Failure - according to Wikipedia refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective.
Thirty percent of web development projects will fail, will be delivered late and/or over budget. Failure is costly, not just in terms of dollars spent, but in lost opportunity and reputation. Twenty one percent (21%) of projects will fail to meet the stakeholder requirements. The Aberdeen Group takes these statistics even further, reporting 50% failure rates with offshore developers. Why will nearly 1 in 3 web projects fail and what can be done to increase your odds of success?
To understand how to succeed, it is important to dive-deeper and explore why projects fail. The New Bamboo study referenced three factors of project failure:
The Aberdeen Group reported:
- 76% of companies said that vendor management effort and costs were much higher than expected
- 30% reported ongoing issues with outsourcer management processes (e.g., inadequate governance and conflict resolution procedures)
- 51% reported that outsourcer was not performing to expectations
Gloomy outcome for most projects, or so it would seem. However, you can tilt the outcome to success at a much higher rate by starting your project with a strong foundation, a clear plan and strategy and concise and detailed requirements. Entrepreneurs, we have found, are ideas people. They think great thoughts and yet have trouble detailing their vision to their development partners. They talk past each other, with an assumption that they both understand each other. The best development firms will probe and ask questions until they fully understand the project - alas most do not. This is an issue with both on and offshore development companies, we have found.
Before you solicit a development partner, make sure your vision, budget and timeline are in realistic. And once you have a partner selected, be sure there is complete understanding of the project details, goals, budget and timeline. We have experienced with business owners that had grand visions and low unrealistic budgets. And we have met business owners with their project idea written on a napkin, not fully thought through. We have met many business owners that told us of their bad experiences with project development - and we often see the root cause was well before the first line of code was written.
At Cross Sea Strategy Advisors, we work closely with the business owner; coaching and mentoring, asking questions and building up requirements that meet their budget, timeline and strategic vision. This all before a development partner is identified and engaged.
Taking the time upfront will help improve the odds that your web or mobile development project will meet your expectations, be delivered on budget and on-time. And with our effective RFP management process, we can then help ensure that the developers are fully in-sync with the business owner.
Success, the achievement of an objective or goal... the opposite of failure, according to Wikipedia.