Failure Is Only Fine When You Can’t Avoid It

Meghan Lodwick - 30/10/2018

In 2015, the Standish Group studied 50,000 software development projects around the world, from tiny enhancements to massive systems re-engineering implementations, and found only 29 per cent were successful.

Success factors for the projects were defined as being on time, on budget with a satisfactory result – on top of the above stat, 52 per cent of the projects were challenged and 19 per cent were complete and utter failures.

Against those odds is the ever-growing need for digital technology to improve speed of delivery and push business objectives forward. With digital initiatives being activated left and right, everyone needs to get better at being able to spot a failure before it happens.

Get clear from the beginning

There’s always a discovery phase when it comes to mapping out your digital transformation (if there isn’t that’s a red flag, run). This is where you get super transparent about what you want, define success and develop clear objectives and requirements. Your project specifications should be broken down and detailed including a project management plan, get this right from the get-go. 

True cost of a cheap quote

Kiandra Senior Project Manager Damien explains “I spent many years working client side before joining Kiandra and seen first-hand when a cheap option is not your best option.” He tells clients to look out for lowballing and undisclosed offshoring and resourcing. Sometimes if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut.

Hire for skills not pretty pictures

Presentations can be deceiving – remove all the glitz and glamour and your new website could just be an off-the-shelf solution run through the UX machine, twice.

Check the credentials of your developers, ask what they will do on the project, what other projects they have worked on and how long they have been in the business – the more experience a developer has the more positively this impacts the project.

Form a badass team with a badass project manager

Project management has reached its corporate peak – it’s evident that projects need strong leaders to succeed. Success in this space needs a project manager to have the capacity and expertise to dig in deeper technically, and truly understand what’s being discussed to make sure every deviation is worthwhile and ultimately delivering the best outcome to the client.

Be involved

Don’t just sign on the dotted line and say ‘see-ya’. Check in at milestones, attend project team WIPs and understand how the project is tracking towards your deliverables and answer your emails. Of course, you have to let the team work, but make sure you know how the project is tracking towards your outcome.

The fact of the matter is, if the above odds are anything to go by, things may still go wrong. And if you are needing to get a project back on track, we are of the opinion that it’s best to bring in a team that will salvage what you have and then take it where you want to go, because most of the time, starting from scratch is even more costly.

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