements (or none at all)

When you begin to work with a developer, communication is key and submitting thorough and well-planned requirements is essential. Submitting strong requirements will not only help achieve a better final product, but it will also help your developers to more accurately quote for the project and determine a timeline for completion.

Your requirements are important for helping developers understand the scope of the project. Without them, it’s hard to see your vision and how it will impact your business. Unclear requirements (or none at all) can lead to miscommunication and, ultimately result in an end product that neither party is completely satisfied with.

Your requirements submitted to the developer should include the following things:

  • What is the end goal for the software? (What problems does it solve?)
  • Who is using the software? Are they tech-savvy or trained in specific skills relating to the system?
  • What do your end users need from the software?
  • What essential features must the developed software include?
  • Are there any compliance or legal issues to be aware of?
  • Are there any integrations needed with existing systems?
  • Are there any user interface or accessibility needs?

You might not be able to outline some of the technical details relating to these questions. This is absolutely fine. Working alongside an experienced development team will mean they can hear the problems or opportunities that you outline in your requirements and find those technical solutions for you.

#2 No Clear Expectations

Expectations for the project very much link to the requirements you submit. Unclear expectations or expectations above what the developer expects can lead to disappointment and a lack of satisfaction with the final product. It’s very important to be clear up front and avoid any miscommunication.

Expectations should match your budget for the project. Feature-heavy software products with lots of third-party integrations will cost more and require more development time. If you have a limited budget, it may be wise to choose essential and secondary features to help manage expectations.

Prioritizing features is an important part of the planning process and should not be overlooked by business owners looking into IT and software development projects. You should also make sure that all stakeholders agree on the priorities chosen. This avoids mixed messaging between your business and development teams and keeps the entire project on track.

#3 A Poor Understanding Of The End User

One of the key reasons that software fails is when its purpose is based on a poor understanding of the end user. As a business, your software and IT projects will have a clear purpose internally, so it is always wise to discuss the project with the people who will actually be using it. This research and planning is critical to the final product.

Many businesses find that there are common issues that everyday users are having that managers are unaware of. This may be because they’re small, repetitive issues that aren’t worth bringing up, but in the long term, these small problems can cost a business in terms of efficiency and productivity. Even if a problem seems small in the grand scheme of things, these issues can snowball with software and IT and have a wider impact on the productivity of the whole business.

#4 Budgeting Problems

Having clear and planned conversations with developers upfront not only prevents miscommunication, but it can also save valuable money and keep your project from going over budget.

Budgeting problems are one of the top reasons for software projects failing and it is often linked to a lack of planning and communication. Adding new features or tasks mid-way through the agreed-upon schedule can incur additional costs and be a real problem for developers who have already planned for the agreed schedule. Working in this way (with afterthoughts taking priority over agreed features) is one of the easiest ways to see your project budget skyrocket.

#5 Scheduling Issues

Last-minute additions to the schedule won’t just impact your bottom line. Right at the start of a project, you should agree on a schedule that both you and your developers are happy with and stick to it as much as you can.

This ensures that your developers aren’t taken off track on smaller, unplanned tasks and means you can have confidence in the estimated completion date.

Of course, things change sometimes in business and priorities might move, but the best thing you can do is communicate these changes as early as you possibly can and allow your developers the time to plan and adapt.

#6 Poor Execution of Development Work

This will seem like an obvious one, but it’s crucial. Poor execution means failure for a project – but what does that actually mean?

Poor execution can mean a number of things when it comes to development. Firstly, inexperienced development agencies or single freelancers might not be using the quality of code needed to produce a high-quality final product for your business. Business software development is quite often for large, business-changing solutions and requires good processes and a team approach to be able to correctly produce a good end product.

Secondly, some agencies may fall short with the testing and verification portion of a project. It’s so important to test and debug software to make sure it can be seamlessly integrated into a business. Bugs and downtime can be costly, so this step cannot be skipped if you want to have success with the development project.

How To Ensure Software Development Goes Right

At i3solutions, we have over 25 years of experience helping businesses to get the software solutions they need. We have the know-how and skillset to avoid painful project mistakes and our entire team is on hand to create a smooth experience from start to finish.

i3solutions can design and develop the custom software application you need. Contact us today to discuss your project and how i3solutions can help you get it done right.


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