A lot of software development ideas are generated daily. Sadly, not all of these new ideas make it to completion, though many of them can be done by following the best practices of software development. However, mistakes should also be avoided to prevent software project failures.
That said, here are some of the most common mistakes you can avoid to be able to launch and finish a successful software development project:
1. Not having developers for each specialization.
In a restaurant, different chefs have their own specialty cuisine. The same goes for software development. Good developers can’t fulfill every aspect of a project. For instance, an application might require one developer for its front end and another developer for its back end.
Don’t just find somebody who looks at the bigger picture. You need to build the right team for your project. It’s necessary to find people with a robust coding background. In this way, the project will run smoothly, and the software will be completed successfully.
2. Having too many people working on the same project all at once.
Too many people involved in a project can ruin it. Similar to scriptwriting, codes should flow smoothly from start to finish. Having too many developers in a single project can lengthen the process. It’s best to have a small team that works and collaborates well on different software components. Thus, you can place the components together into one efficient software during completion.
3. Avoiding the planning phase.
You might be too excited about your development idea that you immediately jump right into doing it. However, there might be problems you haven’t planned for. It’s best to go through a planning phase deliberately.
Some of the top app development companies around the world work on a planning phase to help them understand the direction of where an idea needs to go. In this way, the processes become easier because of guidelines for future work. Knowing what to do in a step-by-step manner helps developers stay on track as they code and go through the entire process.
4. Underestimating the time and effort it takes to develop software.
Usually, when clients come with a proposal, they don’t have a clue as to the time and effort it takes to place all their ideas into one software. Thus, the burden lies on you, the developer. Never underestimate the time and effort required to finish a website, app, or software.
For instance, if a bug results in delay, you should communicate it to the client. Tell them the reason for the delay. Talking to your client puts both parties’ minds at ease. Focusing on tasks will be better as you won’t need to rush to meet set deadlines.
5. Justifying ideas that don’t work.
Being passionate about your project or idea is a good thing. But justifying the concept to yourself right from the start is not. Sometimes, it pays to be critical of your own project. Keep it simple while finding out whether the applications work the way you think they would.
Flexibility to change is necessary. If an idea isn’t working, don’t justify and continue putting effort just to make it work. Find different ways of handling the problem. Learn when it’s actually time to let go of what you’re pushing for.
6. Failing to identify the user base.
Software is meant to be used by a particular group of consumers. Initially, you should identify your user base. You can create fictitious persons who might be interested in using the software you’ll develop, which can help you gain the information necessary to know your users and finish the project successfully.
Researching these personas will be helpful, allowing you to understand all aspects of your potential users. For instance, you can write down, “Joe, 32, works as a customer relationship manager for a major telecommunications company. He is married with two kids and loves to go to the gym when he has extra time.” You can understand these different personas, allowing you to make a software that they would use.
7. Not launching a minimum viable product (MVP).
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) — It’s Importance & Pitfalls
Don’t waste too much time thinking about what a great idea will be like. Plus, avoid thinking about what the consumers will actually like. You should launch a product version containing minimum features that allows it to work ASAP.
Make sure you test the product out in the market. Use the feedback you receive during the early stages of the process to make the software better. Doing modifications as you go is easier than rewriting the entire code because it wasn’t received by the consumers the way you think it should. This ensures that you don’t have to scrap the software entirely after spending months doing it.
8. Not knowing when to let go.
You shouldn’t be stubborn about your idea. Not every software out there needs to be launched into the market. Software development is a continuous learning process. Everything you do can be a stepping stone for another project.
What you do now can be a learning experience, giving you valuable insight to take on another project. Not all plans work. If the original idea or plan doesn’t work out the way you want it to, be open to other plans that might lead to success.
Software development is not an exact science. Making the mistakes above is a recipe for disaster and may result in lost resources. However, you have to believe that software development is a learning process. Even though you’ve made a mistake, you can use them as insights and learning experiences to produce a more successful output on your next project.