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Why software development projects fail.

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Software development is the cornerstone of the advancement of technology. When launching a new software project, best practices suggests enlisting the help of a subject matter expert who is knowledgeable about software development and can assist in the early stages of project planning. The strategy has proven to greatly improve the project outcome, yet at the end of the project you are staring at a failure. Project failure can be defined as one or a combination of cost overruns, late deliveries, poor quality or developing a product that does not get used. Looking deeper into why software projects fail, we come across many repeating factors.

Lack of budgeting controls is one of the reasons why the software development projects fail. The project is difficult for developers to assign a fixed price. The customer obviously desires a fixed price so that they can budget accordingly. However, flexibility has to be taken into consideration as hurdlers are often reached by the developer along the way and the customer usually requests changes mid-way through projects. With fixed price, the goals of the developer and the customer are not usually aligned. The developer wants to get the project done in the quickest possible time while the customer expects a fully-featured final product.

Poor communication is another reason why software development projects fail. Bespoke software development projects require clear and transparent communication between the customer and the developer. This clear communication channel needs to be in place from the outside and include every phase of the project from planning, development, testing and final deployment. A breakdown in communication is one of the most common reason cited for the failure of software development projects. For the best chances of a successful project, the customer should be involved in every step of the way. This allows for the customer’s expectations to be managed and can provide early indicators if the project is going to fail.

Absent or poor legal agreements is another reason why software development projects fail. Ensuring that you have a clear legal framework that outlines the development project including the expectations of both parties are critical for a successful outcome. The last thing that you want in the middle of a software development project is a bitter legal dispute. Before commencing a software development project, it is highly advisable to have a strong and binding agreement in place to protect both the developer and the customer. From Trendpro Systems Ltd

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