5 Reasons Why Software Projects Fail

August 18, 2021
Emilie Mitchell

Just like any large project with a lot of moving parts, there are many ways a software development project can go wrong. Considering the high initial cost of developing custom software, it should be in your best interest to watch the project succeed. So, how can you ensure that your project is a success? Here are five common pitfalls and how you can avoid them.

What to Avoid to Ensure a Successful Software Project

1. Unclear Business Goals and Project Requirements

It’s crucial for business goals and project requirements to be defined at the very beginning of your software development project. If project managers aren’t clear on the scope of the project to begin with, it’s near impossible for the rest of the team to know and understand their responsibilities. For example, developers might be left unsure of what features need to be included in the project. 

Defining clear business goals and project requirements from the start allows the product team to get it right the first time around. 

2. Insufficient Planning and Unrealistic Deadlines

Ironing out goals and requirements first allows for an accurate project plan. A detailed scope of work should show exactly what it will take and how long it will take to build your finished software project. When a project is rushed, additional bugs are introduced and design & usability are sacrificed in order to complete the project. Software that is broken or difficult to use tends to be unfunctional and is therefore unused by consumers.

Sufficient planning results in realistic deadlines and no additional work, keeping everyone on the same page and allowing the software to provide the benefits it’s supposed to.

3. Poor Communication Between Teams

Throughout the process of building custom software, communication between your team and the product team is essential. During the creation of your software, it’s possible for requirements and priorities to shift. While efficient planning minimizes the amount of revisions required, there are still bound to be some throughout the project’s lifetime. Effective communication during the planning and design of your project will reduce larger revisions that would be costly during development.

Maintaining open communication between teams makes a huge difference. This allows priority shifts, revisions, and more to be made while staying on track with the project scope.

4. Lack of Project Management 

There are two roles that must excel when managing a project: account managers and project managers. Account managers deal with external communications, while project managers deal with internal communication. Projects rely on project managers to keep everything under control and manage the development and design teams.

With effective project management, your project is bound to be completed the way it’s supposed to--on budget and on time.

5. No User/Customer Research

In order to have a successful development project, you must understand the problems that users have and how software will solve them. Without this, it may be difficult for you to determine constructive project goals and requirements

Conducting user research prepares you with a better understanding of your users’ behaviors, needs, motivations, and more.

Avoiding Failure

Fortunately, these 5 common pitfalls are easily avoidable. To see a return on investment that you’re satisfied with, taking the right steps to avoid failure should be your number one priority.

Our discovery phase at WynHouse Software positions your project for success by building a strategy around your company and its goals. WynHouse Software’s USA-based team has found that software development projects are 45% more likely to succeed during discovery.

Through our discovery phase, you will receive the following  key offerings:

  • User Experience Research
  • Wireframing & Prototyping
  • UI/UX Application Design
  • Project Planning

We want to see your custom software program succeed.  Meet your project goals, deadlines, and budget with effective planning and early problem solving.

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Learn about the impact custom software can have on your business, discuss a potential development project, or kick off a project.

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