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Posted 12th April 2017 by Lawrence McCrossen

At The Bridge we both manage and consult on website and software development projects for many industries, including financial markets, media, automotive, and government.

Whatever the industry, I’ve noticed a number of recurring pitfalls. Note that I’m assuming at least a basic level of project management, for example a plan, structure, stakeholders etc. If you don’t have those, then there are plenty of publications you can refer to, and if course there is just common sense. 

The mistakes I’m going to describe in this series are from our real experiences with website and software development projects we’ve seen over many years.

Project Management

Plain Underestimates

This sounds so obvious, but it’s so easy to underestimate how long things take, whatever the task. To make it harder, software and website development normally involves creating something new, and in their enthusiasm people base their estimates on a best case (or even less).

This is difficult to prevent, but I’ve found that peer reviews of estimates are useful, and as a manager it’s wise to consider the worst case!

Part-time Resources

This is related to ‘Simple Underestimates’ above, but more to do with the proportion of a person’s time that can be spent on the project, rather than the number of hours or days it will take to do if that person did nothing else. 

More often than not, a software development project will involve specification, development and testing by people who also have other work, or even a whole other ‘day job’. This makes a lot of sense in that for example you will benefit from testing by a person that is currently familiar with the day-to-day processes of the business. But if that person is unexpectedly landed with urgent extra workload, the project will take second place. 

The only solution here, apart from using dedicated resources (which isn’t always practical or even desirable) is to plan for it – again, consider the worst case.

If you'd like to discuss your website or software development options with The Bridge at no cost or obligation, feel free to call Lawrence on 02 9993 3300 or email lawrence@thebridgedigital.com.au