By: David Endo
First and foremost, a realistic project plan outlining all requirements is the foundation of delivering a successful software product. If the requirements are vague, then the timeline and budget will most likely be inaccurate and unreliable. At this point, it is critical to clarify and document what deliverables are expected and when, as well as the resources that will be needed to accomplish these goals. Once the project plan is developed, it must be adhered to. Scope creep is one of the most common reasons for an unsuccessful development project.
Remember, there is more to building a software application than the developers. A big part of any software development project is in the ancillary support such as project management, quality assurance testing, technical writing, implementation, training, and ongoing support staff.
Once all of these items have been considered and detailed in your project plan, and you are confident your deliverables and budgets are within reason, you then need to include what is expected from you and your client at critical milestones along the project path. Starting off with a clear understanding of scope, budget and deliverables from the get-go with checkpoints along the way will help avoid misunderstandings but, most of all, will establish “buy-in” and accountability from both ends of management.
Although these may seem obvious, you would be surprised at how many people get trapped into a failing development project because the proper time and planning elements were not completely scrutinized from the start. With that said, there is nothing more gratifying then seeing a happy customer using the application that you helped to create.
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