Great quality code is….well….great but there’s more to delivering complex software projects on time and on budget.
We believe that organisations need to go beyond software development and aim for software delivery. Software development is just that – developing software. What the business wants isn’t software development, it wants fully functioning software – delivered. Simple right?
Anyone who has worked on a complex project knows that it’s anything but simple. According to Pulse of the Profession 2018 (2018) | PMI, just 57% of projects finish within their original budget and only 52% finish within initially specified timeframes. Many organisations are experiencing large-scale project management challenges, which can lead to damaging overspend and missed delivery deadlines.
So how do we make sure that all of our projects deliver on time and on budget?
Through many complex bespoke software development projects, we have found that working in collaboration with our clients in this way delivers the best possible results.
So what could you be doing differently to improve your software delivery capability?
SCRUM – are you really going for it?
Many teams use the SCRUM methodology which is designed to provide open access for the customer to the development process. However, if you’re not truly committed to this openness then SCRUM isn’t going to deliver the results you’re hoping for. How many times have you participated in a stand up which is more like a “good news club”? It never feels good to be the person who has to share news which they think the customer or stakeholders don’t want to hear. However, if teams aren’t able to be open and honest about the state of the project then issues aren’t going to be effectively dealt with and no one benefits in the long run.
If you’re able to be honest about what’s going on with the project and, crucially, how issues are going to be addressed then trust within the team goes up and the customer has an accurate view of where their project is headed and feels fully invested in the team.
Don’t ask why….
“Change is inevitable and change is great. At IJYI we don’t just embrace change and roll with the punches we encourage it, we ask “why not?” rather than “why?”, we go looking for opportunities to make a change to what we and our customers are doing.”
Alan Jackson, Chief Operating Officer, IJYI
Try asking “why not?” and see what possibilities are opened. Change WILL happen on a project, it’s inevitable and applying this way of thinking can enable your project team and the customer or stakeholders to be open to change and take away time consuming resistance.
Are you stifling creativity?
Issues with project management are often cited as reasons why projects run over time or budgets get blown out of the water. Project Managers and leadership teams can fall into the trap of inflexibility and extreme control over development teams. This is understandable because too much flexibility can lead to chaos. However, overbearing and controlling project management stifles creativity and damages progress. This can be a difficult paradox to manage. You need the right mix of giving your development team autonomy over their work whilst prioritising customer outcomes. Flex where you need to but keep to that core principle of delivering a quality product on time and on budget.
Keeping up the motivation
Well managed and motivated teams are always going to be more successful than those struggling with internal politics and bad management.
- It’s about the end goal – everyone on the team needs to understand the end goal, not just their role. Each team member needs to be fully invested in achieving the business goals for the project.
- Share the love – make sure each milestone is celebrated, include the customer or stakeholders as well as the development team. Whether it’s a box of donuts, or a lunchtime get together, make everyone feel that they own part of the success.
- For the love coding COMMUNICATE! Successful, open communication really is our thing and without it a project is going to hit serious issues sooner rather than later.
With all of this in mind, the question is are you going to do things the hard way or the IJYI way?