Where do innovators go wrong in developing tech products?

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Study indicates that 25% of tech projects fail at the start; approx. 20% show no ROI at all and around 50% of them show the need of a rework as soon as the project is completed.

While the tech development projects fail, interestingly the reasons for these failures are non-technical. Reports say that 54% of these failures are errors in strategy and planning rather than any technical issues.

What goes wrong?

The Missing Objective

Companies miss defining a clear objective and a measurable expected outcome. Many times companies define objectives like ‘this tool will increase productivity’ or ‘this is for customer satisfaction’ which turn out to be too vague as an objective for tech development. A well-defined objective should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. These typically include end-goals such as specific improvements in performance.

E.g. Decrease customer turnaround time by quickly finding solutions to customer problems. Timeframe: 8 weeks,
Measurement: customer satisfaction score of 8.8 or more.

Lack of RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed)

When everyone is responsible, no one is. And this holds true for most tech development projects. To promote team effort, technology firms end up involving the entire team in most of the tasks. Result? It makes everyone feel great but there is certainly a grey area about who should be consulted and who should be informed for any situation. By not defining ‘the one person’ who is responsible and the other one who will be accountable, tech projects lead to failure.

Silos and Non-Uniform Data

If tech teams work in silos, without access to complete information, it is a significant problem. Unfortunately in scenarios when this isn’t given enough importance it leads to a misunderstanding of the expected output of the project and leads to failure.

So if your development team knows the final objective of the ongoing development, the testing team should also know the exact same information, in the same words and enough details. Similarly, the feature document that the test team has should be accessible to other teams that are work on the project as well.

Flexible Milestones and Timelines

While milestones are defined by most companies, they are not sealed enough which allows firms to skip or merge milestones. This affects both, the future milestones and the quality of the final product. Any leeway that the teams take to stick to the defined milestone affects the future timelines and in the rush to meet the final timeline, companies expedite and skip some steps resulting in a poor quality product.

UAT and Testing Loopholes

To ensure they meet the timelines firms often skip the most critical level of testing and at times they just do a patchwork on the test findings. Giving enough time on testing and most importantly fixing bugs leads to improved development. Firms lack planning the test bug closure process which acts as a loophole to the final quality product.

We recently developed a “GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL TECH PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT” you may find this useful.

2 COMMENTS

  1. My view is – first area for concern is incorrect product – market fit
    And second is, inability to show impact on bottom line of the clients because of the service or product offered.

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