16 Signs Your Software Development Project is Going to Fail | Hygger.io

Project Management

16 Signs Your Software Development Project is Going to Fail

16 Signs Your Software Development Project is Going to Fail

Despite all efforts that the team makes, any software development project can fail to reach the finish line on time, on budget, or in scope. Here are 16 warning signs project managers and developers should pay attention to that give clear evidence your project is headed for failure.

1. The project name changes many times in several months.

2. The Head of R&D promises the board of directors the project will be completed six months ahead of schedule and shipped to the customer without beta testing.

3. Requirements are defined long after the development started.

4. Company departments are competing with each other over which technical platform to use.

5. According to the memo, you will have to develop a 64-bit application using a 16-bit platform.

6. Developers don’t understand the spec document but continue to develop anyway. Testers don’t know how to test but “test” anyway.

7. Half of the project budget has been spent on the design that is not feasible.

8. The client insists on adding new features instead of focusing on bug fixing

9. You are asked to create the list of user requirements without consulting any potential users.

10. Even those clients who got the free version of your software are driven crazy.

11. It’s the third time the company tries to pull off the same ill-fated project under a different name.

12. The new CEO replaces oldies (employees who know the organisation and are properly trained) with outsiders.

13. The senior management decides to relocate the whole project from one city to another right when the development is in full swing.

14. The QA team is given a minimum time for testing and is told that the date is fixed and they should have everything ready by that date.

15. The senior management encourages to “get creative” after the project headcount is reduced by 20%.

16. You check the list of software development best practices and see that none of them is followed by the project team.

All of us have had this awkward moment of realisation. How did you know that your project was heading nowhere? Add your comments below, we’d love to hear about your experience.


Dave Howe

about 6 years ago

Sometimes, it seems the intended outcome was to demonstrate that the project wasn't feasible; there is no other explanation, really...


Jason Knight

about 6 years ago

#7 is FAR too common in web development, given this is the age of PSD jockey artists under the DELUSION they know what design is... in a "WCAG, what's that?!?" kind of way.


Jamie Robillard

about 6 years ago

All to often I have seen startups begin their project without a plan. Ask QA to implement Unit Testing which should have been implemented before QA even saw the product. And expect that other tests can be made with no plan? Do not even know what best practices are or feel they are a waste of time. The real problem in my opine is that these startups want to make an app though they do not have any idea how software development is done. They fail to hire anyone that knows. They carry on by the seat of their pants until they run out of funds, borrow or get more investors. Then of course fail and mark it up to the project was not really feasible. So they go out and start on their next soon to be failure.


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