Three major issues can arise as challenges in software development midway through the project. All three involve the interests of stakeholders – executives, customers, and end-users.
You can’t please everyone all of the time. But, by communicating with all stakeholders in the earliest stages, you’ll be able to please almost everyone most of the time.
Executives – Business priorities can change, members of your team may be reassigned, budgets may shift, timelines advanced, etc. The best way to avoid or mitigate business-level challenges is to stay informed about your company. Ask executives to let you know at the earliest possible stage about anything that may impact your project. Talk with other managers to get a sense of emerging issues – like landing a major new customer, budget cuts, marketing campaigns, and the like. Issues in this category are discussed at length in handling Inevitable Technical Debt.
Customers – Inevitably, even with the most streamlined MVP, customers will want to add new software features, metrics, or components midway through development. Scope creep can be avoided or minimized when defining project requirements. It may be an extra step, but sometimes it is necessary to make sure customers are educated about all of their options before the project starts. Companion software for an IOT device might be able to gather data via sensors though not useful for end-users, could have a B2B value. Verify with your customer’s managers and specialists that the project also meets their requirements.
End-Users – In Participatory Design and Development, end-users are also involved in software development projects from the very earliest of stages. This ties into a Minimum Viable Product’s focus in maximizing end-user feedback. Does the very idea of the MVP resonate as something they will want and actually use? A lot of projects are also “designed for what the CEO likes” – which could fall flat with end-users. User feedback serves as a counterbalance to remove design subjectivity – 62% of users like version A, but only 13% like version B. If users aren’t demanding something in a release version, you can show your customer that extra feature can wait.