Web development and custom programming can be valuable beyond measure. You can gain organizational resources and a competitive edge that can last for years. But, a programming project can also become a budgetary black hole. It can stretch out into the abyss with no end in sight. At the end, you can find yourself with nothing. No resolution, no usable website, no app.
Of course, no executive or programmer begins a new project foreseeing doom at the finish line. So, why do so many web development jobs – as many as 60% by some estimates – turn out to be unsuccessful?
More often than not, red flags start flying from the start. Let’s look at a few places where web software development projects tend to go wrong.
They Begin Without a Clear or Actionable Vision
It’s very difficult, often impossible, to create custom software if it isn’t well-defined. A client comes to the team wanting “something”. But there must be a clear vision for that “something”. If the programming team doesn’t know what that is or why they need to build it, there are going to be issues. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think. Even more so when managers and stakeholders disagree with one another.
On other occasions, clients try to re-create something else that already exists. They may want to borrow proprietary features. Or they only want to reinvent the wheel but under their own branding. That’s not always impossible. But it does introduce legal and creative challenges that get in the way. It’s best to think of something new or improve upon an existing concept. After that, then you can concentrate on hitting a firm set of goals.
The Initial Project Plan Grows into Something Unrecognizable or Impossible
It’s only natural that new ideas and inspirations are going to arise during a project. The web development process wouldn’t be complete without it. But, if these cause a client or programming team to keep veering off course, that’s not helpful. Deadlines will go by and budgets will falter. As you run out of time and money, the website’s payoff diminishes.
In the worst cases of project creep, nothing usable is created at all. In less severe instances, developing software might end up costing more than intended. It could also take longer than projected. On top of that, the finished app or website doesn’t feel as polished or functional as it could be.
The Wrong Programming and Development Team is Hired
Building a successful website involves more than arranging pixels and lines of code. Experienced developers know this. They will create a plan, flowchart, and interface. Various iterations of their work will go through extensive testing. At the end, they will ensure the finished software package is stable and secure.
If you hire an inexperienced vendor, or one that isn’t committed to excellence…well, we have some bad news. Two outcomes become the most likely. The first is that you will not be happy with the website or app that you end up with. The second is that the project takes more time and money than projected. Even more of a bummer is the fact that these two disappointments tend to occur at the same time.
How to Make Your Web Software Development Project Go Right
As you can see, there are many stumbling blocks that web development projects face. One of the best things you can do is get started on the right foot. Plan ahead and ensure that your new website works as it’s meant to. This is achievable. Even better, your site can launch on time and under budget. This is what you want, right?
If the scope of your project requires a skillset or resource you are lacking, Atlantic BT is here for you. We partner with companies of all sizes to provide the supplemental support necessary to get those projects over the finish line. Learn more about our partner program here.