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3 Reasons why software development projects fail

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Through our years of experience with software development as a nearshore software development firm we have encountered thousands if not millions of challenges that, despite how time consuming or stressful they might have been, have left us with key insights and lessons that we like to share with you. We have talked before about software architecture’s main issues and challenges but now we want to focus on discussing the biggest reasons software development projects fail.

1. Lack of communication and transparency

A key aspect is the failure to set up effective communication channels. This being a main issue cannot be emphasized enough as miscommunication is one of the easiest and fastest ways for a project to fail.

A direct channel between client and developer plus a will to work closely helps ensure the achievement of ideas and requirements which makes proper communication a responsibility of the entire development team. Many times we find that management is not clear enough with the client. Poor communication between the IT team and the client can result in project failure, team members can get frustrated and your client might become unhappy.

Over promising can be the worst business practice, it’s better to under promise and over deliver, that way you’ll always have happy customers.

2. Resistance to change

This can be perceived on a daily basis, it’s more of a human matter, in fact, getting the right project manager could minimize this risk. A great project manager has to be resistant to the resistance to change.

Impediments or new paths are part of daily life when building a software or an app. Some roads might be slower than others and some issues might point the team into a different direction, so having a team that is always willing also depends in the method chosen to manage your team. The most 2 common methods are agile and waterfall, being agile the most practical and flexible.

3. Poor Budgeting

Startups and entrepreneurs are generally limited by budget. A common mistake for a lot of managers is to choose the cheapest option available in the market. This is not only the most common error but the most expensive one. It usually goes down to Money vs quality. Quality is fundamental to the ability to perform, if your application is built in poor quality code the app will most likely not work under stress conditions. Poor coding might even render it inoperable. Just think how much time you would have to spend in fixing the code and you will avoid shortcuts such as these.

Another common reason for project failures is the management of funds. Even if a startup has the proper funding it is common to find out they are not being optimized fully.

The most common reasons of funding being a potential issue when you are hiring a team is the allocation and method of payment; often planned out as a fixed price. Deciding to go for a fixed price might seem reasonable at a time but it is like deciding your application will not count with the most critical elements responsible for a successful project; testing and improving. With a fixed price, the developer or team will have one clear goal in mind, which is to deliver the application or software at the potential expense of quality. It also makes allocating a proper budget harder since the project is viewed as a whole instead of a step to step basis.

We’ve found that these are the most common reasons that lead to software development project failure. There are more specific reasons related to project management and execution like quality testing, lack of periodic assessment but if a proper software development project management is well chosen that shouldn’t be a problem.

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