5 reasons contributing to the success of software projects and the estimation

Posted on May 7, 2019 By Rahul Patel

Software projects are an important part of any company if you are building an MVP for your next startup idea or you are working on an internal CRM for your company. According to a report of IT research and advisory company Gartner, the worldwide IT spending is projected to a total $3.8 trillion in 2019 thus increasing by 3.2 percent from $3.7 trillion in 2018.

Here is a table showing IT spendings and growth worldwide in the year 2019:

So, from the table, it is clear that the growth percentage is however lesser than the previous year. This gives rise to the doubts projects being canceled before they are canceled before they are even completed. Due to the unrealistic specs and constant changes in the project direction, there are chances of much higher final costs than the predicted cost. This phenomenon is called the “black swan.”

Here is a graph from Statista, which shows the reasons for project failure and their percentages:

Let’s discuss some common problems which companies run into when launching a software project and how to avoid them to make your software succeed.

What contributes to software failure?

To know why software projects fail, let us first check out how the successful projects are defined by various companies:

Basically, there are two ways to define successful projects:

  • On-time, on-budget, and on-value
  • On-time, on-budget, and features/functions as specified

According to an article in the International Journal of Project Management, there is a distinction between product or project success and project management success. While the product or project success is determined by the objectives the success of project management is based on time, cost and scope of criteria. So, we can conclude that a product or a project which is not delivered on-time and within the stipulated cost and on-value may not necessarily be a failed project. Both the project and project management success needs to be taken into consideration while determining the success of a project.

So, the projects are not usually categorized as successful or unsuccessful. They are divided into 3 categories.

  • Ideal projects: Completed on-time, on-budget, on-value, and with all features and functions which were specified by the customers.
  • Imperfect projects: The project is completed and operational but has crossed time limit, is over-budget, does not have a predicted value and even certain features are lacking.
  • Failed projects: The project is canceled during the development cycle.

Here are 5 reasons contributing to the success of the project:

1. Clearly Define success and have a clear view about objectives and requirements

There are a lot of ways to define project and product success. A successful project may not always be a successful product. So, you need to have specific ways of measuring the success and failure of a project. When you start a project make sure you have a detailed idea about the specifications of the project and the methodology that you are going to use for the project ( Agile or Waterfall). The scope of the project should be properly defined because that can help with the estimation of the project. For that, involvement of developers is recommended.

2. Hire Skilled Developers and use effective methodologies:

A developer’s skill is what directly influences the success of your project. So, if you have a skilled and experienced programmer, that chances of success of your project are greatly increased. As the developer can build some really good quality software and be more efficient. Also, ensuring having reliable project managers and project management methodologies. For example, the agile methodologies are important when you develop the MVP model for a project which is validated with each version. Having a strong relationship between the project managers and developers can help to deliver a project on time successfully.

3. Divide the project into tasks

Your expectations from each of your project vary like the sizes of your projects. It is very important that you break the huge projects into smaller tasks. It is a tried and tested truth that the smaller tasks are much more manageable than one huge module. There are much less confusion and much better communication. Therefore, setting a project milestone is a better way to complete the project on time.

4. Don’t keep unrealistic deadlines

It not uncommon for the software to keep tight deadlines for completing their software projects without thinking from the developer’s point-of-view. Further, the estimates too are made without consulting the developers. So, the companies often rush too much to get their projects completes and provide insufficient time to the developers which result in sacrificing the design and usability. This can result in a broken software module.

To solve this problem easily, make sure your developers are aware of the scope and requirements of the project and have enough time to plan before even writing a single line of code. Keep the deadlines flexible. For example, if you have 10 days for the delivery of the project, plan the project in such a way that the developers are able to complete it in 7-8 days. So that even if something is left out, there is no rush on the last moment.

5. No compromise on Testing

Testing is an equally important part of the software development life cycle. A lack of testing can usually lead to a bug-filled project and cannot even function properly. Make sure that there is sufficient time for testing the project.
If the software doesn’t function properly and the features break down, that will result in huge losses. So, make sure there is enough time for testing the project at each step.

Here is how to prepare the estimate of the project:

Remember, the delivery date is not the target, it is the limit.

An estimation that proposes a minimum period of time and cost to deliver the biggest number of high-quality functionalities with an understanding of the project is called a good estimate.

Good Estimation = Min(Schedule) + Min(Cost) + Max(Functionality) + Max(Quality)

Make sure you do take the necessary measures for risk management. Define the problem first and then move on to the solution. Go for the Program evaluation review technique while preparing the estimate.

We have delivered over 200 projects with a 100% success rate and we have enough experience in the field of project management and development. If you have any idea for a software project, we can make it a reality. For further details, connect with us through the contact us form.

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