Just because it is Spooky Season doesn’t mean your current software project needs to be scary too. In the shadowy world of software development, the most frightening horror stories aren’t those about ghosts, zombies, and monsters – but rather, missed deadlines, overrun budgets, and never-ending quality issues. Zoinks! If you are losing sleep (not to mention time and money) from similar nightmares, don’t fear. In this blog, we are going to explore the bone-chilling “nightmares” of software development that keep project managers and developers up at night. More importantly, we are going to unmask common root causes of each nightmare so you can avoid them and sleep peacefully.
The Poltergeist of Miscommunication
Miscommunication is like a poltergeist haunting your project. Team members often misinterpret requirements, stakeholders have conflicting visions, and chaos ensues. Clear, open lines of communication and documentation can help exorcise this specter. In our 20+ years of experience, we have found that vague and incomplete requirements are often a key root cause of confusion among developers and testers, which results in a scary amount of churn. To ensure your software team, leadership and stakeholders are all on the same page, thoroughly grooming your requirements is essential. We use an AI tool, ScopeMaster, that automatically find weaknesses and bugs in requirements, and is super cool because it also identifies missing requirements. Check it out or call us to show you what it can do.
The Never-Ending Deadline Haunt
Imagine a project that’s always 80% done, month after month. Being months or years past schedule with still no end in sight is like being lost in a haunted corn maze with monsters and dead-ends lurking behind each corner. We recently had a client reach out for help who was on year five of a two-year project. Talk about a scary situation!! The key to finding the exit (aka your release date)? Proper project planning, applying a legit Agile methodology, and tracking AND reporting progress against your plan. If your projects never seem to get done or you regularly miss your commitment dates, learn more about our On-Time Software Consulting service. Similar to how navigation apps like “WAZE” help you arrive to your destination on time, we can guide you through the complex “MAZE” of software development.
The Bug that Wouldn’t Die
Nothing is scarier than a software bug that refuses to die. You think it’s gone, but it keeps coming back, wreaking havoc on your code and frustrating your users. Or worse, each time your developers fix one bug, they accidentally create a bunch more. Why does this matter? It’s like a giant spider with an egg sack of babies ready to be born. Each stage of development a bug slips through the cracks, it becomes 5x more expensive to fix. Vigilantly checking the quality at every stage of development will prevent this spine-tingling scenario from occurring. Shift-left and test, test, and test some more to ensure you can sleep tight and not let the software-bugs bite!
The Ghostly Vanishing Act
Have you ever had a team member mysteriously disappear right when you needed them most? They become the ghostly figure in your project, leaving you scrambling to find replacements or redistribute work. A contingency plan and cross-training can ward off this spectral occurrence. Do you have a backup plan if your lead-developer unexpectedly gets sick or quits? Or, do you have a developer who is simply just hard to reach and goes days without responding? These “disappearing developers” can be avoided by clearly establishing expectations, reviewing these expectations regularly, and having weekly one-on-ones to get to know each teammate as a human being. For more insight, read our leadership book, The Coach and the Geek, Building a Kick-Butt culture.
This Halloween, don’t be afraid to confront your ghoulish software development nightmares. If you’re unsure where to start or feel lost in the dark, our team of experts here at Lighthouse has been guiding the way for over 20 years. Contact us for a spooky good time or explore our website to learn more!