The latest insights from 50 techies who love what they do.
Modernizing software is the process of introducing new technology to enhance or expand your current software assets. Modernization projects are typically driven by new market opportunities that drive revenue or technology innovations that reduce cost.
Modernization projects can and do face the same challenges of any other major IT project. Did you know that half of enterprise software projects go over budget by 50% or more? Additionally, those that are delivered are either delivered late or with only a third of the features by the due date. You can ensure your project is not one of these statistics by avoiding the top three traps described below.
Most businesses we work with struggle with developing an ROI-based goal as part of the project mission statement. A project without a clear mission and definition of success will always miss its goals regardless of the quality of talent involved. How could you possibly hit a target that isn’t defined by measurable outcomes? Since Modernization projects by their nature retain and grow revenue, the ROI should already be defined in terms of anticipated revenue retained and predicted revenue growth.
The following tips will ensure success by anchoring your project to measurable goals:
Dreaming up a product feature list is relatively easy. Determining the least amount of work possible to achieve the mission and goals of the project is what is rather difficult. The creation of the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is a critical step to project success.
There will be competing interests and differing perspectives and these will need to be resolved in a series of team meetings before a consensus on a MVP can be achieved. If your project has not resolved these, then your project teams will be pushed and pulled relentlessly throughout the project depending on which authority figure is speaking in any given meeting. Without an MVP you might as well double your budget, triple your timeline, and prep HR to start looking for new people to replace the talent that just walked out the door!
The following tips will ensure you translate your project mission and goals into a tangible Minimal Viable Product (MVP):
“Scope Creep” is a term used to describe the addition of new software features beyond the original scope of the project. It can undermine project success in multiple ways. When a team creates a plan to achieve revenue goals and establishes a budget & timeline, then expectations will be set within the business!
As the scope expands it changes expectations that impact delivery. This has a psychological effect on the team as achievements are delayed. Humans like to feel success and when teams cannot win because expectations keep changing, then enthusiasm and productivity will erode. Yank it away from their grasp and they lose faith that they can succeed.
There are three “Scope Creep Scenarios” that we encounter on almost every project:
Focusing on avoiding these three traps will increase the likelihood of project success, both meeting deadlines and delivering a working application. Staying true to the Minimal Viable Product is the most critical of all.