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 essential. They are needed to align the people’s actions within a complex project to assume that different processes would be conducted alongside. Let’s see what it means for software project deadlines.
First of all, time is money. Software development is expensive, and it is imperative to stick to the plan. Moreover, as soon as the product is launched, the faster you will recoup your investment. Furthermore, the product’s release 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 in keeping their customers satisfied. That’s why we decided to explain the importance of meeting deadlines for our customers and the team.
Reasons for Untimely Development
People often do not succeed in completing projects within the timeline, not by their fault. The more complex the project is, the more factors have to be considered. Here are some of them:
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 content 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 materials’ costs. Also, this model is flexible and provides adjusting requirements, changing directions, replacing functions, etc.
- Fixed Price
This model fits only 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 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.
How to Meet a Deadline
It doesn’t matter who is working on the project, a team consisting of several departments or just a couple of people; in any case, the planning and preparation must be carried out. After all, projects are an essential part of developing and maintaining a business.
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 advices how to do everything on time:
#1 Details Matter
The most important thing is to compile the project requirements carefully. It is difficult to say how long it will take to create a project at the initial stage. Therefore, it is crucial to collect all the wishes for a digital solution to understand the result that we want to get. The more nuances you discuss with the development company, the more likely it is that all your expectations will be met, and the development will be completed on time.
When communicating with the customer, we always draw up detailed specifications and agree with the client on the goals that we want to achieve on the project.
#2 Estimate Risks Realistically
Project managers are used to working with risk management. Determining and classifying risks before the project starts, preparing a plan for every risky situation are what PMs do. There can be used 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 Project managers are ready to solve it.
#3 Manage the Working Process
We work according to Agile methodologies, so team members themselves determine the amount of work they will complete in one sprint. This approach also helps to be flexible and adjust the overall scope of the project if needed.
The team’s task is to meet the deadline declared personally by them, without relying on existing and inherent risks.
#4 Task Tracking
Every project should have a task management system. Some projects are large, and the customer wants to personally track the process, adding feedback and suggestions to each task. In such a situation, special applications are used, and all negotiations take place online. Some clients only want to be sure that the process is going well. In this case, simple communication methods are used, or you can use documents with scheduled (daily/weekly) reports for the client.
Every day, we report on the work done and discuss tasks for the coming day. Thus, both the project manager and the customer can see how much resources were spent on a specific task.
#5 Step by Step Process
By moving one step at a time, the workflow is more even, and subsequent inspection becomes easier. In this way, the likelihood of meeting deadlines can be assessed, and corrections made if necessary.
In our opinion, the workflow should be consistent, taking each task to its logical end before starting another.
#6 Communicate With Team
Seeking preliminary input from your team and good communication keeps everyone on track. Don’t skip contact. If you’re outsourcing software development, bring your unit 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 more significant concern than security or the safety of your intellectual property.
We believe that regular interaction with the customer from the very beginning gives an understanding of his project’s attitude. Therefore, we regularly organize meetings with the customer, and, at his request, we can send daily reports or weekly. It all depends on the project itself and the wishes of the client.
Do Not Forget About Project Management Software
You barely find a project manager who performs all tasks without a unique tool. Managing a software development team requires in-depth knowledge and excellent planning skills.
It doesn’t matter what you use Agile, SCRUM, or Kanban; JIRA, Asana, or Trello 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.
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.