Sometimes software development projects and agile teams fail. An astounding 90% of startups also fail. While the statistics change year on year, the overall negative trend remains.
So before embarking on your next project, it’s vital to take steps to ensure that you also don’t end up as just another statistic.
Occasionally, the signs that you’re going to crash are directly related to organisational issues. Other times its technical matters that set the house of cards tumbling down.
Following Agile methodologies is a great way to manage your software development project. But even Agile teams fail if you’re not careful.
So what are the telltale signs that your agile team is mucking up the project?
What can you do to fix it?
Let’s dive right in and explore the most common and apparent signs that your software project is about to crash and burn.
1. If You Fail to Prepare, You’re Preparing to Fail
While this is undoubtedly conspicuous (to say the least), you’d be surprised at how many companies and professionals ignore this critical part of the process. Sometimes founders are so eager to start working on their idea that they skip or rush through the planning phase.
This is a big mistake!
For example, you can categorise your Proof of Concept (PoC) plans and improve the quality and functions later. In reality, this never happens.
If you don’t engage in proper planning now, your PoC will turn into another major project. Applications developed in this manner usually end up being products no one wants or products that don’t perform well.
So how do you fix it?
The best approach here is to engage in brainstorming and backlog sessions with the whole team. Carefully go through each requirement, estimate each feature and how it works, and create a product development roadmap.
By going through this process, you’ll reduce technical debt, refactoring cycles, and avoid delays. The high standards set in the beginning, help keep the team motivated. When your developers are constantly backtracking or wondering what the heck’s going on, you can bet your project’s doomed.
The Evolve Mantra: Plan! Plan! And plan some more!
2. If You Can’t Stick to Your Own Deadlines, You Have a Huge Problem
If Agile development teams can’t comply with their own assessments of the workload and related deadlines, the alarm bells certainly ring loud and clear.
Of course, application development is complicated and comes with its own set of challenges. But missing deadlines should never be a trend.
For example, if the implementation of a minor change that takes a couple of hours takes two days, you have a massive problem on your hands. While several factors lead to such scenarios, most often, it happens because your developers aren’t qualified to do the job.
Even if your application development team’s small, it’s vital not to ignore Agile approaches to compliment the quick deadline mentality.
To avoid such situations, always work with an experienced and professional product development team. They will come up with the right estimations during the planning phase and prevent such incidents from occurring.
The Evolve Mantra: Always hire software engineers with proven knowledge and experience. Properly vet them and pay them what they’re worth or hire an established third-party provider. The latter can also provide some unique benefits.
3. If You Use an Unnecessary and Unproven Tech Stack, Get Ready for the Challenges Ahead
Technology is evolving faster than we can even write about it. Tech stacks become outdated quickly, and their creators don’t even maintain some programming languages anymore.
For example, Java was the go-to language for Android apps, but now we have Kotlin. Being fully compatible with Java, mobile apps are now built with less code. If you work with outdated technologies, you’ll have to start over or work harder.
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In the same vein, avoid new and unproven technologies. When you use new technologies, developers often run into unexpected challenges and integration issues that lead to delays.
To fix this problem, brainstorm and come up with the best tools and technologies to build your product based on expert advice.
The Evolve Mantra: Trust your experienced developers! But also do your homework to ensure that the tech stack is current, adequately supported by the original creator, and championed by the development community.
4. If You Don’t Meet Often, You Don’t Know What’s Really Going On
Experience suggests that senior managers are better off engaging the team from the planning stage than making all the decisions by themselves.
If you don’t meet often and follow an authoritarian style of project management, you might miss out on ways to optimise the process, keep your team motivated, and help them feel like they are a part of something.
Even in a post-pandemic world, meetings are important. They aren’t pointless and have a purpose. Your coders are real people with feelings, ideas, and more.
If you don’t know what’s going on during each iteration, meet often and communicate as much as possible. Communicating regularly, even remotely, builds camaraderie and blows open the doors to new ideas and better ways to do things.
The Evolve Mantra: A team that communicates often and works closely together is better than one that blindly follows a myopic dictator’s orders.
5. Lack of Product Delivery Workflows Spell Disaster
Product delivery processes are best when they’re lean. Why? Think about it, when problems quickly pile up, it’s near impossible to deliver a timely quality solution.
You’ll know that you’re on the wrong track when:
- There’s no clear scope of work
- There’s no documentation about the product delivery process
- There’s no automation of a CI/CD pipeline
- There’s no testing plan or extensive QA testing
- There’s no one responsible for the product’s release
If any of the above come up during the development cycle, you have to fix it.
In this scenario, it’s best to conduct an external audit to shed light on potential bottlenecks and risks. When you do this, you save money, time, and significant effort. Best of all, you get to deliver great software on time.
The Evolve Mantra: Software development best practices demand regular external audits, even if things are going well. It’s best to comply and identify potential organisational issues or technical complications that may impact your time to market.
Like anything important in business and life, it’s crucial to pay attention to what’s going on both internally and externally. With your finger on the pulse, you’ll be well-placed to keep your team working like a well-oiled machine in a healthy and professional environment.
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