When companies undertake software implementations, they don’t anticipate failure regardless of the risks associated with such complicated undertakings. Instead, they plan for success governed by budget, deliverables, expectations and go-live deadlines. Still, despite the best efforts, failure rates remain high.
Implementing software fails for various reasons, such as lack of top management commitment, poor definition of requirements, unrealistic expectations, unrealistic schedules and projects, poor project management, poor communication and more. The key to success in the software projects development is to use some best practices.
Some of the best practices in developing software ventures include the following:
1. Defining the goal. Goals have several facets, like timescale, functionality and cost. Through all further planning, these goals should be always sin mind. It is vital that the goals meet the requirements of the stakeholders such as the users and customers. The best way to ensure this is to include goal planning.
2. Identifying the real issues. On a leadership level, one has to develop an executive dialog that enables organizational issues that must be identified and analyzed with clarity and without emotion. This should continue through the implementation process. Both parties must be aligned with the common goal of the success of a venture.
3. Setting realistic time frames. Do not rely on the current schedule. Most organizations would set overly optimistic go-live dates in spite of the limitations and realities of the actual project. An organization should monitor scheme progress throughout the implementation and begin discussions about key concept dates early on.
4. Dealing with change. When leading a project, the key to success is flexibility. There are so many changes that could happen during the lifetime of an undertaking. The most typical include change in goals due to a change in stakeholder needs, change in resources, etc. Systems do not come into existence immediately, so expect the content and number of files to change as the system is developed.
5. Aligning the work streams. One has to identify, align and continuously monitor work streams to ascertain smooth progress via the organization. Understanding dependencies between work steams during program plan development is important to ensure proper resource allocations and undertaking time frames. Continue monitoring the interdependence all throughout the task.
6. Managing expectations. Critical to maintaining concept control requires managing the confluence of overly optimistic go-live dates versus outside interdependencies and influences, including realistic expectations and available resources. One should set realistic expectations upfront and keep them current in the minds of the members of the task team.
7. Employing project assurance method. This empowers a company to go beyond traditional project management barriers and provides the answers needed to ensure success of the endeavor. It helps identify and resolve the tactical, strategic and intangible issues and manage the human factors before concerns become overwhelming. Best of all, program assurance offers peace of mind that the endeavor is on the right track.
Developing new code as well as maintenance of existing ones is easier if one adopts the best practices which have evolved over the years. Exactly in what way these practices must be implemented would depend on the nature of the undertaking.