25 August 2020

5 Common Challenges of Every Software Project

Developers working

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GearedApp Team

Did you know that 57% of companies prioritise software development as their main technology focus for 2020? As a result, businesses are quickly adopting best-practices and paying close attention to changes taking place in the world of software development.

Quality software development has the potential to provide greater agility, boost collaboration, slash costs, and improve productivity when implemented correctly. However, that doesn’t mean projects don’t come without their challenges.

Continue reading as we explore five common challenges in software projects, along with some nifty solutions for avoiding pitfalls.

1. Defining the Brief

Before you approach a software development company, it’s important to think about what you’d like to achieve. While it’s great to have an idea of what problem your new product will solve, it’s important to keep an open mind to other – potentially better – solutions that may be a stronger alternative.

Creating a good brief helps address a number of problems upfront, and by creating a development roadmap you’re in a much better spot to find the right solution to meet your needs. A quality brief should define success KPIs with clear criteria.

54% of software development teams said that adapting and meeting changing requirements poses a significant challenge to projects. While it’s rare for a project not to evolve, increasing or changing project requirements can cause significant problems with managing budgets and resources effectively.

Providing your development team with an overview of your project, business objectives, project scope and exclusions, challenges or restraints, budget, and timelines goes a long way towards achieving a winning result. When you work with GearedApp, we’ll walk you through each stage of the brief and make sure we gather the right information before getting started.

2. Trying To Do Too Much

If you’re working with a software development team to bring a new product to market, it’s essential to understand some of the challenges of launching a new product within a competitive market.

Research shows that 80-90% of mobile apps are abandoned after a single use and most mobile apps lose around 77% of Daily Active Users (DAUs) within three days of being downloaded. Market competition makes it hard to stand out from the crowd and keep users engaged.

To avoid falling short, you’ll want to work with a strong development team that can deliver ongoing development by monitoring platform or software performance, fixing bugs, planning for updates, and preparing for rebuilds.

We prefer to adopt an iterative process to software development. By releasing smaller chunks of software more often, it’s easier to listen to user feedback and make sure the project continues on the right path bit by bit.

If you want to reduce risks even further you might consider using an MVP to test your idea before investing too much time or money. Overcoming these challenges can make it easier to juggle time-to-market pressures, generate innovative ideas, and deliver a highly engaging product all at once.

3. Communication Problems

As the old saying goes, “a good relationship starts with good communication.”

Throughout your software development project, it’s essential to establish and maintain good communication with your development team. With as much as 60% of software development project milestones, deadlines and releases communicated at in-person meetings, it’s essential to establish good communication with your software developers and meet regularly to make sure the project continues to progress smoothly.

Communication is also a two-way street between development teams and stakeholders. To successfully deliver agile software development, stakeholders must dedicate some time to focus on, and actively communicate within, a software building project.

When assessing software development companies, look for a company that uses agile project management. Agile methodology evolves around constant feedback and discussion throughout a project so offers some great benefits for collaboration and allows clients to provide input.

The agile methodology also promotes transparency as you’ll be fully kept in the loop on project successes as well as challenges and solutions. So, you’ll have a better understanding of the project and whether it’s on track to deliver the desired results.

4. Understanding Different User-Level Requirements

Ranging from complex to extremely complicated, user-level requirements can present a significant challenge for software development projects. As someone with years of experience in your chosen expertise, you’ll probably understand your clients better than your software developers.

It’s important to work with your developers to understand and establish the needs of different users. Heightened app performance, enhanced quality of work and improved user satisfaction are just a few of the benefits of creating software designed around multiple levels of user needs.

Look for a software development team that’ll help you find the right user level requirements by:

  • Conducting User Surveys. Write questions to identify the needs of users as well as any current work practices and attitudes that might give you new ideas.
  • Interviewing Individual Users. Ask questions that give expanded responses about the user’s needs or requirements for the new software systems.
  • Presenting Scenarios and Use Cases. Craft detailed, realistic examples about how your new software system will be used in the future after development or an update.
  • Creating User Personas. Come up with semi-fictional representations of your most important user groups to help identify specific user needs and find creative solutions.

5. Time Limitations & Inflexible ‘Waterfall Approaches’

Time limitations are often one of the biggest challenges with software development. Asking your developers to meet unrealistic timeframes and deadlines for software system launches, and project time constraints can lead to mediocre-quality end products and failure to deliver the desired results.

Being too rigid with timeframes can also present its unique set of challenges. Trying to fix every single aspect of the project at the start to avoid delays, overrun budget and project scope can make development inflexible. An inflexible linear project with sequential phases (like a waterfall) can be too rigid. With moving parts, it’s often not possible or realistic to all nitty-gritty development details before a project begins.

A key part of agile software development is having the chance to listen to user feedback and collaborate to deliver an application that works hardest to meet the needs of the end-user. Agile software development boasts flexibility, effective communication, and quick feedback for clients, but demands plenty of time and resources in return to properly succeed.

To capitalise on agile software development, we approach our work in small sprints rather than as a long marathon. Agile development starts with a rough plan and work is delivered in small bursts so that decisions made throughout the project offer room for controlled change. Agile project management then allows us to collaborate with clients to bring products to market at lightning speed.

Overcome Software Development Challenges with GearedApp

At GearedApp, we’ve set out a clear plan of all the steps we’ll take from start to finish to make sure you get what you need from your shiny, new app or software system.

Our friendly team of experts will be with you every step of the journey – from our initial sit-down chat all the way to launching the finished product. Discover our process to find out more about how we work.

Get in touch with the team at GearedApp today to find out how we can help turn your awesome ideas into a digital reality.