In the world of technology implementations, there are a myriad of reasons why a project may seem to be taking longer to be completed than was originally expected. The most benign but far more common than expected is that the project timeline wasn’t scoped properly from the get-go and false hope was given for an earlier date than was actually possible. This is a mistake that is made oftentimes by companies with limited experience in these projects, and can easily be avoided by choosing a company with a more solid track-record of experience and reputation in the industry. As for the remaining reasons for delay, there’s more ground to cover.
If you think about it, developing software can be quite a daunting challenge: a software developer, as big of an expert as they may be, has to fully grasp the vision of the executive or business owner that is telling them exactly what they want – in their words. Even though this tends to also become easier with experience, it’s never easy to truly transmit a vision, especially when the people communicating don’t necessarily speak in the same terms, and it’s even harder to encompass someone else’s vision of what they want on the first run. That’s why a crucial step to this process is to manage expectations from the very beginning with feasible timelines, revisions, test runs, etc. so that if any important details are missed, it’s a known condition among all parties that there’s room for growth and further development. All in all, these changes can delay the go-live date quite a bit.
A lot of times, the customer has a very basic idea of what they want, but it’s either not easily explained to the developers, or once they see it, they realize what’s missing and ask for more. Sometimes, it’s a small visual fix, and other times it requires rewriting entire batches of code so that one additional function can be included in the flow.
When we think of programming, many of us have very limited school experience as background, so it’s almost impossible to put ourselves in the shoes of developers that design, write, and put into play fully functioning applications, websites, software, etc. and how much skill that process requires. A software developer has to be well-versed in many areas and be prepared to make a multitude of changes along the way. An experienced software company will take you one step back – to the drawing board – to reevaluate all existing processes, to make sure that things make sense to continue to be done in the way that they’re currently being completed, or to help you redesign the new and improved process.
On the other hand, most IT implementation projects come to be in a matter of months, maybe over a year depending on the size of the project. But when you think about it, don’t software developers remind you of engineers? The process is so meticulous and lengthy, it’s no wonder it’s divided in phases and needs time to be completed. Buildings take a long time between the moment that the project is decided on, the blueprint is done, and the actual infrastructure is built. It’s no coincidence that the word infrastructure works just as well for the software world. With this in mind, if we don’t expect architectural or engineering projects to be completed so quickly, how come we want software development to be an overnight thing?
Software implementation projects can be a nightmare when you’re not partnered up with the right organization to bring your vision to life within a reasonable amount of time. A lot of companies end up with higher cost projects because they initially go with an option that seems more cost-effective, but ends up being more expensive – not to mention the time wasted. As long as you know that you’re in the hands of a company with a trusted reputation in the industry, a solid plan of development with allowance for add-ons and modifications, and that you can regularly check in with to ensure that they are moving forward parallel to your vision, you’re on the right path. If you want more information about how Lagash handles projects, how we plan out timelines, etc. contact us for an assessment below!