Skip to content

Custom Software Development …. *Gasp!

September 28, 2009

Many people in business hear those words above, and get chills or feelings of nausea.  I have heard countless horror stories about project that went so far over budget; you’d think they were in a competition with the National deficit.  Add to that projects that are months or years late, or completely miss the mark regarding scope.


Custom Software Development is a mixture of art and science.  However, there are specific key principals to follow which can engineer for success.  Today I will share the top five reasons that software development project fail (but you’ll have to come back to find out the solutions).  Interesting side note – these also apply to off-the-shelf software implementations as well.

  • Designing and developing a system without a Business Strategy – i.e. letting the tail wag the dog.
  • Paying insufficient attention to user needs and benefits in the design and scoping phase.
  • Using ambiguous or non-existent measures of project management and completion.
  • Failure to aggressively follow-up and assess success upon completion.
  •  Inadequate Business or Technical expertise from the Development firm.

 Seems pretty simple right?  It still amazes me how many project go sideways.  In a later blog I’ll go into more detail on how SNQ attacks these issues.  (Gotta love a cliff hanger …)


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Josh permalink
    September 30, 2009 7:40 am

    Great info Scott. Did you pull this from the Chaos report? It is a standard Project Management report that tracks stats like this and yes – it is absolutely amazing at how many projects fail. You are absolutely right in that off-the-shelf projects fail right alongside custom development ones. IMO it is all about gathering and documenting the right requirements, and then taking the time to plan properly before rushing in.

  2. September 30, 2009 2:19 pm

    Thanks Josh!

    Actually no – as you know I’ve mainly focused on the software side for most of my career, so this was just based on personal/professional experience in developing/managing custom development over the last two or so decades. Is the current year Chaos report (2009) worth checking out?

    As you said, proper advance planning is definitely key – but you know how often companies skip that step.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Josh permalink
    October 1, 2009 7:37 am

    I would definitely recommend checking it out. You can usually google to get enough info out of it, some interesting and like you said seemingly obvious but rare concepts.

  4. April 8, 2011 8:00 am

    This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: