Top 6 Reasons Why Software Development Projects Fail

Nov 9
2022
software development projects fail

Failed software projects are major contributors to why companies go out of business. They are expensive, time-consuming, and resource intensive. IT projects that fail usually do for one of a few distinct reasons. Here are the top six reasons why software development projects fail. 

Lack of Clear Vision and Communication

One of the most basic reasons why software projects fail is because they have no vision or focus. Without it, the project cannot be defined and quickly becomes unmanageable. If a project has no vision, it’s hard to know:

  • what to build
  • what features to implement
  • how those features will be used
  • how they will fit together

A project with no vision is generally a disaster waiting to happen. To avoid this, make sure the vision is clear, that it is communicated to all stakeholders, and that it is understood. 

Lack of Resources and Expertise

Poor quality, under-trained, or under-experienced personnel are at risk for poorly building or implementing the necessary systems and features. If a project is understaffed, you may be unable to deliver the necessary functionality in a timely manner. To avoid this, make sure you have the necessary personnel with the right qualifications, experience, and skill sets to get the job done. 

If you have an inexperienced project manager or stakeholder, or if the project’s manager or stakeholders lack experience, the project may not be managed well. This can lead to poor decisions, no decision-making, or misdirected effort. To avoid this, make sure you have the right project manager and that they are experienced.

Poor or Unclear Requirements

If you’re building a system and the requirements are bad, you’ll likely end up with a system that is difficult to build, use, and maintain. If the requirements are incorrect, you might build the wrong system, or you might not build the system at all. 

To avoid this, make sure that the requirements are correct, clear, and complete from the beginning of the project. If they need to change at all, or you discover that they are unclear or misunderstood by the team, take steps to correct the problem before continuing with work. 

Moving ahead when there is a problem with the requirements for the project means that you are just going to waste time and resources. This can be very frustrating and expensive if it happens late in the project. 

No Testing, or Incorrect Testing

Getting through the development phase without problems is a good start, but the project is not complete until you’ve done extensive testing. Testing is the only way to know if you have correctly developed your product. 

If there is no testing, you’ll ship a product with no knowledge as to whether it works at all. If there is incorrect testing, you could ship a product that works incorrectly or not at all. 

Test your software product with its end users and with the development team. You want to make sure that anyone who worked on the project or who will use the software once it is completed can use it without major issues. Take the time to do extensive testing and gather feedback so that you can address problems before the product goes into production and gets ready for launch. 

Poor Software Development Practices

Perhaps the most common and most destructive reason why software development projects fail is because of poor software development practices. They govern how your team goes about creating software. If you don’t base your development process on good practices, the results probably won’t be what you want. You even run the risk of the project running off the rails and never getting finished. 

There are many ways that you can adopt poor software development practices without realizing it. Poor software development practices include: 

  • Lack of a well-defined software development process
  • Using outdated technologies
  • Not focusing on end-user experience
  • Creating systems that are too complicated
  • Limiting collaboration and communication between teams

Companies should continue to look for better ways of developing software and managing the process. Industry standards change over time, and it is important for your company to keep up with best practices. 

Stop Failed Projects Before They Even Get Started

A failed software project can be a huge blow to any business, but it doesn’t have to be. By keeping these six factors in mind, you can greatly reduce your risk of failure and be on track to success! Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid these issues with help from KitelyTech. We work with companies to develop cutting-edge software using best practices and new technologies. Call KitelyTech at (800) 274-2908 to schedule a free consultation. 

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