Nowadays is there anyone who never had to deal with website development or at least thinking of developing a website for business. Everyone knows by now - you gotta expand your business presence, people are all over the internet and you must meet them there! And that is true, this is why mobile shopping application development has been a trend for a while. Development of merchant cashback platform is still is.
Now how do you manage a web application development team, who is working on your project? How do you manage an outsourced development team? It is hard enough to manage web developers and mobile developers even when they are in the same city with you. According to statistics, only 39% of IT projects are finished successfully. How can one manage a website development or mobile application development from abroad while being sure you are not failing and everything is going swell? By knowing main reasons why projects fail and by being able to recognize red flags.
Well, first of all, you need to hire web development team you click with and trust. Make sure that happens and your web development company has your best interests in their heart. When that happens you have to become a part of that web development team (and be sure you are an effective team member) and are watching out for them and yourself. While in the heat of web development process a team may not notice red flags which should alert them the project is going to fail. If you know those signs:
1. No questions asked (fast estimation, guarantees no penny over the budget)
No matter how good your specs are - there is always something missing from website development specifications. The same feature can be implemented through many and many solutions, even the most obvious one. In fact, estimation based on previous experience is quite often as a ballpark, but do not expect it to be the final price. Precise estimation comes from the detailed features description combined with designs and it only comes per sprint (estimate smarter not harder). Everything else in web development and mobile application development has at least 30% deviation.
If your development team provides you a real quick estimation and states that's a final cost, they are probably not involved enough. A good team must be annoying and ask dozens of questions and make sure you are on the same page
Do not expect that a team has exactly the same image in their head for your web application development as you do . You live different lives, you visit different websites, you work in different areas and your brains have different data to process. Plus, brains of the website developers or mobile developers has myriads of algorithms and you can't guess which one they are thinking of. There is more than only your way on how to develop a website. Ask questions and draw sketches so that you understand each other's vision
2. Irregular reports
Do you like to brag? Deliver good news or tell people about your achievements? Yes, of course. It is in human nature, the desire for acknowledgement, no matter how independent we are. Same true for great web developers, good web developers, outstanding mobile application developers and any kind of developers needed. They also like the satisfaction of their work complete, discussing it and they also don;t like talking about failures.
Web development team who is not delivering you good news and keeps silent is most likely withholding bad news. Again, it is merely a human nature ("Unless you say it it is not true") to concentrate on good things and ignore bad things. Not saying we have a problem gives people a hope it may go away. People who went through full-cycle development process know no problem ever goes away. Either you solve your problem or you collect them
Make sure you have regular reports schedule with your web development team. Make sure you take an action to discuss web development issues with your team. It will give you a chance to troubleshoot and regroup necessary.
3. Management decisions do not match business goals
Always remember why you started developing your own website in first place. You did it to build your audience, to promote your products, to increase your income, to create more market for yourself. For whatever reason you started website development please always remember it. Any decision you make in respect of your digital product must be made based on the project business goals.
That should be true for you and for your web development company. Either one of you starts making decisions which contradict your business goal - that is a huge red flag. Your mobile application or website is now evolving uncontrollably in its own chaotic direction. Keep your eye on the prize. Remember why you started it. Ask yourself if decisions you are making today are still taking you to where you wanted to go
4. Same issues coming up constantly
Issues are normal. Even when an experience web developer is working on mobile application development or website development they will still have issues. Let us not dive into a nature of such possible issues. It is normal to have problems during web development or app development. It is not normal to have same issues every time, though.
You can not take bug fixing out of the development process. Testing and debugging is an integral part of high-quality web development. Even from the name of the process you can see that fixing is the main point. Fixing a bug means your development team
- Knows the reason for this bug to exist
- Knows what to do to fix the reason
- Can explain why that bug is not going to appear again
If they don't know why that bug appears they can't fix it. If the team can't identify the origin of some bug right away - that is okay. Some issues are tricky and require more time. But if the team has to fix same exact bug many times, probably they do not know the reason it exists or have no idea how to fix it.
5. Poor communication
Must I tell you that communication is the key? Make sure you use high-level features description, highly descriptive mockups or sketches to communicate your idea to the development team clearly. Have team meetings, use agile development approach. Don't just give orders to your development team and receive reports. Talk to your web developers. Communicate your ideas and let them communicate theirs to you.
Either side grows deaf to another - you fail. You don't listen to your team is like self-medicating. They know better. They are great web developers, they are experienced application developers they have seen more solutions and they know pro and con of it. Listen to your development team. On the other hand, make sure your development team is listening to you. You are a product owner, you set business goals and you have to make sure they are meat. Make sure web developers or mobile developers know what the goals are.
Noticed any of these five signs or even all of them? Do not panic. Communicate