May 5, 2015 // By Mark Smith
In the 75 years since the invention of the digital computer, countless software projects have taken place. Research shows that software projects fail on some level as much as 80% of the time. Why is it after all this time, cracking the code of how to deliver software is so elusive?
Software is like the story of the blind men feeling an object to determine what it is. Each claims it is a different object; a tree, a rope, a snake, a spear, a wall and a fan. Each is correct, but none are seeing the big picture. Only when they communicate effectively does their collaboration enlighten them as to the correct solution: an elephant.
When determining the requirements for software, the context of the overall problem can get lost in the details – the parts are evident, but not the whole elephant. Add to this the rapid pace of change in business and it’s no wonder that software projects are a challenge. Lacking clear requirements determining the best solution is difficult. To see the clearest path to a solution collaborative communications is key.
Ask yourself – are you communicating effectively with others? Do you see how the parts fit together? Are you making assumptions about others' knowledge base or your understanding of a problem that may hinder the success of the project? In other words – are you seeing the same big picture that others are?
Project rarely fail due to the technology selected. They fail due to a lack of communications. Like getting an elephant to move – getting a beast of a project to move in a desired direction requires good communications.