Why do so many digital/software/IT projects ‘fail’..?

1) Scope

I can almost guarantee that from the outset of every single digital/software/IT project everyone involved wants a good outcome; designing and building software would have to be one of the most enjoyable ‘jobs’ you can be in, for both client and as a developer. It’s by no means easy though; developing software is hard and at times can be super frustrating. The hard part isn’t usually coding or building the product though (although there will be hurdles; code that doesn’t work, bugs to fix &/or functions and features that take much longer to implement than expected — you can counter all of these things with padding time in your scope) by far the biggest hurdle and frustration is scope; or more, changing scope or scope that was never even close to detailed enough from the outset.

2) Timelines

This goes almost hand in hand with scope; when the client thinks they have provided all the intricate details of a projects requirements to a developer and the developer provides an itemised quote and even line item costings to each function within the project scope all is fine and dandy at the kick-off; things can however go sideways when a simple feature or function that was scoped to take 8 hours ends up taking 16 and then the next which was scoped to take 16 takes 32, 10 takes 40 and away we go; all because scope was not provided properly or in enough detail from the outset. If more money/budget is available to allocate to these features not properly understood its fine; but sometimes its not.

So how do we fix these issues?

I’d say that is is obvious and unfortunately it is – but again its not easy…. it still may not solve the issue as people are still involved and as people we all make mistakes and assumptions; on ourselves and on each other.



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Nicholas Cole

Nicholas Cole

Creative Technical Director, founder at hitori-inc.com, an app design & development studio.