According to a 2007 study conducted by Market Dynamics, 62 percent of all IT projects miss their deadlines. This worrying statistic was accompanied by the revelation that 49 percent of projects go over budget and 41% fail to deliver the benefits that were expected. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
"Communication is so important in long-term projects," said Mark Ogier, Managing Director of Milton Keynes-based software developer MMCC Consultants. "You have to make sure that everyone is on the same page and the best way to achieve this is with regular meetings and updates. We know how important it is to ensure that we are completely transparent with our customers."
Good planning, clear communication and precise documentation are important to the progress and completion of all business projects and vital to those concerning IT.
First and foremost a thorough project evaluation should be completed before any work is started or any contracts are signed. Understanding what the client needs from their computer software, both at present and in the future, is essential to the IT software development company in order to decide what sort of project package and management the client requires. Then they can be transparent and clear about what they can offer the client to improve their software and ensure that it can be expanded in the future.
"Regular meetings to discuss the project’s progress are also really important," said Mark. "It gives both the client and us the opportunity to air any queries, ask any questions and make sure that all is going as expected. Also, if any hurdles have arisen it gives us a chance to agree on ways to overcome them."
Finally, ensuring all paperwork is accurate and up-to-date will leave both parties in no doubt as to what they can expect from the project. This is especially important when working on long projects where you may have built up more of an informal relationship where things have been agreed verbally and not documented correctly. Documenting all agreements, alterations and decisions made along the way will lead to the most desirable outcome for all: a successful IT project, completed on time and within budget.