Measuring success in a custom software development project is a grey area. While the development team might assume that success has been reached upon deployment of the custom software, the client might have different criteria in measuring success.
Defining the success of a custom software development project is a factor of whom you ask. The point is, without specific criteria, the boundaries of success cannot be ascertained. The confusion further lies in who gets to determine whether a custom software project is considered as successful.
According to a study by Gartner, when measuring success, 44% should be related to IT delivery while 56% should be related to business outcomes.
It should be noted that there are metrics for measuring software success such as Sprint Burndown, Team Velocity Metric, and Throughput, among others.
There are other areas that need to be considered when measuring success in a custom software development project. They include;
· Does the Project Adhere to The Schedule?
For every custom software development project, there should be a schedule. The best point to start your success review is adherence to the stated timeline.
Let’s look at a custom software that is meant to be deployed for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The custom software was delivered after the first few matches were played.
Even though the custom software went on to record massive success, it still failed in adhering to the delivery timeline.
The measure of custom software success is heavily linked to the timeline.
· The Timeline of The Quality Review
The end of a project should not be the only period for success review. There should be milestones put in place to track success at different levels of the project.
During the project, you should be able to ascertain whether the project is being managed in line with best practices. It’s best to find out whether the quality of the project is in line with the set goals before the project goes too far.
There should be a fixed meeting point during the projects between the clients and the development team to measure progress and quality.
· The Level of Stakeholder’s Satisfaction
The stakeholders in a custom software development project are not just the client and the development team. There should be a means to bring in the end-users to measure the level of satisfaction.
More importantly, the industry in which the custom software will be utilized should also be considered. There should be a means to test their reaction to the project. There should be full support of the relevant stakeholders at every point of the project.
Don’t expect the stakeholders to be fuller at home with the project; what is essential is to understand their reasons.
· How is The Custom Software Performing in Relation to Business Case?
The final measure of success is to consider the business case to the agreed requirements. Be sure that the problem the custom software seeks to solve still exists. It’s going to be of no use to deploy custom software that has no feasible business case.
Always check that the business case still exists during the project. Of what use is a lofty idea that everyone is happy about. Yet, in the end, the business environment has moved on.
During your quality review, always consider the business case. Evaluate the business case in light of the prevailing business environment.
While the measure of custom software project success is relative, attention needs to be paid from the get-go.
Our approach at SVCIT is to engage the client right from the onset. We immerse ourselves in the market, industry, and get to know what the competition looks like. More so, we align ourselves with the trends to be able to advise the clients on achieving success.
For every client that comes to us, we provide the help they need to achieve success with their project.
Author: SVCIT Editorial
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