There are several important factors that contribute largely to a software project’s outcome. It takes careful planning, attention to detail and effective communication to make a project successful. With vigilant management and a close eye on the deliverables, a company can ensure project success each time. Some other key factors are:
Clear Requirements and Specifications: A lot of researches have pointed out that this is one of the most critical success factors, if not the most critical. It is a very common occurrence that the programmer starts to code without a proper understanding of the requirements and specifications. The impact of faulty requirements management can have a potentially disastrous outcome.
Effective Project Management: Project management is a process to create an environment so that every team member can do his/her work effectively, and a workflow to align everyone’s objectives to the project’s objectives. When all the above are in place, project management is going to be effective. It is imperative that both at the buyers and sellers end clear project management responsibilities are assigned.
Reward/Penalties for timely deliveries: The team working on a particular project should be rewarded for the timely deliveries of the project phases, at the same time appropriate penalties should be enforced if the phase/milestone isn’t delivered on time.
Implementing an iterative development process: One of the big advantages of an iterative development process is that it minimizes risk, which is absolutely critical for any software project. As the project is in the process of development, the customer and senior management should be able to see exactly how the system is progressing. Because it is being done iteratively, all stakeholders will be able to instantly determine if the parts of the system in place are coming together as had been envisioned. Some examples of iterative development methodologies are- Scrum, Agile, RAD etc.
Good project closure: If a project does not have a good closure, then it will possibly continue to consume resources. The project team must be firm and agree with the customer that all important success factors have been met. Confirmation of the project delivery, testing, and release must be agreed upon.