Quite often, companies get halfway through a project and realize it is out of budget, exceeds deadlines, or won’t even deliver value. And this doesn’t just happen to new companies—top companies and market leaders are affected, too. BCG research shows that 70% of digital transformations fail to achieve their goals.
Why is it that some technology development projects grow while others fail within a few months? The answer involves many different factors, from project planning and hiring the right people to project management. This article does not cover the basic elements of technology development services, which have been described well in other sources. However, the problems are worth talking about. Below, we highlight some common pitfalls in technology development and how to avoid them so that you can successfully complete your project.
The communication process is often a stronger predictor of success than excellent programming chops. An entire software development project can fail due to poor communication at the very start. Clear and seamless communication enables all team members to fully understand the objectives and requirements of the project. At the same time, failure to provide developers with clear project requirements can lead to misunderstanding the work.
For instance, as a businessperson, you are the expert in the industry of the software solution you want to implement—everything is obvious to you. But, for your development team, these issues may be more tricky. They may not be as knowledgeable as you are on the subject and may need an explanation of the essential points.
However, the development team has greater technical expertise. They can help you choose a technical solution or evaluate tasks from a technical implementation standpoint. For example, some tasks that you may expect to be pretty simple are actually highly labor intensive from an implementation standpoint.
Each team member should have access to communication throughout the project life cycle. If a team member doesn’t know about project updates, you run the risk of delaying the project. Regularly scheduled meetings enable each stakeholder to share insights and concerns as they arise.
You should determine when and where you prefer to communicate with team members throughout the project. For example, choose one or two days each week when you will receive brief updates on what the developers have done this week and what is planned for next week. You can use tools like Slack, Whereby, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and so on.
Unrealistic timelines are common causes of disputes in technology development projects. Lack of careful planning; incorrect estimation of costs, resources, or time; and poor communication can lead to unrealistic timelines, lower product quality, and inability to complete projects on time and budget. According to the Chaos Report, projects are on average 189% over budget and 222% over time.
When you establish unrealistic planning sessions, you are likely to diminish your leadership credibility. Your development team will notice the discrepancy, and you may lose their respect.
As unrealistic timelines can compromise product quality and decrease customer satisfaction, it is worthwhile for you to spend time and effort creating a solid project timeline. There is no single set of rules to follow when creating a project timeline. However, there are basic core steps that can be taken to avoid project estimation pitfalls.
But note that creating the software development plan is just the beginning. It will be followed by task monitoring and adaptation during the development process.
An important part of your job as a manager is to make sure that everyone on your team has the right amount of work. While it may be tempting to give hard workers more projects than those who are struggling, you should be fair and make sure that work on your team is evenly distributed.
Unbalanced workloads within a team can also lead to misunderstandings and authority clashes among team members, which may impact subsequent phases of development.
A balanced assessment team is key to a project’s success. A powerful management mechanism should be in place to eliminate mistakes in development related to the delegation of duties. Proper delegation of responsibilities allows development teams to optimize their strengths and skills. However, it’s also critical that there not be too much delegation, which could slow down the software development process.
Sometimes, an inexperienced team might create a unicorn project that rocks. However, the general rule of thumb is that a better team means a better final product. This simple concept is often ignored. Companies frequently hire inexperienced programmers, which can easily lead to unwanted outcomes.
Hiring experienced software developers will save you money and time. While this may seem like overspending at first, in reality, it provides a much higher return on investment than hiring newbies.
The highest quality doesn’t come with the lowest price. You can hire app developers from India or China at an hourly rate of $10 or less, but don’t expect a quality product with a good UX at these prices. However, this also doesn’t mean that the most expensive developer will make you the best product. You should look for balance and team.
You should also check that the developers you hire have relevant experience in the software category in which you are seeking to develop a product. Even though your project plan may be relatively similar to another, it is important that your developers have expertise in the relevant category.
Testing is an essential part of any technology development project. In most cases, software errors are not too serious, but some IT failures can have truly horrific consequences. Facebook’s user data leak, data loss at GitLab, British Airways’ “technical issue,” and Amazon’s AWS outage are some of the most memorable examples of software failures in recent years that you’ve likely heard about. According to a RiskIQ report, $2,900,000 is lost to cybercrime every minute, and top companies pay $25 per minute to handle cybersecurity breaches. Preventive measures such as extensive software testing are therefore truly necessary.
However, testing is often overlooked due to a lack of time or budget. This can lead to bugs that downgrade the overall quality of applications, websites, IoT devices, and more. Software bugs can also lead to confusing code, unresponsive design, disabled functions, and unexpected crashes. In the long run, this will make your project unmaintainable.
When this happens, frustrated customers may leave your site or delete your app. A Google study found that approximately 60% of users delete a mobile app or leave a website after a disappointing experience.
In addition, poor-quality mobile apps or websites can change your brand image for the worse. According to another Google study, nearly 50% of consumers consider a poorly functioning mobile app a sign that a company doesn’t take care of its business.
To avoid these issues, you should include testing throughout the product lifecycle. This ensures that your development team can perform regression and agile testing, saving you time and effort. You can test new extensions and make sure they don’t cause regressions. You can also test the final product in both production and real environments to ensure that it meets all requirements.
Although these pitfalls may seem routine, each can result in massive losses. These technology development flaws can also lead to unsatisfied customers or even security vulnerabilities. These mistakes should be avoided at all costs when working on projects.
As a business, the optimal choice is to contact an expert for your project and hire a software development company with a strong portfolio of projects. By applying best practices, you can avoid some of these common mistakes. The VironIT team has extensive experience solving routine difficulties and delivering large-scale projects on time. To learn more about our services, contact us.