7 Mistakes That Can Significantly Prolong Software Product Development
Software product development is as challenging as it is rewarding. When developing a new software product from scratch, obstacles can come up at any point. And when they do, they can be costly to a company in a myriad of ways.
However, the process can be much easier if you know the common pitfalls and prepare adequately to handle them when they arise. It’s no mean feat to have the whole process run smoothly without a hitch. In this article, we’ll discuss problems that can lengthen a software product development project.
Why You Should Avoid These Issues in Software Development
- You’ll save significant amounts of time. Time is an important resource to any company. If you and your team can manage your schedule effectively and save time on one project, you can move on to other projects sooner.
- You’ll save money. A delayed project will likely result in an expenditure that’s bigger than its budget. Your company can then channel the money saved to other projects.
- You’ll be better positioned to have a successful project and have a successful product from the start. As a team and at the company level, your project success rate will increase.
- You’ll have a timely market launch. As such, you’ll be able to take advantage of present market opportunities and be a step ahead of the competition.
Mistakes That Can Prolong Software Product Development
Here are the major problems that can occur during software development, and how you can avoid them.
1. Breakdowns in Communication
The size of the team working on developing a software product will vary in size. More often than not, you’ll hire the services of a software development company. The bigger the team, the higher the likelihood of communication breakdowns. If everyone is not on the same page, this can be disastrous and jeopardize the project.
One way to ensure effective communication is by putting in place a separate communication channel for your team. Also, having a project manager who is an effective communicator will go a long way in preventing a situation where different people issue confusing instructions to the team. The project manager will be the one to issue final directions to the whole team.
2. Mismanaged Timelines
Missed timelines can happen when a team takes a long time to complete the various stages of the project. This could be due to unforeseen issues. Ultimately, the team may fail to hit the targeted project deadline.
To ensure that you meet all deadlines, your team needs to brainstorm in advance issues that can come up, and ideas that can help solve them fast. When you discover unforeseen problems later, depending on how big they are, discussing them with team leaders or the whole team can help find solutions faster.
3. Not Having the Right Team
As mentioned above, the team working on a software product will vary in size. Depending on the level of complexity, some software products will need several developers with specialized skills. If such personnel is not added to the team at the right time, this will slow down the project or even worse, halt it indefinitely.
To avoid delays due to lack of the right personnel, constitute a team with all the required skilled people and ensure that they commit to being available when they’re needed.
4. Not Having a Well-Defined Target Audience
You may think that you have the best software product idea ever. However, this may not be the case if it doesn’t achieve a perfect product-market fit. If you discover later in the software development processes that you need to make a niche product instead of the broad market one you had started working on, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board. Consequently, you’ll have wasted precious company resources.
If your software product is for the outside market, you must do thorough market research to determine which market segment to target. You’ll need to ask yourself questions such as:
- Which market segment has existing solutions neglected?
- What void is in the market and how best can I fill it?
- How can I enhance customer experience with my product?
Such questions will give you a clear understanding of the audience to target with your software solution.
5. Unnecessary Software Features
To create a product that is superior to the competition, the software development team may build a feature-ladden product. More features are not always the best solution because they can slow down the software, complicate navigation through the product’s user interface, and affect its overall user experience. In this case, less is more.
To address this, you and your team need to first understand the core purpose, the “why” of your product. Why do you need to build the software? What purpose is it for? The line between enough and excess is thin, but defining the core purpose of your product can help you focus on achieving it.
6. Issues With Integration
When developing a new software solution, how do you ensure that it pairs with all the other software tools that your clients are likely to use or are already using? Your customers will find your product easier to use if it seamlessly integrates with other tools that they use.
Integration issues can be overcome through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs). In addition, look for programming talent that will enable your software to integrate with other tools. Also, your company can partner with brands that developed the tools that you intend your product to integrate with.
7. Not Doing Comprehensive Quality Tests
As with any other software product, it’s important to test your product thoroughly before officially releasing it. It will do neither you nor your customers any good if your product is unstable and riddled with bugs that slipped through your quality assurance (QA) checks.
As such, it’s crucial to check various aspects of design and functionality so that they are in line with your expectations. These aspects include ease of navigation through the user interface, speed, functionality of features, and integration with other software tools.
To avoid QA issues, develop an in-house checklist first, and ensure that your product passes all the checks. Alternatively, consider hiring a credible and experienced software tester. You can also invite a few users or key target customers to try it out and give their honest opinions. You can then incorporate this feedback into your final product.
Software product development mistakes can prolong the development process when not dealt with in good time. The key is knowing the issues you’re likely to encounter and how to tackle them.
However,unforeseen roadblocks can come up. But, your speed and effectiveness of circumventing them will help you meet your project goals. This will save you time, money, and headaches. As discussed above, these problems can be overcome if you’re adequately prepared.
Which problems did you face as you were developing a software product and how did you overcome them?