Why does project based software development not work?
Many tech companies are taking a project-based approach to completing their software development projects. This development model is about coming up with upfront solutions and delivering a project within a specific time frame without compromising quality. It is generally focused on short-term goals and is possible only if you have a clear and defined idea of what you want to do.
While project based software development is a good one, it isn’t appropriate for every project, and has some disadvantages, which you should know before adopting it. This article will discuss the steps you should take when working under the model and its drawbacks.
How does it work?
As said earlier, many companies follow this outsourcing model, and there are many service providers as well. Here are some steps to follow if you work under the project based software development model.
- The first step is to hire a project based outsourcing model service provider for an entire project on a fixed contract.
- Then explain to them the entire development plan in your mind, including the full project requirements.
- Then you draft a contract with as many specifics as possible, deadlines that must be met, and provisions that penalise failure.
- The project’s scope, the stages you intend to carry out, and the deadline for the progress report and the finished product must all be defined.
- The hired team must strictly adhere to the plans and deadlines outlined in the contract while avoiding unforeseen changes or changes that fall outside the scope of the previously defined tasks.
If you plan to hire a project based model service, it will benefit your project. It is because it can provide you with specialised and experienced resources for companies. They can deliver the projects on time and will be responsible from start to finish. It will benefit companies that struggle with the budget to modernise their teams or train them with new technologies.
Reasons why it does not work
In one sense, the project-based outsourcing model relieves many responsibilities. However, if you don’t consider the disadvantages of outsourcing, especially this model, you may pay a rather heavy price for that. Some of them include possible gaps in the understanding of requirements, any changes in them, and many others listed below.
- Full project details are hard to capture
- Communication gap about the requirements
- Team functions without control
- Cost renegotiation for any changes in requirements
- Security of the shared information
1. Full project details are hard to capture
The first reason it does not work is that it’s never easy to capture the project details. When you attempt to plan out every last detail of it before it begins, it becomes incredibly challenging. You tend to assume that you already know what you need, and no matter how thoroughly you think and communicate, there’s always a chance of missing out on some aspects that do not seem important enough.
Based on the initial assumptions, you create a schedule with milestones and kick off the project. But you will not achieve the expected output if the assumptions go wrong. It is very difficult to restart once development has started and you realise that the project is not going in the right direction because all the stakeholders have already agreed to the full plan. Furthermore, the majority of fixed-price contracts address this outsourcing restriction.
2. Communication gap about the requirements
If the team fails to communicate about the goals and objectives of the project or if the client has unclear goals, it will be difficult to complete it successfully. Poor communication, unrealistic expectations, time zone differences, and many other factors play a significant role in this development model. Otherwise, it is a hustle for both sides.
3. Team functions without control
Many things in the functioning of the team may go out of control. The delays that can happen due to any sudden and unforeseen changes in team members or due to any other reason will negatively impact the project’s delivery. This lack of control over the team’s functioning is one of the major disadvantages of outsourcing through this model. Also, the responsibility of setting up a strong reporting process unfairly falls on the client’s shoulders.
4. Cost renegotiation for any changes in requirements
You may find yourself in a situation where you have to pay the vendor what they are asking for or risk not completing the project. Your work could be incomplete or flawed. You can never predict the extent of your losses. It can happen when changes to the project’s requirements necessitate cost renegotiation.
It is one of the obvious disadvantages of the model. It brings up the importance of contracts, and the solution to the issue is either to keep a favourable clause in the contract or to work with organisations that are culturally sensitive to rapidly changing engagement models for the client’s benefit.
5. Security of the shared information
As mentioned earlier, the team may be working without any control, and with the limited control you have over the team, the security of the company information shared with them will always remain at risk. Any business that chooses this model will not benefit in the least. So it can add to the disadvantages and explain why the model does not work in many projects.
So these are the various reasons why it is said that project based software development does not work. Like any other outsourcing model, it has benefits, drawbacks, and room for improvement. The kind of work a company does and the project requirements may have a significant impact on your choice. This article will help you reach a decision.
The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.