3 Signs Your Software Project Has Gone Off the Rails
Here’s one of the best ways to waste your investment in business technology: employ an inexperienced, unskilled team that implements half-baked processes for your complex software project that requires careful planning and execution. You might think that’s obvious. Many organizations, however, often find themselves navigating a forest of red flags way too late into the […]
Here’s one of the best ways to waste your investment in business technology: employ an inexperienced, unskilled team that implements half-baked processes for your complex software project that requires careful planning and execution.
You might think that’s obvious. Many organizations, however, often find themselves navigating a forest of red flags way too late into the software development life cycle to realize that they’ve made this very same mistake themselves. It might start off innocuous enough. KPIs aren’t decided upon from the onset. Often there is lots of back and forth between stakeholders and developers, and some deadlines become tighter.
But some setbacks are all natural and par for the course, right? Well, if you’re still saying that as stress levels mount and important steps of the development process are skipped in favor of just deploying the app ASAP, you already know the answer. Your software project has gone off the rails.
So what are some of the foremost red flags you should be looking for? What are the telltale symptoms and how should you address them before you find yourself in a post-mortem meeting after the project is shut down?
Unclear Goals and Objectives
Maybe stakeholders are having difficulty articulating what they want, or you’re not clear on how success is measured. In some instances, there’s no concrete ownership in terms of who is responsible for which task. All of these point to a huge red flag: you’ve got unclear goals and objectives.
This can manifest in such situations where there are multiple stakeholders involved in the project, but no clear understanding as to who has ultimate decision-making authority. Thus, leading to delays in progress due to conflicting opinions between parties. At the very least, it would require clarification from all sides before meaningful work can begin.
The best approach is to ensure all stakeholders are firmly and clearly on the same page. Ensure there are clear expectations for each stakeholder. Set up regular meetings between stakeholders where progress can be discussed. Guarantee that everyone is aware of their individual responsibilities throughout the software development lifecycle.
Email responses and other inquiries can take too long. Requirements aren’t always implemented correctly during the software development lifecycle, thus requiring numerous back and forth change requests. Sound familiar? That’s poor communication. It’s a conclusive way to frustrate both stakeholders and developers and waste time and resources trying to correct mistakes.
It’s all too common for there to be an issue with a certain feature, but often the problem isn’t communicated properly. So the development team ends up spending more time than necessary trying different solutions without actually solving the problem.
Fortunately, previously mentioned measures to clarify goals and objectives already goes a long way to maintain consistency and ensure everyone’s on the same wavelength. Beyond that, you can assign a designated point person who can act as an intermediary between developers and other stakeholders. This streamlines timely responses from both sides while also helping facilitate effective communication across all parties involved.
Inadequate Resources and Budgeting
If your lack of people or equipment (hardware or software) is stalling your project, that’s a clear cut sign that you’re suffering from inadequate resources and budgeting. Other symptoms to monitor are deadlines becoming shorter, or cutting corners on tasks like testing and quality assurance.
Every minor penny-pinching step in software development opens up the project to increased expenses downstream. Every skimped code review and skipped pentest invites bugs and vulnerabilities — and those cost even more money to fix than they would have to prevent.
Resource and budget inadequacy should’ve been addressed from the start, when clarity in project scope and budget are set and resources are properly provisioned based on sufficient time and resources. In the unfortunate circumstance when you realize the issue in the middle of a project, it’s critical to assess what resources and budget are still available. You can then plot out a way to survive on your current resources by making significant adjustments, or find a way to procure what resources you need.
Fielding the Right Team to Avoid Tech Troubles
There’s no shortcut to application building, especially for software projects with complex requirements. There’s no substitute for a team of experienced professionals well-versed in the latest technologies and trends.
The right software project team can help you avoid various project-related pitfalls and tech troubles by ensuring everything is on track from start to finish. The right team provides guidance on how best to allocate resources and budgets, as well as clarity around goals and objectives so everyone is aware of their individual responsibilities throughout the software development lifecycle.
Ultimately, the right tech team can prevent your software project from going off the rails.
Exelaration has saved dozens of companies from off-the-rails software projects. To see how we can help, email firstname.lastname@example.org