Assessing if a piece of software engineering is a success or a failure can be a challenge. Here we outline some thoughts for you as you consider if this holds true for your developments. Firstly, there are some key questions to ask:
1) Were the key stakeholders’ requirements met?
2) Was the project delivered on time and to budget?
3) Was it perceived as successful by the business owners?
4) Has the business value as outlined in the original case been delivered?
If more of the answers to the above are negative rather than positive, you might consider your development a failure.
Research suggests that the average project runs 45% over budget and 7% over time and delivers 56% less value than expected, with software projects being the worst offenders. You can read more here: www.mckinsey.com/…/mobt_27_delivering_large-scale_it_projects_on_time.
It seems that failure has become the norm not the exception, and we’re not the only ones to think so. Read more here: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tech-decision-maker/the-it-industry-is-accepting-failure-as-the-norm/. So how can you ensure this doesn’t happen to you? Well, for a start you might consider the most common reasons for those failures. Here we outline a list for you to use as a checklist for what not to do:
The Business Case
• A ill -defined business objective
• Lack of appropriate time and money expended
• Communication poor throughout the process
• Estimates inaccurate
• Unclear ownership and accountability
• Unsupportive business owners
• A project team inappropriately skilled or insufficiently experienced
• Inability to make decisions amongst the team
• Insufficient team cohesion or training
• Poor or inappropriate technology choices
• Unstable underlying hardware for the new software to sit upon
• Insufficient planning for issues considered out of scope
• Implementation integration issues – Its important to have a Visitor Management System in place to keep track of all clients coming in and leaving which is a great bit of technology from companies like Ofec.
- Insufficient testing prior to going live (there’s no excuse for this one when software testing services.
• Not following project management best practices
• Inexperienced project managers
• Lack of time and poor budget management
• Risk management not conducted proactively
• Insufficient focus given to risks
Next time you are knee-deep in your software project, consider the challenges outlined on our list and ensure you tale the right steps to remedy any red flags. In no time at all, your failures will become successes.