Best Practices for Managing Software Development Projects
- May 28, 2018
Recent studies have suggested that as much as 85% of software development projects fail. Often an organization will bring on a software developer without an in-depth consideration of the resources – both financial and otherwise – that software development projects demand. AlphaRidge has a thorough process for vetting the developers that we recommend to our clients, providing strategic project management resources to ensure that your project reaches completion. Here are some ways to ensure success:
Tried & Tested
Many organizations instinctively go overseas to outsource their software development project. Pinching pennies can often lead to protracted project times, communication failures, and ultimately a higher end cost than if the organization had stayed local. In software development, you get what you pay for. Go through referrals, if you don’t have any then ask potential contractors to speak to former clients. If they’re as good as they say, then they won’t mind you speaking to their customers.
Create a Solid Statement of Work
So, you hire a software developer, agree on an amenable payment plan and begin work. Sufficient time has passed, and your developer delivers a beautiful finished product. They spend time with your team on training and fixing any minor glitches. It seems like everything is fine, you finish paying them and part ways. Six months down the line you run into an issue with the software, operations are held up as your staff tries to make do without. Your IT team informs you that the software developer must be contacted to fix things on the back end. A best-case scenario is that your developer agrees to support the software. A worst-case scenario is that they have disappeared off the map and you must hire someone unfamiliar with your software to try to fix things. Avoid this by making sure that your statement of work (SOW) covers all your bases from timeline expectations to continued support.
Communications is Key
Poor communication is a quick way to kill your project. Make sure you establish clear expectations, intentions, and documentation. Before the project starts, defining the roles of the developer and project manager in addition to other key roles will prevent confusion when the project progresses. Document the exact objectives of the software, down to the most basic functions. The project should have a complete scope, upon which your timeline should be based. Survey end users and include them in testing; it will reduce training times and ensure full functionality and seamless implementation.
Establish a (Realistic) Timeline
If you’ve reached a point where you want or need to develop software to meet your operational needs, then chances are you’re feeling a sense of urgency. Hammer down a realistic timeline with your developer, be sure to take into account testing times and editing times. In almost every case your software will have to undergo multiple reviews and edits to get it right.
Designate a Management Resource
Often the management of software projects is relegated to the IT department. However, many IT departments are already understaffed and lack the sufficient resources to manage the daily demands of an organization let alone managing or deploying a full-scale software project. Larger projects may have to be broken up and given careful attention to ensure nothing is overlooked. Managing your relationship with the developer or developers that you hire can be an intensive task, AlphaRidge provides our clients with a dedicated resource; it’s in your best interest to have a dedicated team to oversee your project.
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AlphaRidge is a leading MSP located in NY. With over 15 years of managed services experience, AlphaRidge experts have solutions for your specific needs. We place the highest value on the protection and privacy of your data, and we maintain transparency to you with every service we provide. Our white glove on-site and remote service is designed to demystify IT and streamline your concerns into rapid solutions, so that you can focus on what you do best. Consider our team, your team.
This blog post, in addition to any posts presented on the AlphaRidge blog are written for informational purposes only, and should not be seen as financial, healthcare, legal, etc advise.