Software Project Success: Mission Impossible?

Software Project Success Mission Impossible

Project postponement or cancellation is a widespread scenario in today’s work culture. Although this is a perfectly ordinary scene in IT, they seem swift, frequent, and more dramatic nowadays.

When a software project is doomed, the team working behind it believes that external forces are responsible. It’s OK to reason and respond to the crisis, but it’s essential to consider a more in-depth analysis. A CIO study reveals that 50% of all software projects end up in failure.

Consequently, it is important to identify potential threats. Only a software project rescue mission could help you salvage.

Why Do Software Projects Fail?

There may be dozens of reasons for software project failure. Even if you hire dedicated developers or you are blindly outsourcing software development to a newbie team, your project might fail. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Low quality or unfinished offshore outsourced projects
  • Software unfit for the purpose
  • Developers or development companies losing business in the middle of the project
  • Having a fall out with the development team due to low quality
  • Software used outdated and inferior programming languages

Why Do Software Projects Fail

According to the Project Management Institute, some of the common reasons for project failure as per statistics includes:

  • 41% of the times, an organization’s priority changes
  • 39% of the times, inaccurate requirements gathering
  • 36% of the times, the project’s objectives change
  • 27% of the times, risks and opportunities are not defined
  • 30% of cases of poor communication
  • 30% of the times, the goal or vision of the project is not defined

Software Project Rescue: Getting the Project Back On Its Track

Regardless of the cause, you can still put the software project back together and get working. Here, it is vital to partner with a dedicated software project rescue team to ensure smooth operations. Together, you must:

  • Stabilize the project with the help of a dedicated software project rescue team to assess the project landscapes with other requirements
  • Plan and work in synergy to create a pragmatic and achievable roadmap to achieve your vision
  • Develop the software with the help of a dedicated team and custom software solutions

Software Project Rescue Getting the Project Back On Its Track

  • Involve project managers, infrastructure engineers, business analysts, and testers
  • Host the software in a secure data center or the cloud
  • Support and maintain the software, ensuring that it is up to date and handle any management related issues

Right from performing a gap analysis to post-deployment care, we do everything. Let’s connect!

Signs of a Failing Project and Solutions

You know that something is amiss with the project when the budget exceeds or a deadline fails. But, can you save it before it is too late? Yes, only when you start addressing the concerns early.

So, here are the warning signs of a troubling or failing project:

1. Inconsistent Management Decisions: Project leadership matters a lot. If things are missing or unreliable, it is a warning sign. Worst of all, if you start receiving inconsistent and changing directives from the management, it is a problem. If the project lacks direction or fails to maintain a consistent course, it would not achieve its goal.

Hence, the management must be consistent in their business approach. Consistency is the key to success.

2. The Disconnect between Project and Business Management: If both the managements do not work cohesively in a consistent direction, it is odd. The problem is undoubtedly brewing. In battles like this, business management usually wins, while IT managers keep thinking about what went wrong.

If the managements were not connected at different levels, it would be impossible to deliver a good project. The quality suffers, and the output may not be acceptable. Therefore, aim to stay connected at all verticals to provide a premium quality output.

3. Lack of Commitment: Any project has a set of goals. They are either stated clearly or discussed briefly. However, it is uncanny for a business to spend fortunes on a project without any purpose. It is only common to presume that the project’s goal is too apparent to articulate and discuss. However, that is not the right approach. It leads to inconsistencies and misunderstandings about the priorities of the project. Eventually, inconsistent and inadequate tactical decisions undermine the progress of a project.

4. Team Members Are Not Cooperating: Even if the team members are personally cordial to each other, they may not listen to each other when it comes to working. This leads to a chaotic situation as others involved in the business fail to organize their activities and compromise when it is necessary for the project to proceed.

5. There is a Discord: Teams sometimes become competitors. There may be differences due to personality and ego clashes. Such discord is destructive for the progress of the project. It should be entirely rooted out. A project manager can try to either reconcile or pick the winner. In either way, it is a loss-loss situation.

6. Low-Quality Code: Having low-quality software or code is a common cause of software project failure. Systems may have poor designs with critical issues and implementation problems. This occurs mainly when an external company is not scrutinized thoroughly, or there were issues with price over quality. Most of the low-cost and quick-delivery work fails to deliver the best quality and satisfy customers. The same applies to low-quality codes and software. The process should be transparent and well-maintained.

7. Developer Disappears: It is a widespread problem in companies. Sometimes, external developing partners disappear, whereas other times, a key team member may quit. It is possible to avoid this kind of situation right at the start of the project by doubling your external partners and making conscious efforts to identify the ones you can trust.

8. Analysis: As you identify that something is wrong with the project, it is time to check the source code. Do it precisely to reduce errors and to ensure that there is no compromise with quality. Besides, questions regarding other issues need to be put up. For instance, questions related to documentation and completion, databases, the status of a software project, etc.

9. Source Code Assistance: An IT partner’s role is to rescue the project and provide support to service the source code. It is a crucial step during the entire process of choosing software development partner. Your IT support and supplier should be able to fix all errors and bugs. In case of a broken or lost source code, the support team should be equipped with the missing lines to rebuild it and ensure it works again. In some cases, it may be essential to modernize the source code to make sure it looks different. At other times, replacing the old source code with a new source code should be good.

10. Evaluating Dependency: To rescue a software project, you must understand its source code’s underlying dependencies. Maybe the previous developer made some mistakes or programmed some inappropriate responses. Dependency issues are real. It may include third-party libraries that need proprietary software, licensing, or specific user agreements with other developers from the past. That could limit the performance and work in the short-term.

11. Unpredicted Complexities: Much of software project management is about finding a way to ensure users are happy while minimizing the complexities of tasks to something more manageable. Every developer would want to code to be relevant enough to deliver answers effortlessly. That would only be possible when all users would like the same result. Projects going awry due to multiple factions demand attention. The project manager has to maintain everyone and align the interests of the people involved in the project for smooth delivery. To reduce complexities, make sure the project team can speak their mind effectively, and programmers have the freedom to write the code.

12. Poor Testing: Testing is also an art as much as developing the code. Each line of code is a creation. However, that is not enough. A relevant testing plan looks in both directions to check that everything is working. Too many or too few tests, however, is not the idea. It is important to have a balanced approach and ensure that the testing plan is solid and fail-proof.

Read More : The Complete Guide to Software Development Outsourcing


Finally, it is imperative to ensure proper software maintenance, both during project repair and after the software is back on track. You can add new features, replace source codes, and fix errors over time. Or you may save precious time of your resources and collaborate with a seasoned and efficient software project rescue services provider like Radixweb. For the past two decades, we have worked on some of the most challenging rescue project scenarios and have successfully saved millions of dollars for our clients.

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Maitray Gadhavi is a senior business development manager with Radixweb who accelerates the growth of organizations through innovation-led custom software development. Balancing the long-term gains in an evolving industry, he brings the voice of the customers into the enterprise. Binge-watching favourite series is his idea of fun after work.