In the contemporary era of agile development, “as a service” solutions and advanced management techniques, you may be wondering if there are still failures in software projects.
Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
The world of software solutions is littered with failed projects: from large multinationals to small companies, many companies have experienced the effects of unsatisfactory software implementation.
No company is immune.
The Standish Group 2015 CHAOS Report showed that of all 50,000 projects considered, 71% failed to meet these three criteria: punctuality, budget and satisfactory results.
The problem is even greater for large projects. Medium-sized projects failed 91% and large projects 94%.
A software project can be considered a failure for several reasons.
In a project, there are many tasks and correlations, and an unexpected event or failure of one or more parts could cause the failure of the project as a whole.
Here are the top five reasons for a project failure:
The solution does not return the expected value: Often a software system is seen as the light that will guide an organization out of darkness. Software applications are simply a means of improving certain aspects of a company, they cannot change a company on their own without a commitment to improvement.
Over budget: Another common reason for project failure is budget overrun. A project that exceeds the budget runs a significant risk of failure if the client cannot arrange additional funds.
Not finished on time: One of the most common reasons a project fails is that it is not delivered on time. A project that is not delivered on time can cause significant disruption to an organization’s operations.
End users do not use the system: Even if the project is delivered on time and within budget, if the end users do not accept the system and do not use it at full capacity, the project is considered a failure.
Some end users are reluctant to change and may want to continue doing their job as they did, regardless of whether the new system makes their job easier.
As anyone who manages risk knows, we cannot undo the risk of a project failure, but we can certainly mitigate or transfer this risk …
Choosing the right software and the right system integrator
You need the right software to create the great solution you’re looking for, but selecting the right system integrator for you is also critical to setting your software project on the path to success. You need a systems integrator who has a proven track record and proven results. In our experience, the most successful projects are those in which the client and the system integrator are aligned; they have the same values and strive to achieve the same goal. Mutual trust is key and the input and involvement of both parties will provide the best results. Price obviously plays a role in choosing the system integrator, but remember, it’s only cheaper if it works. The project should be a collaborative journey, rather than simply fulfilling a contract.
Make sure you achieve the ROI
Software projects can be expensive in terms of money, time and effort, so you want to make sure you get the maximum return on your investment to make it worth it — finding the right partner and building the right business case will help you do that.
What activities must the software system support? What functionality is needed to support these areas of the business? What do end users require to make their jobs easier? How will the upcoming system fit into the existing software infrastructure?
Without a clear understanding of what the software system is trying to solve for an organization, the design of a suitable software solution cannot be undertaken or it will be wrong.
Once a clear business case has been established and organizational requirements clearly defined, an organization must consider which type of system would best suit their business. It’s easy to assume that a standard solution with some customization will do the job, but if an organization has unique processes, trying to model these processes around an existing system could lay the groundwork for failure.
There is no rule for determining when an organization should choose a custom system or opt for a standard product. Each organization must determine the best solution for their business. If an organization does not have the in-house expertise to concisely decide on the type of software solution it needs, the services of a highly-skilled systems integrator should be sought. The success of a project strongly depends on the decisions that will be made at this stage.
Build the right system for end users
It’s okay to deliver a project on time and on budget, but if end users don’t accept the system, what’s the value? Only when end users feel comfortable and confident in adopting the system can the software project be considered a success.
Some of the key points to steer your organization in the direction of success:
• Compile a clear business case: Identify opportunities, benefits and risks of the project and get support from an executive sponsor. A business case also serves as a means of assessing the success of the project once it has been implemented.
• Write functional requirements: The needs of the organization must be truly understood in order to provide the best possible software solution for the customer.
• Identify the best solution for your business: No organization is alike and the best software solution for your business will complement your unique processes.
• Build the right system for your end users: Explore all avenues and possibilities to make sure the right problem is identified and defined before development.
• Select the correct system integrator: This is critical to ensuring success.
To support you in this endeavor, Veeam has identified, in its vast community of partners, those who stand out for their skills, expertise, experience and delivery capabilities.
These partners create the Veeam Accredited Services Partner program (VASP) and, also thanks to Veeam’s direct oversight, are the safest option to successfully implement your complex data management solution.
Select your preferred VASP today.