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What To Be Aware Of In Custom Software Development
So what are the risks in custom software development? While initially it may seem like a logical step, especially for the unique company that needs to create a piece of software that meets unique customer needs, it also carries with it a number of inherent risks that are quite easy to miss. Missing these risks is something that often happens when companies do not plan for them in the early stages of development.
Late requirements specification
One of the most common risks happens when the requirements or specifications of the software change suddenly late in the process. There is one clear reason why this happens, and it is all to do with the thinking that is taking place at the start of the project. If the developers and their clients are not thinking at optimal levels, they may miss an opportunity to build a project that could really do a lot more than they originally thought. This means that more ambitious thinking is required at the point where the project initially begins to take shape.
Another crucial risk occurs when employees leave the project. They could leave for any number of reasons, which are often out of the control of the team or the clients. The problem here is that an employee may leave with highly confidential and vital information about the project that could delay or jeopardize the project. The way to combat this risk in custom software development is to ensure that the team of developers that are working on the project are very much working as a team. Using effective sharing processes that allow team members to truly collaborate across all project levels will prevent this from being a problem.
Scheduling could be a major issue. Problems occur when developers take their time to get milestones finished. They can be quite relaxed at the start of a project, and then find themselves working against the clock as the final deadline approaches. You can protect yourself against this outcome by ensuring that you build a solid schedule which is agreed by the developers right at the start of the process. You then ensure that they keep to this schedule as part of your success criteria.
Not having clear specifications for developers
You may also find that developers like to show off a little. They are often very technically accomplished, and want to add aspects to the project that show off their capabilities to the maximum. There is nothing wrong with being technically proficient, but if developers begin to add elements to the software that are superfluous and more like ‘window dressing’, they could be wasting precious development hours. How do you prevent this from happening? The simple solution is to ensure that you have clear specifications for your project right from the start, outside which developers cannot step.
Avoid risks – let the developer know exactly what to do
Essentially, the best way to mitigate against these risks in custom software development is to ensure that the problem the client wants solving is clear to the developer. If the developer knows exactly what solution the client wants, then there is much less chance of them having difficulty meeting the requirements.