The reality is, software projects are complex, comprising moving parts, different objectives, personalities and skillsets. So, it’s inevitable something will go wrong along the way. But how can we keep a handle on everything when we’re moving at pace?
The answer: keep an eye on the intangible factors as well as the tangible. We’ve delivered hundreds of software projects over the past 24 years — and yes some of them haven’t gone to plan. But they have taught us to watch out for signs that something’s not right, and here are our top ten.
This is a doozy, like a certain meandering, orange-tinged leader’s press conferences, if someone sponsoring or within the project team can’t articulate a clear message on why you’re delivering the project, then something’s up. All software projects should have clear measurable objectives, and if yours doesn’t then it might be time to stop and think.
Project uncertainty can cascade into impacts across the board and invariably a decision must be made about which levers to pull to fix things. We recommend you decide at the beginning of the project what your priority is: time, scope, budget or quality — because you can’t have them all.
This is the ultimate fake news. No matter what anyone says, there are always risks on a software project. They may be big, they may be small, but they’re always there. If your project team aren’t talking about them then something is seriously wrong.
With so many dependencies and complexities, communication is essential. And while we do run agile, often when one thing falls, so do the other dominos. So, early, transparent, regular and clear communication from the tech crew is vital to avoid risks becoming issues. Our tip: assume nobody knows anything and don’t be afraid to point things out.
There are a lot of reasons why someone in a project team seeks overtime — a piece of work could be more technically challenging than expected, changes in scope add more work or hold-ups from dependencies slow things down. Overtime isn’t always a bad thing, but make sure you understand why it’s happening because none of these should ever be out of the blue.
Here’s a scenario: you do your research and kick-off a project before realising a key user group hasn’t been identified or consulted. We’ve seen it before and it’s not uncommon where a client suddenly remembers the team in their remote office also use the application being built or renovated. While this can be remediated, it could be a sign the initial research wasn’t thorough enough and there could be more unknowns.
Information flow is critical on fast moving software projects, and all team members should keep their Jira- house in order so everyone knows where each user story and task is at. This can become a little bit like a house of cards — if the product owner isn’t keeping up to date, then things will fall apart from the top. Not only will critical information be missing or delayed, but you’ll spend too much time in stand-ups catching up and not being proactive on what’s coming next.
When you start to notice reduced productivity due to unplanned absences, it’s potentially a sign of burnout and disengagement. This can also happen while the team are sitting at their workstation — known as presenteeism.
Fact: there are always bugs. No development project in the history of the world has ever produced the perfect application. If your team are telling you there are no bugs to report through the project, then there are likely to be deficiencies in UAT, reporting or your QA process.
When you notice that key resources are being pulled away from delivering the outcome and more time is spent on chasing data, rejigging reports and justifying past mistakes, it's often a sign of diminished trust or blameshifting.
Like a government’s approval rating, there are both qualitative and quantitative signs something is going wrong. Kiandra’s Project Managers can help guide your project to success and help your organisation navigate some of the common pitfalls on projects. We’ve seen it happen so we’re here to help you steer clear.
At Kiandra, we recognise and acknowledge the pivotal role of performance testing in achieving this fine balance. In this blog, we will unravel what performance testing truly means at Kiandra and why it's a cornerstone of our development philosophy.
Kiandra are proud to announce that it has attained the status of Premier OutSystems Partner – the most important partnership status from the world’s leading enterprise low-code platform.
Kiandra has received the OutSystems Partner of the Year Award for the entire Australia New Zealand region. The custom software solutions provider was recognised at the ‘Top Partner of Australia and New Zealand’.
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