4 Reasons Why Your Software Project Fails, 4 Ways to Avoid It

Just like in every other company in our industry, also our experts have been in clean-up initiatives, sorting up the remains of a previously failed software project. This experience has taught us how to avoid the pitfalls. There are four primary reasons why your software project fails and there are four remedies to avoid it.

The Big Four of Software Project Failure

  1. Poor scheduling. Even the best software developer cannot turn back time – especially after waiting months for the project’s budget approval.

  2. Mismatched or missing skillsets. When the technology choices and the current project staff’s strengths aren’t aligned, you’re heading for a dead end.

  3. Budgetary pressure and surprise costs. Fast. Cheap. Good. You can choose two.

  4. Shared responsibility is no one’s responsibility. No matter how good your developers are, the whole project needs to be owned by somebody. It can be a project manager, scrum master, or a lead developer. The title doesn’t matter, the decision-making authority and responsibility do.

The Four Remedies

There are two ways to alleviate scheduling pressure. You have to involve a project manager right in the planning phase, so you won’t take missteps and the pieces fall in place. Another factor speeding up the project is finding the right talent fast enough. Here the scale of the network is a defining factor. Thus we find it crucial that we have over 2500 personally interviewed developers on our roster.

The benefits of a big network are seen also when you acquire the missing skillsets. The bigger the network, the more probable is that rarer or high-in-demand skills can be quickly met. The key to success is putting a lot of effort for the talent agent into figuring out the project needs with the customer. This ensures that the need and the consultant match.

There are two, seemingly opposite, avenues to fight the budgetary pressure. On the one hand, you can use consultants to make sure you employ only the right people at the right time. When choosing this approach, it is important to have a short procurement chain to ensure cost efficiency. On the other hand, if the need is lengthier and more stable, you can insource the formerly outsourced skills – by recruiting salaried workers instead of consultants.

Many projects suffer from shared responsibility (which is a nice way of saying “lack of responsibility”). This is something you don’t want to get surprised by in business-critical projects. There’s no substitute for having a project owner and a project manager, whether as a consultant or in-house.

We can help you with all of these. We’ve been around. Let’s be in touch.

The author is a former project manager, now matching Witted’s clients and talents to make sure projects never fail.