Here are some of the key things I’ve seen lead to problems in software projects, most of which are not directly related to the core development (design, build, and test) of the project.
Basically, if more than 2 of these are visible in a project, that project will fail. 2 or less, that project will go bad, but might be saved by overworking individuals or individuals taking initiative beyond their responsibility to save the project.
- Lack of an identified executive sponsor
- Failure to identify a limited subset of people who are empowered and responsible for articulating the business requirements of the system
- Lack of clarity as to the actual goals to be achieved or the underlying problem to be solved.
- No shared vision of what a successful outcome would look like among the various stakeholders
- Project positioned as an IT-centric solution to a business-centric problem without a corresponding business strategy, process, and change management plan in place
- Insufficient resources (time, money, people) allocated to the project
- Lack of qualified staff in key roles (data architect, functional lead, etc.)
- Poor governance and scope control
- Scope Creep