Software delays are inevitable, no matter how well you schedule your project for delivery. Some of the causes for project delay are unclear project requirements, issues in resources, improper timeline, change in the project scope, lack of communication, etc.
Whenever you try to meet up the delivery time, you will face unexpected challenges which becomes the reason for delay. However, you cannot finger-point on anyone for the causes, instead, you should focus on finding the right solution.
Software issues and delays cannot be prevented but you can minimize them by handling certain factors like planning, prioritizing tasks, proper resources maintenance, setting realistic project goals, clear communication, etc.
Table of Content
- 1. Lack of strong planning
- 2. Fail to highlight possible traps in the planning stage
- 3. Improper requirements and work management
- 4. Not following Agile design process
- 5. Lack of accountability and competence
- 6. Losing key Developers in between
- 7. Neglecting Quality control
- 8 Handling multiple projects at a time
- 9. Multiple reasons
- 10. Conclusion
In this blog, you will learn about the top reasons and issues for software project delays.
Lack of strong planning
“*Unfortunately, custom software development often goes over time and budget. At our side, we opted to take a strong planning approach. We map out not just part of the project but as much as we can. A conversation-driven approach to requirements gathering helps to uncover the actual business needs and suggest suitable solutions. Projects have fewer “oh, we thought it would work like this”-moments or situations in which new requirements partially invalidate previous work. During the project, we still opt for agile project management - just with a stronger “overall picture” up-front. *”
- Peter Thaleikis, Founder @ Bring Your Own Ideas Ltd.
Fail to highlight possible traps in the planning stage
"*Third-Party Integrations *
The most frustrating problem for lots of developers is dealing with third-party technology. It’s annoying when technology and integrations don’t do what they are supposed to do. Sometimes the third-party software requires to be updated, customized, or otherwise attended to before it’ll even work. The best stuff to do in this situation is to map out possible uses for third-party software through the planning stage. Highlight any unknowns or possible traps around this technology. That way you can perform the important research before making it a significant part of the process.”
- Brack Nelson, Marketing Manager Incrementors Web Solutions
Improper requirements and work management
“Software delays are normal and should be expected in the software development business. Software management and engineering methodologies as well as Product Management methodologies and tactics have been created to help reduce the risk of delays but they still happen. There is no way to necessarily solve them but you can improve meeting deadlines by better managing what you require your software engineering staff to work on. That means spending the time necessary to truly understand what they're capable of developing, what you're asking them to build, and the timing of when you expect it delivered. Concepts like Agile help because this methodology is designed to reduce the overhead of project management by limiting the meeting lengths to no more than 15 minutes and also requiring everyone to stand. Hence the term stand-up meetings. This encourages people to discuss progress without spending a lot of time meeting to talk about it. Another technique to improve software delivery timeframes is to be careful of not asking the team to build more than they have a pipeline to contribute. This is why teams shouldn't commit to large releases that are 12-18 months out. The larger and costlier the project is, the more complex it'll be. That means that you increase the risk of not delivering on time. Instead, companies should focus on making incremental progress instead - critical bug fixes, important value-added features, and improvements that directly lead to better sales and higher levels of customer satisfaction.”
- Steve R. Smith, CEO of Signils
Not following Agile design process
“There are many reasons software delays occur. Common excuses are lack of resources, lack of skillsets, or more often, and most, unfortunately, the constant re-working of design and code before it ever ships – before customers ever experience it. This is largely due to gaps in the engineering process – or rather – the lack of an effective agile development process that starts with an iterative user-centered design process.
While incorporating user experience design activities into your software development process would seem to add time and cost to projects – countless research shows these activities save time and money by designing the right solution from the beginning – and more importantly - by finding and correcting problems early in the project when they are easy and inexpensive to change.
An agile design process includes Iterative user testing, which helps find problems early and let design team fix problems before the dev team actually writes any code, eliminating costly change requests due to unmet requirements and usability problems late in the development process.
Forrester estimates that for every $1 to fix a problem during design, it would cost $5 to fix the same problem during development, and it would cost $30 to fix the same problem after the product’s release. Look for tools that accelerate app delivery in the digital design process.”
- Jason Beres, Senior VP of Developer Tools, Infragistics
Lack of accountability and competence
Project success would depend on certain factors like unity, hard work, teamwork, accountability, etc. of a team. Every individual should be responsible for his/her task, and its deadline. Coordinate with the team member if it’s difficult to understand the allotted task. This would seamlessly help to save considerable time.
On the flip side, the accountability issue with the Project manager, and the incompetence of Business Analysts can also be the reasons for a project delay. To be technically sounded is really important in software development for on-time project delivery.
Losing key Developers in between
Development team plays a terrific role in the SDLC process and they are the reason why any project or application works. Software projects are of different types like application, website, product, software, etc. and each can last around 5-6 months. Many times it happens that one or two key players in the team would resign or leave for another job. In such cases, it would not only get difficult for a new one to understand the project but also creates an issue in project delivery.
Neglecting Quality control
The software testing is a significant phase in the SDLC process because just implementing functionalities and features for a project is not enough. Whether it is working properly as per the user's expectations is also an important factor to note. Many times due to heavy workload and cutoff time, developers have to ignore testing for their units. This eventually creates uncertainties and bugs when the project gets live. And due to this, the development time gets extended and eventually occurs project delay.
Handling multiple projects at a time
When you are working on a project having a close deadline and still have pending tasks that need to be addressed, then you should keep complete focus on that project rather than working on multiple projects. Not doing so would result in the project delay and ultimately creates a bad impression on you.
Avoid handling multiple projects, focus on one project, try to finish pending tasks, resolve all the highlighted issues, and ensure proper testing strategies. This would not only result in project quality but also help in reaching delivery time.
“Software development is more of a team job rather than an individual one. This is why when the pandemic hit us, it hit us very hard. We were forced to sit back at home and work from there which brought in a lot of issues related to the collaboration of team members and the sharing of resources.
Almost every software development company has been affected by this pandemic and it is why we are facing a lot of software delays. The delay is mainly due to poor estimation or miscalculation as there are factors that we didn’t consider earlier that has become so important these days. I will list down some of the major issues regarding software development and a possible way to get rid of them, to some extent:
- Increasing customer demands - Try and maintain the rate of your workflow. Never over-estimate the deadline.
- Limited infrastructure or resources - We all know how tough it is to be a software developer during times when you can’t get hands-on with the resources available to you. The use of cloud technology can help you negate this issue.
- Conflicts with software testing teams - Testing has become so difficult, and even if you test the code and find bugs, it’s very painstaking to repeat the process again and again till the project is bug-free. You can code in modules and get it tested and later integrate all of them to complete your project. This will help you keep a track of the bugs reported and actions are taken to mitigate them.
Software issues mainly due to less or no coordination between team members, irresponsible sharing of resources, and poor project management strategy. This is why whenever you take up a new project, make sure that you have completed all the documentation and prepared the Gantt Chart to maintain the workflow of the project. It will help you monitor your progress on the project and speed up the task when required.”
- Ishita Kaul, Founder of Best Gift Ideas
Keeping software projects on track while handling quality code maintenance, frequent modification requests, etc. is among the greatest challenges. Deadlines can suffer if your objectives are not set properly and you fail to meet your possibilities. But with little planning and foresight, you can minimize software delays and issues.
In this blog, we have learned about the top reasons and issues for software project delays. It would help you in identifying required factors to meet your project delivery time.