According to the Chaos Report which was released by Standish Group based on a study of 50,000 software development projects worldwide, only 29% of the projects included in the study were delivered successfully, 52% faced unexpected challenges and 19% completely failed to deliver.
Any software project (including web development projects) no matter how big the scale is, must pass by the following phases: Requirements, Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing, Deployment and Maintenance. Any failure in one of those phases due to bad project management, lack of software engineering skills or working with inexperienced developers may result in delays, going over your budget or even total project failure.
The purpose of this article isn’t to scare you of building a web application or developing new features for your website/web app but to help you to be aware of the challenges that may rise during any development project and how to be prepared for it in order to reach your goal successfully on time and on budget.
Having clear requirements set according to your business goals is the first step that adds up to the project success. A change of requirements during the project implementation always results in going over the budget and extending the project’s timeline.
A very common reason for projects failure is underestimating the scale of the project. This usually happens due to lack of software engineering experience and not asking the right questions during the requirements gathering phase. The type of the questions asked during the requirements gathering meetings helps determining the project’s workflow, the skills needed and the right time estimate to deliver the project.
Deciding the scope and scale of the project relies heavily on the requirements gathered by the development team. The scale of the project can’t be determined without having clear requirements and deciding which of them will be specified and implemented in every release of the project.
According to the report mentioned above, only 40% of the 50,000 development projects were delivered on time and 44% of them were delivered on budget. Adopting modern software development approaches like agile development contributes a lot to project success and risk management.
As an example, Let’s say that the development team has the task of creating a new “subscribe” button for a new service. This will go through button designing, integrating the new button with the current design, coding the front-end logic, coding the back-end logic and the database queries to be executed when the button is clicked. So the example task of adding a simple button to an existing application will require multiple skills and possibly a few days of development. You may not be aware of how complicated it is. If your team didn’t put you in the picture about the complexity and challenges during the different phases of the project in order to make the right decisions about them, you will have a higher chance of running into trouble.
You need also to remember that any unrealistic time estimation will for sure have effect on the quality and maintainability of your project.
#3 Team skills and experience
Choosing the right team with the right skill set can be a very challenging task especially if you have little or no technical background. Not asking a lot of questions, not paying too much attention to gathering every piece of requirement and not trying to construct workflow scenarios and use cases should always raise red flags. If any these happened, then the team or the agency you are about to hire or you have already hired may not be able to deliver the final product as required.
The most commonly needed skills in almost all web development projects are project management, software engineering, designing and development skills. Other skills may be needed like digital marketing & copywriting depending on the scope of the project. For example, a small scale project of developing a new feature in form of a CMS plugin or a new module for a web application will require less of project management skills and more of software engineering and web development skills. On the other hand, a medium-large scale project of developing a web app or a web based system will require larger set of skills and experience within the team responsible for carrying out the project.
Development projects are not something that can be done overnight. Spending enough time on planning and extensive research always pays off.
If you want to know more, need help or want to talk to a professional, you can get in touch with one our professionals & we will do our best to help you achieve your business goals.
After working and traveling as a Digital Nomad for 2 years, Amr founded Web Leap Garage with a mission of bringing creative and innovative result-driven solutions to the digital world.