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Often times in a software development project, if things don’t go well, developers have to take a hit. 

But a lot of times, a software development project(web development, mobile app development) failed because of mistakes done by non-developers.

1. Failing to understand what users want 

Requirement building is a very important aspect of a software development journey. A small mistake in this might hinder the project at a later stage. 

This process requires a deep understanding of consumer behavior, business processes, and business model. 

Imagine finishing the development of a core module, everything is on track and suddenly a change in the core module is requested because an important aspect was left out during the requirement building which is also going to impact the other parts of the software. This is not only going to cost more time but since a big part of the codes have to be changed, the amount of issues/bugs which will come from this change is also going to be high. 

Brushing out the specifications and requirements prior to development will ensure the development’s smoothness.

2. Involving too many stack holders

This is a problem, especially in large companies where everyone wants to give their input. 

Requirements building has to be done by evaluating different alternatives for different problems. But when many different people want their idea to be developed in regard to whether it’s the best option or not, this is a key to failure.

How I solve this issue is, when dealing with large companies, I will request them to form a task force by gathering one key person from every department. Hence, the feedbacks and inputs coming from the individuals of the task force will be limited only to modules/features that relate to their department. 

3. Not communicating properly with developers

Communicating with developers is as important as any other business activity. Sometimes, clients/management tend of deprioritizing their development works by assuming that they just have to give little information and the developers will be able to figure it out. 

Every inch of information has to be clearly communicated. 

Over-communication is always better than under-communication. 

When you say you want to develop a sign-up function, you also have to be clear on whether or not you want Facebook and Google to sign up to be there. Will there be an SMS verification (SMS OTP) or eMail verification? 

Assuming that the developers can understand what you are expecting is very dangerous and although sounds silly, happens a lot of times and is a key mistake in the failure of development.

4. Making the app too big in the beginning phase

If you are a startup, always start with an MVP or a 1st version. Do not develop a big software to launch. It is not only going to cost a lot of money but also time. 

In a startup development, you won’t fully know your consumer behavior or your market properly. Therefore, the software has to develop in a way where it can be easily changed as your startup grow. 

But when the software is very big, it’s going to be harder to change parts of it. It will take a longer time to make necessary changes and will consume unnecessary costs which will hinder your startup as well. 

5. Overcomplicating the App with Features and Functions 

Once you come up with a set of features and modules, you also have to make sure it’s simple enough for your users to use. It must have a realistic use case. 

I have seen simple features get so complex because of some “fancy” ideas added to it which not only doesn’t have a realistic use case but makes it hard for the users to even understand the app. 

This makes it harder to even develop a small feature. This makes the whole development unnecessarily more complex.

Tech is supposed to be for making things simple. Therefore, whenever you are building the software requirement, always plan out the features and modules in a very simple way. 

Take the hardest business case, break it down and simplify it. 

Do not make it any harder for the users. This will lead to a very high churn rate.

6. Having a Never-Ending Improvement Loop

Setting the right expectations of the final outcome is very important. If you are developing an MVP at a low or middle-range cost, then you cannot compare the outcome of your software with the top apps in the play store or AppStore with years of improvements. 

You do not need a perfect app or web to launch to the market, just make sure it adds value to your users and/or solves their problem. If it looks good and operates smoothly but does not add value to your users nor solve a problem, it will fail in the market. 

There were a few times where clients keep wanting to improve the modules/features and UI/UX of their web/app although it takes time.

No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to create a perfect software product. Attempting to do this will only leave you with software that never takes off.

There are things you’ll only learn after you launch your app. The courage to launch the actual product after a certain number of iterations is an essential business move in itself.

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