Before you start cooperation with a software web development company and entrust them with your product idea, you’ll want to ensure a development team can manage your project properly so you don't face delays. But how can you know an outsource company will deliver your project on time?
Our article will help you figure out what causes software development project delays and what an IT company should do to minimize and avoid them.
So why do software development companies fail to deliver projects on time? Let’s consider the most common causes for project delays you may face while collaborating with an outsourcing company.
Your development team will simply not be able to properly plan the project if they have to deal with ambiguity. At best, they will ask you to explain, and at worst, they will try to guess on their own. However, both cases entail rework and delays. So, you should remember that poorly specified requirements often result in loss of development time and costs, low-quality project documentation, and eventually, a project failure.
All these factors are not only frustrating but also can end up costing your company more than just time. Now let's look at the practical tips on what to do when a project gets delayed and effective ways to avoid project delays.
There are various approaches that help outsourcing development companies deliver projects on time. Knowing these essential activities allows you to understand whether your team will properly plan your project, carefully organize the development process, and meet your project deadlines.
Let's take a closer look at the key steps any software development vendor should take to keep an IT project on track.
Solid project requirements are a key to accurate project estimation and defining future steps to achieve needed results. At the initial stage, your outsourcing development vendor should understand the main idea of your project by eliciting its requirements. Usually, project requirements include information such as needed functionality, expectations on cost, examples of competitors with the same product, and deadlines.
For example, we at Onix start our software development project with a product discovery stage. This phase allows us to define project complexity and what functionality to implement, test the market viability, set deadlines, choose required technologies, clarify expectations on budget, and plan a project. We prepare documentation that includes all the key project details to implement it properly. As a result of the product discovery phase, we can organize smooth and timely product development and stay on the same page with our clients.
Before starting the development process, your team should determine the scope of work that should be completed in a specific period. This planning phase is vital since it clarifies project objectives, what goals the team should achieve, and breaks down large tasks into small ones making the development process more structured.
For example, at Onix, we provide our clients with a project manager who will prepare a document with a detailed product feature list, deadlines, and responsibilities. Thus, our clients are continually aware of their project progress and ensuring the team will meet deadlines.
Agile is a popular development methodology. At least 71% of U.S. companies are now using Agile. This project management methodology allows developing a product by breaking it into short cycles. Dividing the development process into these cycles (or sprints) allows the team to accelerate production and respond flexibly to changes.
The Agile approach offers the four core values and principles to make the development process more effective and sustained. They are:
At Onix, we use Agile methodology to add to our development process more flexibility, speed, quality, and transparency. When we start our development process, the team cyclically passes through development phases: planning, development, reviewing, launching.
Read also: How to Accelerate Software Development
At every stage, we communicate regularly with clients to keep them informed and gather feedback. Moreover, these development cycles enable our team to flexibly make continuous improvements avoiding development issues and delays. As a result, our team and clients deal with a structured, iterative development process that allows delivering a valuable final product on time.
A common source of misunderstanding is the lack of effective communication between clients and an outsource development team. During the project, you should be involved in the development process to always be aware of the project progress, provide your feedback, and make changes if needed.
Signs that you have well-established communication on the project:
There are various activities we take to always stay in touch with our clients and keep the development process transparent for all project participants. Let’s consider them.
Sprint planning. At the beginning of the sprint, our development team holds a sprint planning meeting. This event helps all team members to define sprint goals, set priorities, determine tasks they will work on during the current sprint. As a result, the team knows their responsibilities and will follow the plan to meet deadlines. And our clients have a complete picture of project progress and can control how the development process goes.
Daily meetings. Our development team has daily standups that help understand how the team is progressing towards the goals: what each team member did yesterday, what is planned for today, and what challenges they are facing. These meetings help define the overall progress of the work, identify predicaments and ways to solve them.
Regular calls. We set regular calls with our clients to receive immediate feedback on our team’s achievements and to directly sync on project progress.
Specialists acting as the liaison. A project manager is a bridge between clients and the development team. 77% of high-performing projects have project managers in the team. Our project managers will control your development process and keep you informed at all stages of development.
Moreover, we provide an opportunity for our clients to have a chief technology officer (CTO) in their team. This specialist will control all technical issues during the development process and make sure the company’s technology fully satisfies its business strategy. Experience has shown 33% of tech startups that hire a CTO boost their performance.
So, to always keep you aware of the project progress, we provide you with the appropriate specialists in a team. Our CTO and project manager will control your development process and keep your communication at a high level.
Demo. To stay on track, our development team regularly provides all stakeholders with a demo presentation. We hold this meeting at the end of each sprint. We prepare a report or video presentation on sprint results and the project’s progress as a whole.
At Onix, communication is a priority. It’s important for us that our clients are always aware of their projects’ outcomes and can provide timely feedback to avoid project delays.
Usually, IT companies use special tools for effective project management. The right tools allow a development team and clients to ensure a well-established workflow, provide visibility to the whole team, and help avoid project delays. Most likely, your development team will offer you to use tools such as Jira, Wrike, Asana, or Kantree.
At Onix, we use JIRA that allows our clients and the team to:
The use of a project management tool facilitates progress tracking and allows us to set up communication between our clients and the development team in an efficient and convenient way.
Tracking progress is essential to ensure a project is on its way to success. As a rule, outsourcing companies should do a regular follow-up that helps all team members and stakeholders stay on task, understand strong and weak points, keep the team engaged, and stay in line with the project plan.
Here are the essential activities that we do at Onix to effectively track our client’s project progress:
Our project manager assists you in tracking all project outcomes, provides all required documentation and reports to demonstrate your team has a robust process and meets all deadlines.
Sometimes, even well-considered plans can’t prevent project delays. You should be ready for unforeseen circumstances. Although managing a project and meeting deadlines may seem challenging, you can have a transparent and fruitful development process by cooperating with an experienced software development company.
At Onix, we value our reputation as a reliable tech partner to our clients and build a dedicated team that delivers projects on time and within budget. If you're looking for a team with a well-established workflow to deliver a product on schedule, just drop us a line!