Software development has become integral to many businesses. From finance to entertainment, companies and brands need new products, systems, and services to survive and remain competitive. This means many companies want custom software developed.
Whether you plan to use in-house staff or hire a development team to work for you, you should be aware of some of the challenges that could pop up during the process and how they can be solved. Even when you hire talented developers and engineers, some common problems can arise. Here are four of the biggest challenges.
A lack of experience
Going with your in-house team may be cheaper and easier to manage but it can also be problematic. Sometimes current staff members don’t have the expertise to develop a brand new sophisticated software solution. Unless your business is in software development, your team may not have all the required knowledge and expertise. Even if they are able to deliver the final product, it may be riddled with bugs. It may be best to reach out to a provider that specializes in custom solutions. Another option is to hire a consultant to advise the in-house team.
Projects which go over-budget
It can be hard to determine the full cost of a custom software package. Still, make sure you have a clear estimate from the beginning and allow extra funds for things you may decide you want to add or change along the way. If you need to project rushed, that would also cost you more. Experienced developers who have worked on similar projects would be better able to estimate how much your solution would cost.
Projects which run overtime
Another common challenge is a custom software development project which isn’t delivered on time. This can happen because of improper planning and communication or because several changes had to be made along the way. Try to get a timeline from your developers at the outset of the project. This should include the timeframe within which a beta version of the software will be available and how long the testing phase will last. It should also include the estimated delivery date of the final solution.
Lack of communication and clear goals
Both the developers and the client need to be on the same page about what the software is expected to do. There also needs to be buy-in from employees since they can be wary of change. They may worry that the software will replace them or on the other hand, that they will have to take on additional duties. The client needs to make it clear to the developers which features they need and which they can do without. If you’re vague, the developers may get carried away or simply deliver something you don’t want. Only with consistent communication can custom software development make life easier.
If you’ve decided that your company needs custom-built software, make sure you need exactly what functions you want it to perform, how soon you need it and how much you’re willing to spend. Then make sure you communicate this to those who will be doing the work and those who will be affected by it. This way, you can avoid many of the common pitfalls of customs software development.