The custom software development companies would instantly agree that more often than not, meeting software development deadlines is the toughest task in a software project. Software companies remain on their nerve’s ends to meet the deadlines while strategizing custom software development catering to the new age user and interesting statistics point out why this becomes a huge thing.
Some Alarming Statistics
- Hardly 2.5% of organizations globally manage to finish 100% of their projects.
- More than 30% of projects are devoid of baseline.
- In almost 75% of cases, key IT stakeholders are under the impression that the project will fail at one point or the other of the project.
- Generally, 40% of respondents feel that their business objectives were unclear.
- With smaller projects, there is a 70% chance of timely completion in the agreed cost, however, for large projects, this number is far-fetched if the parameters of cost, time and scope are taken into account.
Challenges in Meeting Custom Software Delivery & Implementation Deadlines
Constantly Changing Requirements
The term “custom” is sufficient to indicate that the development, especially if it is happening from scratch is not going to be simple. Even the slightest change in requirements is sufficient to disturb a particular development phase, and also result in a lag in the whole SDLC. IT defined requirements must be mapped to business objectives to ensure clarity at as many stages as possible with customer software delivery & implementation.
Complex Integration into Existing Software
For customized software apps, integration may also prove to be a challenge. Customized deployment may be required for final integration with rest of the IT environment. Also, QA testing may not have considered live production integration challenges which could result in schedule lag.
The nightmares that the deadlines give are not without its reasons. The challenges for custom software solutions are huge and require acumen and maturity to be tackled….
Dependencies on Different Teams
Customized software delivery dependencies are more complicated than a regular modular approach where a team is just waiting for another team’s work to finish before proceeding with final implementation. Based on the complexity of customization, a particular dependency may result in another part of the application to be re-coded, which would possibly not have been estimated before. The end result would be schedule lag along with cost considerations to resolve all dependencies.
It is often observed that IT departments try and complete work on the easy projects first, and customized software requirements are stuck in the pipeline because people are not ready to dirty their hands with the jigsaw.
The Top Few Approaches to Meet the Deadlines
It is vital for project managers & key IT stakeholders to consider every project risk minutely that can possibly hamper delivery schedule of custom software implementation. With seniority, the project executives and key folks driving the requirement need to understand that risks are not just operational, they could have a profound impact at strategic levels as well. Appropriate identification of mitigation or contingency plans for each risk will ensure that deadlines are not missed, or the impact is minimal in case the risk materializes.
Attributes like enthusiasm & optimism need to have a check while estimating software delivery timelines. Accurate estimations with a 360-degree consideration of each and every aspect that could hamper project schedule will not only keep the project on track through the lifecycle but also build up confidence within the teams.
Communication is of critical importance for complicated software delivery projects to succeed. Regular connects with the team are required to identify any blockers irrespective of the criticality and ensure that they are removed in a timely fashion. Developers need to talk to QA, requirement owners as well as other groups involved with final integration.
Other than team collaboration, issue escalation at the right stage is also essential to ensure deadlines are not missed and troubling factors are effectively addressed. Knowledge sharing is also part of team collaboration and is the responsibility of the manager in charge of software delivery & implementation.
And of course, no point in shying away from the challenges. Well thought of approaches adopted by custom software development companies keep a project on track assuring that things go the way they are expected to….
Adopting a modular approach that involves work division among the right team or groups is essential for project success as each team is focused on a particular niche rather than trying to comprehend all at once.
To meet deadlines, it is essential that the right resources are identified before the actual project commencement.
Metrics & Tracking
For all IT projects including software development, periodic metrics reporting, and tracking is of vital importance. Metrics such as cost overrun, schedule slippage, bugs detected, on time delivery become reliable pointers and indicate the health of the project, while depicting the road ahead in terms of delivery schedule & improvements.
Practical Project Execution Methodologies
Simply put, it is all about syncing “development” & “operations”. Teams that are already supporting the live environment work in close collaboration with teams that are introducing changes or developing an application component from scratch.
Understandably, this leads to improved monitoring, faster bug fixing and the overall reduction in delivery deadlines. There is a lot of automation scope with DevOps at all stages of software rollout.
Modern-day project & service delivery solutions adopted by custom software development companies come up with practical approaches to keep the project timelines under check all the time.
Agile & Continual Release Planning
Agile relies on continual planning & course correction as the functionality gets developed, iterations happen and team feedback is solicited. Agile way of working will surely help reduce schedule lag with the concept of continual releases.
Agile has the higher scope of accommodating revisions compared to routine software delivery. There are tools available in the market that support continual releases right from Development to QA testing, peer review and final release to production with easy collaboration tactics.
Case Study – Greeting in the Fast Lane
Consider the case study of a global greeting card manufacturer. The organization generates thousands of new as well as redesigned greeting cards on a yearly basis, spanning across multiple languages in more than a hundred countries. The technical team was stuck in a major transformation project and were facing a huge number of problems in meeting deadlines for solutions supporting their operations.
The organization adopted a comprehensive application performance monitoring tool through whose feedback they could keep a close tab on the development environment comprising of multiple components and keep replacing multiple underperforming tools.
The tool aided significantly in troubleshooting when a particular error was generated and could plot correlations with other components.
The technical lead indicated that adopting the tool was a major step eventually ensuring that the project stayed on track and deadlines was met. The tool enables the team to pinpoint the root cause of high priority issues and guide the developers where to begin an investigation while removing roadblocks to simulated problems.
A Little About Us
Offering consistent and sustained world class software services and custom software solutions in indiaSPEC INDIA celebrates thirty years of association with Fortune 100 companies as well as SMEs & startups across the globe.
As an ISO 9001:2008 company we ensure process driven agile approaches in all our delivery & quality assurance practices and testing. Our millennial age end to end solutions offer impetus to businesses transforming them digitally to match the pace of technology & expectations of the users, on time, every time.