9 Common Software Development Mistakes to Avoid Failures

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The 9 mistakes you need to avoid when developing a new software

Software development is a complex and challenging journey, and it’s easy to make mistakes that can lead to delays, extra costs or quality issues.

In this article, we’ll explore the 9 most important mistakes in software development, along with recommendations for avoiding them.


#1 Involving the wrong people in the project

Too often, on the customer side, the CEO takes on the role of project manager and main contact.

It is advisable to appoint a Power User on the customer side, who will monitor the project’s progress with the Product Owner on the software partner side, and then present the general concept and progress of the project to the CEO.

This will avoid slowing down the development of the project and allow you to get to the heart of the matter with your operational contacts.

#2 Having a two-headed dragon

Be careful who you appoint to the operational side. In order to move forward at the right pace, it’s important to appoint just one person to validate each stage.

If we need two people to validate each stage, they may have opposing views, slowing project progress, increasing costs and reducing productivity.

#3 Not being sufficiently curious

Software development can be complex. As a customer, it’s important to get involved in the project to limit problems or correct them along the way. You need to work in collaboration with your software supplier and take an interest in all the technical aspects of the business, so as to understand the challenges faced by the technical teams.

#4 Over-coding before delivery

Striving for perfection from the outset can lead to high costs and unnecessary functionality. The recommended approach is to prioritize the validation of your software’s assumptions and market value proposition, rather than seeking perfection. It’s best to release a minimum viable product (MVP) quickly to validate its market appeal, then iterate on user feedback.

How can you prevent cost overruns in your custom development project?

Discover the 8 causes that can impact the costs of your software development project.


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#5 Too many functions, not enough maintenance

Ignoring technical debt can make your software difficult to maintain. The key recommendation is to budget for maintenance and bug-fixing throughout development. This ensures that the code remains readable, efficient and easy to manage, minimizing the long-term costs associated with a failing code structure.

Include a budget for maintenance in the development of your software, which should be between 15% and 25% of your total budget.

#6 Not defining all your personas

Ask yourself this question right from the start: have you defined all the end-users for your software?

Forgetting end-users can lead to costly post-deployment adjustments. It’s essential to define personas early on in the project, and to involve end-users early on. A stakeholder registry and business analysis exercise can help identify all stakeholders, thus avoiding post-deployment surprises.

#7 Not involving your employees early in the process

During testing periods, it is essential to mobilize the software’s end-users to test functionality. It is estimated that between 15% and 30% of project development hours will be required in-house to carry out these tests.

Not freeing up enough time for in-house testing can lead to warranty problems and costly adjustments. It is imperative to involve and free up team members to test and experiment throughout development. This ensures adequate preparation and rapid resolution of post-deployment problems.

Prevent cost overruns in your custom development project

Discover the reasons contributing to software cost overruns in our comprehensive checklist.

#8 Ignoring security

Neglecting security can lead to reputational, legal and criminal risks, especially with legislation such as Law 25. It is advisable to allocate a budget to follow good security practices and ensure regulatory compliance. Regular security audits are also essential to identify and correct potential vulnerabilities.

#9 Not deploying software gradually

Opting for a massive rollout can cause major problems and prolong the chaos. The best approach is to opt for gradual, phased deployments to minimize risk and ensure a smooth transition. Avoiding Big Bangs ensures that every stage of the deployment is under control, and that any necessary adjustments can be made without causing major disruption.

In summary, the success of software development lies in a meticulous approach. By avoiding common mistakes, software projects can aim for efficiency, profitability, and successful implementation.

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