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The Four C’s of Software Development Failure and How to Avoid Them

We’ll be the first to admit it… there’s a lot of pressure placed on Information Technology and core business systems.
In this age of digital connection, the importance of having strong digital services extends to all businesses. Every modern organization relies on various information technology services, including but not limited to: onsite infrastructure, the Cloud, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software or other core business applications, Accounting software and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Software development and IT services even encompass the more subtle technologies many may take for granted, such as secure access to the internet or sending a protected email to coworkers or customers.

To put it simply: the importance of sound digital services are too significant to neglect, yet some larger corporations have a mediocre information technology strategy, while nearly 50% of small businesses fail to have a strategy at all.

Your business doesn’t have to be one of these. Join us as we discuss the four C’s of software development failure and how to avoid them.

Four C’s of Software Development Failure

1. Capacity

We’ve all heard the phrase: no one can be in two places at one time. The same applies to your software application developer.

In most cases, vendors have many different clients, each with their own unique set of requests and deadlines. As your vendor jumps to the aid of each client, there will eventually come a time when one of these client’s needs are prioritized above your own, leaving your organization somewhat neglected.

To avoid this problem, choose a vendor with a bigger team and a winning strategy. A larger team can supply cross training to its members AND make more resources available to you when you need them.

2. Capability

When trusting someone to manage your core business applications, you want to be confident in their abilities. Unfortunately, your expectations may not always be met.

You may need a .NET developer, but your developer only knows Microsoft Access; in other words, you want a cup of coffee, but your servers can only make tea. You don’t receive what you need due to the inexperience or lack of knowledge possessed by your developer.

To avoid this problem, hire experienced developers that: have the knowledge and depth to understand your business’ needs, apply the correct technology and deliver a more cohesive foundation that can be built on over time. Your software vendor should also be well versed in the ever-changing technology landscape.

3. Communication

In any endeavor, communication is very important. This is especially true in software development where thousands of details need to be communicated and built into the application.

Having a development partner that understands your business and your way of thinking, while also being able to translate this into a working application is incredibly important to the success of your software. Use someone that has experience in multiple industries and is able to talk the talk with your business team.

Although communication challenges can exist with American companies, offshoring provides its own set of new challenges, such as language barriers, cultural variations, and time zones, all of which can hinder the development and execution of your project. You need to know what you are getting into before jumping in.

To avoid this problem, make sure you can have a normal conversation with your software developer and that they think like you. If you can’t sit down and have a normal conversation, how are you going to have a highly technical conversation about your business and processes and translate them into a digital application?

4. Cost

In the industry of software development, the old adage still rings true… you get what you pay for.

Select a company that can build it right the first time. A properly built software application will not need a lot of maintenance. Sure, there will be occasional upgrades and enhancements that improve the overall operation of your system, but the absence of recurring overhauls will be much more cost-effective in the long term.

That which is broken will need to be fixed… often. The poorly built software requires frequent maintenance just to keep the system running. More maintenance equals more time and effort put forth by your developer, which means you will ultimately be spending more money over time.

To avoid this problem, don’t hire on cost alone, and make sure the developer you select meets the criteria in the above four C’s.

Be As Smart As Your Software Services Should Be

When considering the best options for your software vendor, refrain from making any hasty decisions, and understand the importance of strong software in your business.

Don’t shop simply by cost, but also look at the quality of the systems and the financial impact over time, and don’t work with the kid next door just because he knows how to code!

Make the wise choices now so that you don’t have to spend extra frustration, time, money and resources to clean up the mistakes down the road.

The Bottom Line is…

There are many reasons that cause software development failure, even in just the technology alone. Working with a software developer that addresses the four C’s will get you pointed in the right direction from the start and avoid the common pitfalls associated with software and application development.

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Tom Swip

Tom Swip has been developing and streamlining business processes for over 20 years. Tom's expertise lies in business process automation, software and application design and network infrastructure. In his spare time, Tom likes kayaking, mountain biking and other outdoor activities.

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