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Best Tips How to Meet Your Software Project Deadline

  • Rating — 5 (3 votes)
  • Updated on May 18, 2020
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    6-7 minutes

Do you or your team have a problem with meeting deadlines safely? It can be tricky, right?
But we all know it and we’re all annoyed by it, when it happens: I am talking about missed deadlines or delayed projects. Why do people or companies not honor their deadlines commitments? In most cases, this isn’t ill will. This frequently involves poor planning and just assuming that it will all work out somehow. But very often it doesn’t.
Deadlines are essential and important. They are needed to align the people’s actions within a complex project to assumes that different processes would be conducted alongside. Let’s see what does it mean for software project deadlines.
First of all, time is money. Software development is expensive and it is very important to stick to the plan. Moreover, as soon as the product will be launched the faster you will recoup your investment. Furthermore, the release of the product may be scheduled to a particular date, for example, the time of board meeting or marketing activities. It is also worth noting that completing the project on time is a matter of principle for software companies because they are interested to keep their customers satisfied. That’s why we decided to explain the importance of meeting deadlines for our customers and the team.

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Reasons for Untimely Development

People often do not succeed in completing projects within the timeline, not by their own fault. The more complex the project is, the more factors have to be considered. Here are some of them:

  1. An improper estimating. If we are talking about a brand new product, first of all, there can be inaccurate planning of the development process. It is important to determine clear goals with smaller tasks to help to see a clear and understandable mission. This way your team members know exactly what is expected from them in the long run and within a certain task. 

     In our work, we make detailed planning for certain periods of time and use an approach where we give a chance for each team member to participate in estimating and determining their own tasks.

     Goals give a general vision of the future project. Through breaking a project into smaller iterations with a clear set of tasks reduces possible chaos and creates a perfect ground for reaching deadlines without any fuss and in a timely manner.

     In case of improvement and finalization of digital products, it is more difficult than to design from scratch. It is hard to predict how much time it will take before exploring the quality of the code. 

  2. Third-party services. Although, there can be unpredictable situations with a new product. For instance, if the development process involves third-party services, they can change their configuration or API at any time during your project. Therefore the developers will have to change the code according to those changes, and this can take additional time.
  3. Human factor. We should remember the human factor: illnesses, residence change, and many others. If a new person joins the team in the course of an ongoing project, they need some time to adapt and understand the process. It can happen from the customer side as from the developer’s side. 
  4. Requirements correction. The difficulties with deadlines might arise from the customer’s side. If a customer wants to add some features the project scope will change and additional time will be needed to the development team. Also, it is very important to get feedback from the customer’s side or answer questions on time because it might jeopardize the timeline.
  5. Get lost in wishes. Usually, that is just the kind of startups do not know exactly what kind of a digital product they want to get. In this case, it is better to cooperate with an outsourcing development company according to the experience they know how to create a real competitive product

Ways of Cooperation and Risk to Miss Deadline 

  • Dedicated Team

This is the most reliable form to cooperate that we may offer regarding timely completion. It means that the full-cycle development team will work under your project. Together with the customer, we agree on the project scope, requirements, and deadlines. In case of any unforeseen circumstances, we can revise the scope by prioritizing requirements.

 
  • Time and Material

The type of cooperation implies paying customers for actual work scope based on hourly rates. Customers pay for the particular amount of hours spent on a specific project, plus the costs of materials. Also, this model is flexible and provides adjusting requirements, changing directions, replacing functions, etc.

  • Fixed Price

This model fits only for small projects where a service provider can complete the project within the agreed sum of money. If anything changes during an ongoing project, a customer would need to pay extra. A customer should be able to present their clear vision of the product to developers to ensure final results. “Fixed Price” option involves many factors, including the possibility of blowing the deadline.

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How to Meet a Deadline

A major part of software development is respecting the deadlines and many issues may endanger the timely finalization of a project. Below you will find some advice how to do everything on time:

 Estimate Risks Realistically

Project managers are used to working with risk management. Determining and classifying risks before the project start, preparing a plan for every risky situation are what PMs do. There can be used as a risk matrix that helps to identify the probability of possible issues. Such an approach allows skipping panic when an incident happens because it was foreseen and the Project manager is ready to solve it.

Communicate With Team 

Seeking preliminary input from your team and good communication keeps everyone on track. Don’t skip communication. If you’re outsourcing software development, bring your team close to your in-house group with video conferencing, with shared successes and challenges, and by requesting their opinions on the project and ideas for improvement.
Be interested in the opinion of your in-house or outsourced software team. Daily stand-up meetings sound great at first, but stressful deadlines and a lot of work can demotivate them. Poor communication can be a bigger concern than security or the safety of your intellectual property.

Do Not Forget About Project Management Software

You barely find a project manager who performs all tasks without a special tool. Managing a software development team requires deep knowledge and great planning skills.

It doesn’t matter what you use Agile, SCRUM, or Kanban; JIRA, Asana, or Trello, it must be a software tool. One of the crucial elements of project management is backlog grooming. This process usually involves both a product owner and the team checking the backlog tasks. They ensure that all the necessary tasks are in the backlog, they are prioritized, and tasks at the top are ready to be delivered. Backlog grooming is always an ongoing process that helps to avoid unnecessary tasks and meet deadlines. 

 Conclusion

One can hardly find a software development project without deadlines. Everything that goes on in project management, in any case, is related to deadlines.
But the problem is that deadlines exist to be broken. Of course, this is a joke, but it does have a great degree of truth to it. Many managers and teams fail to meet them promptly. This is especially the case with software development, where so many members are involved, so many processes occur, and so many deadlines are missed.

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