Project management is admittedly one of the challenging tasks for any software development company. It might sound very easy but behind the curtain, it's really difficult. Certain factors need to be handled attentively at every phase of SDLC, and not doing so could lead your project to run off the rails.
Among the four essential phases of a project i.e., Instigation, Planning, Execution, and Closure, the planning phase has foremost importance because the success of your project would certainly depend on how well you plan for it to avoid deviations.
Table of Content
- 1. A clear understanding of customer demand or problem
- 2. Business Analysis
- 3. Proper planning, budgeting, and technology
- 4. Establish Guidelines and Timeline
- 5. Communication
- 6. Proper Delegation
- 7. Having right software
- 8. Work Ethics, Habits & Goals, Time
- 9. The Five Pillars: teamwork, testing, failure, learning, and sales
- 10. Properly follow SDLC process
- 11. Privacy and Security
- 12. Sustainability
- 13. Project benefits outweigh costs financially or non-financially
- 14. Multiple components
- 15. Conclusion
Employing proper strategies is also an indispensable factor, unless it is followed correctly, the expected success of your project can go down in flames. This blog will highlight the significant components of a successful project. With the following components in place, you can effectively achieve success for your project.
A clear understanding of customer demand or problem
“A clear understanding of the customer demand and /or problem the project is trying to solve. The team should always understand why, the north star where we are going, and how we're going to measure progress. With that in place, leave it to the cross-functional teams to determine what model to apply based on the Cynefin framework. Different problem domains require different models to reign in the chaos or complexity and make it manageable for the team. Communicate early and often, with the intent to find common ground and build trust. The next items are the cultural virtues that are required to be successful in today's cloud-native landscape. Prioritize learning, make it part of your culture because technology changes so fast it has to be built into your company's behaviours. Learning also comes from failure, building a blameless culture is equally important. Teach your teams to provide and receive feedback so they can learn and grow from their peers, not just their managers.”
- Vince Stammegna, Senior Director of Engineering, SaaS at Axway
The “Business Analysis - Positioning for Success” research study commissioned by International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®) reveals that business analysis enables more efficient use of time/resources (72 percent), improves understanding, acquisition, and retention of customers (63 percent) and increases project success rates (63 percent).
The main components are:
- Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
- Elicitation and Collaboration
- Requirements Life Cycle Management
- Strategy Analysis
- Requirements Analysis and Design Definition
- Solution Evaluation
- Sema Sali, Senior Product Marketing Specialist @ International Institute of Business Analysis
Proper planning, budgeting, and technology
“The main components to a successful software development project include proper planning, budgeting, and technology. Without proper planning, everything can fall apart at any time in the process. It's important to plan your budget, resources, and schedules to make sure the project is feasible. If you are not budgeting correctly, you run the risk of running out of money and not being able to complete the project or move from one phase to another. And by not choosing the correct technology for the project, you jeopardize wasting money, time, and resources and ending up with a subpar product that does not accomplish the goals defined in the planning stages.”
- Haris Bacic, Co-founder @ PriceListo
Establish Guidelines and Timeline
“Software development or not, to be successful on any project, you need to have established guidelines to ensure a successful outcome. I'm not saying you have to have every single detail of each part of a project outlined with many due dates. However, having a timeline will help a lot in making sure things are happening on schedule. In addition to a general timeline of when certain parts should be completed, it's also important to set out the main criteria of each point just in case things don't go to plan. When you're building software, you have to prioritize certain details to ensure functioning software. For example, if your project is due in a short amount of time and you know you can't finish everything you need to, just make sure you're getting what's truly needed to be done. Make sure your coding is correct. The visuals can come later. There's no point in a pretty website that can't even load. Prioritize the important things. Detail as needed.”
- Manny Vetti, President of Back Taxes Help
“One of the most important aspects of any project is communication. As a team, communication must flow seamlessly through every member for ideas, concerns, and suggestions to come naturally to the table. Being openly communicative will help team leaders and other colleagues understand what each person needs to work efficiently, asking for help if needed or helping someone who does.
Bottom line: Communication is important in every aspect of life, but especially if you want to make a project successful.”
- Allan Borch, Founder of DotcomDollar
“Proper delegation of tasks is crucial to project success. This allows you to put key members of your team in places where they would excel and boost the quality and success rate of the project at hand. This also helps you get a bird's eye view of the project, helping you figure out which of its aspects needs a little more help. With proper delegation, your team can function around each other more confidently knowing that everyone is put in a place they are capable of handling.
Bottom line: Proper delegation allows us to utilize the strengths of every member of our team and put them in charge of a project aspect we know they will excel in.”
- Aaron Simmons, founder of Test Prep Genie
Having right software
“Having the Right Software is the Key to Creating a Good Project: Making a project successful in the software development industry is not always easy. Some projects require an extensive team of people who are willing to work continuously to get their project on the right track. One of the main components to making a successful project is the choice of software. With the software, your main goal is to find one that better helps your team to work more efficiently. When choosing the right software, it's important to take into account how efficiently the software can integrate all aspects of the project and how well it performs with multiple members on board. You won't be creating very good projects if the software is constantly slowing down.”
- Chris Prasad, Director of Marketing @ Jook SMS
Work Ethics, Habits & Goals, Time
“What You Need To Succeed: If you’re going to have success with your software development project, these are things you’re going to need.
–Work Ethic: be excited about your opportunities, know what you want to accomplish, and how to gauge your success.
–Habits and Goals: At the end of every workday take stock of what you accomplished and create a plan for what you’re going to do tomorrow.
-Time: Show up on time and meet your deadlines. Don’t take on a project if you’re not willing to put in the work to see it through. Take responsibility for the commitments you’ve made and do whatever it takes to deliver what you promised.”
- Francesca Nicasio, Content Marketer at Payment Depot
The Five Pillars: teamwork, testing, failure, learning, and sales
“The Five Pillars: Every successful project in software development involves teamwork, testing, failure, learning, and sales. Steve Jobs once said, “Great things in business are never done by one person.” If you want to find success, you need a group of people who are all moving forward and helping each other take strides toward their shared goals. That doesn’t mean those steps won’t come without challenges and even failures. I believe we learn so much more from our failures than our immediate successes. If we’re honest, those immediate successes are usually more luck than effort or knowledge. But if we are vulnerable enough to let ourselves fail, then we will be vulnerable enough to learn from our mistakes. The testing face of software development is a seemingly never-ending cycle of failing and learning until, eventually, you realize you’ve got it. As with anything, once you’ve finished that project and have an incredible product, you have to sell it. Unless you are out there, boots to the ground, selling the idea and showing people the prototype and how it will benefit their lives, no one will ever know (or care) how great of a product you have.”
- Karen Gordon, VP of Growth at Goodshuffle Pro
Properly follow SDLC process
“All successful software development projects share a common progression of stages. The first stage is brainstorming and planning which is when you come up with the idea and how you’ll implement it. Next is the requirements and feasibility analysis stage where you define the project in detail and determine if it can actually be done. After that is the design stage where you come up with the actual software architecture that will meet the project requirements. Next is development and coding where you write the code that’ll transform your design into actual software. Integration and testing are next and here you’ll conduct tests that include functionality testing, systems integration, interoperability, and user acceptance testing to make sure the code is clean and the goals are met. Once you have a working solution it’s time for implementation and deployment when you install your solution. The last stage is operations and maintenance when you provide maintenance and regular updates to your customer. If you follow these steps and do each of them well you’ll have no problem finding success with your software development project.”
- Hosea Chang, Chief Operating Officer of Hayden Girls
Privacy and Security
“Security is highly important. Being in the financial industry for quite a number of years, the rise of contactless payment isn't as safe as we think it is. That's because not all merchants and businesses are well secured when it comes to protecting our privacy. Contactless payments typically gather large amounts of personal and private data from users for tracking and verification purposes. Try downloading an app and you run the risk of malware or man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks straight from your device. Social engineering, for example, continues to innovate and has afforded scammers to steal private information such as bank account numbers and finances.”
- Michael Hammelburger, CEO @ The Bottom Line Group
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“In my opinion, the number one, absolutely critical, main component to make a software project successful is sustainability.
Sustainability is everything in the making of a successful project. It applies to everything and permeates everything.
The number one reason I’ve seen projects fail is processed falling apart.
They failed not because the processes selected weren’t right, and definitely not because they weren’t “the best”.
They failed because the processes were not sustainable for the people involved.
On the other hand, I’ve seen projects succeed despite mediocre management and lack of skills.
And the reason for their success was a pretty simple one: the people involved kept going. The processes involved were kept up. And (painfully) slowly but surely, progress came. And finally success.
If the processes you have designed and put in place are sustainable, then there will be little to no difficulty in keeping them up. And thus, they will lead you to the benefits that you had in mind when you designed them and put them in place.”
- Fabio Rosato, Consultant @ fabiorosato.com
Project benefits outweigh costs financially or non-financially
“When the benefits of a project outweigh its costs - either financially or non-financially, this is what makes it successful.
For instance, if you put $10k into developing it and get more than $10k out of it, it's financially successful. A non-financial success would be a small team of 10 people building it in a month and then having a following of over a million.”
- Kevin Parker, Co-Founder of vpnAlert
“Mentioned below are the four components that define the success of a software development project:
1. Project Scope: to establish its feasibility.
2. Clearly Defined Objectives: to provide direction to the team.
3. Detailed Schedule: to ensure that things don’t end up slipping through the cracks.
4. A Centralized Management System: for seamless distribution of work, information sharing, collaboration between team members, and progress tracking.”
- Vartika Kashyap, CMO @ ProofHub
It is helpful to create a product roadmap that outlines a strategic plan and highlights your goals. Be detailed about what your team needs to achieve your ultimate goal. Before diving into the cycle of life of software development, create a value-based statement to help set a model for your project, who it's targeting, and what problems it will solve.*HIRE EXPERIENCED DEVELOPERS*
Hiring qualified developers makes the development process more manageable. Investing in senior developers will undoubtedly cost more, but it will save you headaches, time, and money in the long run. Assigning project roles will give you confidence that the team can complete the project. Also, make sure that your team follows software development protocols and workflows. A project that does not follow best design and development best practices is doomed to fail or fail in the future. Finally, work with a team passionate about your product and genuinely concerned about your project's outcome.*HAVE CLEAR COMMUNICATION*
Clear communication is critical at the beginning of a project. As a customer, you should communicate your product requirements and your vision for your product. Communicating your needs ensures that the development team creates exactly what you ask for. Document Your Scope Clear communication increases your chances of doing a successful software project. A clear and consistent agreement is the backbone of a successful software project that ultimately helps prevent confusion, delays, and errors. Regardless of the phase of the project, communication plays an essential role. Whether it's about understanding concerns, successes, or ongoing project updates, there should be a dedicated communication channel (Skype, email, etc.).
- Abby, Head of Marketing @ Wellpcb PTY LTD
“Many components go into a software development project, and each must be handled appropriately. To make the project successful, there should be transparency from the beginning, an appropriate budget should be set, and there needs to be flexibility from all parties on the budget and timelines. Transparency means that everyone is on the same page, everyone knows what decisions are being made and why, and everyone knows what is happening at all times. With budgeting and timelines, it is important to understand that estimates at the beginning of a project are often wrong. Reality isn’t always what we want or need it to be, and there’s nothing we can do about it except adjust, pivot, and keep going.
It is also important to understand that not every project is going to be successful or worth the cost to complete. Knowing when it’s time to pivot versus call it a day is part of the process.”
- Pieter VanIperen, Managing Partner at PWV Consultants
Project management with correct planning and strategy is really important to smash project success. You need to pay keen attention to every phase of SDLC to avoid project failure. Several other factors like clear requirements, cost, communication, sustainability, etc. also contribute to this aspect. And this doesn’t end here. You also need to create and release MVP software to understand exact user requirements and their feedbacks to get project success.
In this blog, we have discussed the significant components of a successful project. It would help you to understand the right factors to figure out project success.