Pulling off a project can be intimidating at times. When you get a bit of software into the mix, things can easily spiral out of control in an instant. Problems can happen out of nowhere—from disinterested stakeholders to scheduling issues.
Project managers often encounter different pitfalls in the development life cycle (SDLC). But there are many ways to handle these pain points and streamline future projects.
A stress-free project always leads to reduced costs and a high-quality product. It also results in less conflict for the team.
Here are the most common SDLC pitfalls and how you can avoid them.
Lack of clear communication
One of the biggest concerns during the requirement-defining stage has something to do with communication. All involved parties should clearly communicate with each other to avoid delays or hurdles during the development process.
Take the Waterfall SDLC methodology as an example. In this type of model, any misalignment of the end vision during the early stages can have catastrophic results. If nothing can resolve this, the next stage will be placed on hold. Or worse, the team may continue the process, without being aware of the problem that could happen in the final stages.
Other SDLC methodologies can help reduce problems through communication. Agile is a good example, but end-user involvement should be increased for every reiteration. Dedicate sufficient time in the initial stages of any methodology to succeed in the project. Doing so aligns your goals and interests before the project could begin.
Another problem related to miscommunication with the team is late requests. This happens when the end-users request for a feature at a later time. And, their reasons may be due to changes in their vision. The thing is, this end-user request can have serious implications for the team.
Some changes that a developed program undergoes result in a complete rework. While this is a problem that is not always avoidable, it can be mitigated. Ensure that all requirements are fully gathered. The end-user should be informed about the implications of having late requests as well.
There are two vital aspects of a smooth development project: early-stage prototyping and mid-stage iterating. This is particularly true in the agile SDLC methodology. Run through different prototypes to iron out possible pain points without increasing spend.
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You can show clickable mockups when brainstorming an idea with the team or use paper wireframes to work out IA. It’s also an option to create high fidelity prototypes when you’re close to finishing the software. This can help if you want to convey the highest-fidelity not only to stakeholders but to clients as well.
Testing with little time left
Testing is important no matter what SDLC methodology you use. It is crucial to ensure that your program works according to the initial vision, and all bugs, as well as security measures, are checked. Problems detected at the testing stage often comes from poor management practices. It’s also possible to lose time for testing if there are budget constraints.
Never underestimate the time required for thoroughly testing a product. Always keep in mind that projects need to start as early as possible. This gives you ample time to make changes if problems during the testing phase arise.
Improper task allocation
Many people consider software development as a competitive environment. Everyone wants to play the hero. Some people even pull an extremely high number of shifts to get things done. Others would move heaven and earth just to make significant progress on a project. But, this practice can be counterproductive.
A realistic schedule is essential for teams. Allocate responsibilities and tasks wisely. For instance, developers should know what tasks to expect through the API. They should also be aware of what you expect from their code.
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In a team organization, be cautious when assigning two projects on one person because the results may not be equal. Make sure there are enough support and staff for every team.
Failure to anticipate obstacles
Project managers don’t spend a lot of time planning for potential problems. Why? This is because they keep them from happening. The ostrich algorithm isn’t so effective if you’re dealing with an SDLC project. However, there’s a better strategy: risk management.
Risk management can be presented in a flow chart. It is then interpreted against component dependencies and resource conflicts. After finding the problems, you can plan around them. You may free up resources, prioritize specific pathways, or increase lead-ups.
Create pauses into the SDLC focusing on these potential problems. It’s an excellent point to establish during mid-cycle quality testing.
Not planning timeframes
One of the keystones of a successful SDLC project is a well-designed schedule. Make use of your time wisely while project management tools help, as even the most complex tools won’t protect you from sudden glitches. You’ll need clear values, smart prioritization, and the ability to anticipate the effect of team actions.
When planning an SDLC timeframe, start with a detailed list of tasks. Use templates to guide you through the organization process. This lets you see simpler activities necessary to accomplish a bigger goal.
Write down all the steps required to meet a certain target. It helps to reduce overlooked steps along the way. If a deadline starts to creep up, a detailed task list will save you by redefining the scope. It’s easier to adjust your schedule, add resources, and decrease your pile of tasks.
Having a task list keeps nasty surprises at bay, especially in mid-development. It also gives you a better view of areas where you can pull or add resources without affecting the coding.
Overcoming SDLC Problems
There are many reasons for a software development project to fail. But, as long as you catch the problem early, there’s no need to worry. You can overcome such concerns through proper management and appropriately defining requirements. Time management is also essential in keeping your SDLC in check and on the right track.