Errors that Disrupt the Normal Flow of a Software Project

Gimena Aguerreberry
April 16, 2021

According to research, a staggering 75% of software projects will fail.

From poor communication to inadequate error handling, there are all sorts of problems that can plague your project timeline. But how and why do these errors occur?

When you're hiring a company to deliver a new software project, it's normal to experience a few teething problems. Most companies should expect to encounter a few software bugs along the way — but other types of errors can be more challenging to fix.

Whether you're the end customer or a software development team member, it's crucial to be aware of potential bumps in the road before they trip you up and make your entire system crash. By planning, you can reduce the risk of errors occurring further down the line, preventing the loss of valuable time (and money) in the process.

In this post, we explain some of the most common errors that can disrupt your software project's normal flow.

Read on to find out what could go wrong and how you can make sure you get it right.

How Do Clients Get Software Development Wrong?

If you're hiring a software development company to work on a new type of software, you might think you have the easy job! But it's vital not to underestimate the role you'll need to play to make sure the process goes smoothly.

Below, we've outlined the top three mistakes companies can make when implementing a new type of software.

1. Not Doing Your Research

Whatever your software project is, errors occur when you don't choose your software development company carefully. It's crucial to research several different companies before you close a deal. Otherwise, you run the risk of receiving a subpar service.

To make sure you've found the best software development company for your needs, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is their quote in line with market rates?

  • Do they respond to your queries in good time?

  • How comprehensive is their customer support?

  • Has the company received positive reviews from previous clients?

  • Have they got experience with the type of software you need?

  • What is their software testing policy?

If possible, ask to see examples of the company's portfolio. It's also critical to ask them about their error handling process — if you discover software bugs once the project has delivered, for example, will the company be available to fix them for you?

Lots of developers promise long-term relationships with their clients. Don't settle for a brand that will tick off the deliverables, then leave you to pick up any pieces further down the line.

2. Giving a Vague Brief

Can't tell your design pattern from your software processes? You might not be the expert in the type of software development you need, but you are the expert when it comes to your business.

It's never enough to tell a company you want a new brand app or website capability. To get the best result, you'll need to provide a detailed brief that covers the following information:

  • Why do you want a new type of software? What are you hoping it will achieve for your business?

  • What do you want the software to do?

  • When are you hoping to release it?

  • What is your budget?

3. Having Unrealistic Expectations

If you're hiring a software development company to do a particular job, it's perfectly reasonable to expect them to complete the work to a high standard. But it's also necessary to be realistic about what you can achieve within your budget and timeframe.

As we mentioned earlier, errors occur all the time during the development process. It is usually inevitable. If you contact a developer asking them for a new type of software to be ready in a couple of weeks, you're almost certainly going to be disappointed.

There are always additional steps to complete after the initial development is complete, from sorting syntax errors to carrying out quality assurance testing. Although it's wise to decide on a fixed delivery timeline, bear in mind that trying to rush the process will be a bad move in the long run.

How Do Developers Get Software Development Wrong?

Unfortunately, it's not just companies that can disrupt the flow of a software development project. The development team can also make mistakes that lead to bottlenecks, misunderstandings, and errors.

1. Not Agreeing When a Software Project Is Complete

Okay, we said you can't rush the testing process — but while that's true, it's also important not to stray too far from your defined delivery date.

Much of the conflict within developer teams comes from disagreements about when a software project is complete. The result? Last-minute negotiations that can seriously disrupt your timeline.

It can be difficult to decide when a new type of software is ready, especially as software bugs can crop up unexpectedly. However, it's vital to agree on a fixed measure for success that will let you mark a project as ‘complete.’

One of the easiest ways to get everyone on the same page is to draw up a Software Requirements Specification. This document outlines the project's scope, requirements, and timeline.

Other options are to use a particular SPI (Scheduled Performance Index), CPI (Cost Performance Index), or another metric entirely, this will make it much easier for your development team to know when their work is done.

2. Poor Communication with the Client

We believe that companies should never work with developers who don't respond promptly. This advice cuts both ways. If your development team struggles to get the client engaged with the project, it should be an immediate red flag.

Poor communication can be the death of many software processes, especially if you're unsure what the client's requirements are. Errors occur when your vision doesn't align with that of the company — so to solve this issue, we recommend setting up regular project meetings with your client.

Sure, everyone's busy, but if the company isn't willing to take some time out of their day to discuss the project with you, it could be a recipe for disaster.

Aim to keep these meetings positive and productive. Even if the project isn't developing as you'd hoped just yet, you can reassure the client about your error handling process and discuss any changes that need to happen if errors occur.

3. Not Having a Robust Quality Assurance Process

Software quality assurance, or SQA, is one of the most vital parts of the development process. You might have developed a mobile app that looks great on an iPhone X, for example, but without adequate software testing, you'll never know if it works as well on other screen sizes.

Testing and adapting your software is vital if you want to identify — and solve — any issues before releasing the program.

To do this effectively, you'll need a system including software testing, quality assurance, a checklist for error handling, and testing procedures.

Software testing engineers can carry out various processes to find software bugs, syntax errors, and other problems. Examples of testing systems include:

  • A/B testing

  • Integration testing

  • Functional testing

  • Performance testing

  • Exploratory testing

Make sure to employ both manual and automated testing. That way, you can have multiple models to illustrate how your type of software will perform under a range of different conditions.

Are you planning a new software project? Make sure to avoid these common pitfalls to streamline your development process, remove bottlenecks, and achieve an impressive result.

Whether you're a prospective client or a professional developer, it's easy to see that most errors occur due to poor communication and inadequate planning — often from both sides! By following the top tips in this blog post, you'll be able to build a great rapport with your business partner and tackle problems before they arise.

If you want to know more about topics such as QA software processes, error handling, or drafting an effective design pattern, we're here to help. Subscribe today to make sure you never miss out on the latest information!

"Errors that Disrupt the Normal Flow of a Software Project" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Sarah Kilian.

Categorized under software development.

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