Over the years, we’ve seen many custom software development projects succeed, and we’ve also seen plenty of them fail. They all start with big dreams, but reality soon sets in. Many projects still finish, but generally, they’re a far cry from what was initially planned.

While project failure isn’t black and white, here are just a few of the causes we’ve seen over the years.

Not planning for risk

It’s important to talk about the risk of a project upfront. Many of our clients don’t like that conversation. They want to assume nothing will go wrong, but that’s not how reality works.

If you plan on nothing going wrong, then you won’t be prepared when things go wrong. You have to be prepared to make adjustments and have open conversations.

Not being realistic about which features you need

Life is a lot easier of you understand what features you actually need in your software, what your budget really is, and if you’re open to suggestions from your IT provider. It’s easy to put down on paper what your budget is. But most likely, not all of the features you’d like to have will fit within that budget. Features sound simple enough to add, but each component adds to the cost.

If you’re flexible enough to know the difference between what would be nice to have and what’s essential, you’ll be able to make the most of your budget.

Not considering the time features take to implement

Of course, the budget is not the only consideration when you ask for features. Each feature you ask for takes time to implement. Not only is the original estimate just that, an estimate, but the overall time needed increases each time you add or modify a feature.

If you add or modify features, be prepared to either push out your deadline or be okay with launching software that’s not entirely built out.

Not enough flexibility built it

You may have already inferred this one. Many people want to stick to their original plan, but technology can ruin plans in the blink of an eye.

If you have custom software developed, be prepared to re-prioritize or regroup if the project takes more than just a few months.

Glossing over the testing phase

Nobody wants to roll out buggy software. But if you don’t give appropriate priority to the testing phase, that can happen.

Your test users need to understand both the business needs and how the software should promote them. Your test plan should have an appropriate checklist of items to be tested in various environments and conditions. It also needs to be updated as the project goes on.

Good software developers know to watch for these issues and effectively communicate with their clients about potential hazards. Good communication between developers and their clients will help.

If you’re looking for a developer for a custom software development project, we’d be happy to talk with you at LSG Solutions.

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