What are the challenges of a major IT project?
Massive web projects have become commonplace within our modern digital world. Companies are striving to create high-performance, scalable and highly functional online platforms in order to meet the growing needs of users and businesses. These ambitious projects offer many opportunities, but they also present project teams with a series of complex and demanding challenges.
Is the project I’m working on considered a big web project?
A large web project, or a complex IT project generally involves the following aspects:
- a multidisciplinary team,
- a significant investment in time and human resources,
- has a duration of several months or even several years,
- presents advanced technical challenges.
To sum up, the key words of a great web project include the following:
- significant human resources
- long duration
- technical challenges
Some telling figures on large web projects
Let’s start this article with some statistics that are good to know for anyone working within an IT project environment.
Extended development time
Large-scale web projects require a considerable investment of time. According to a study conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI), almost 75% of IT projects exceed their originally planned deadlines 😮, which results in budget overruns and loss of profitability.
As the size and scope of projects increase, the levels of complexity increase. About 78% of project managers consider increasing complexity to be the biggest challenge in managing development projects, according to a survey by KeyedIn.
Large web projects often involve cross-functional teams working on various features simultaneously. Coordinating these teams can be difficult, with about 62% of organizations believing that cross-functional coordination is one of the top project management challenges, according to research from Wellington.
Large projects have inherent risks such as:
– security vulnerabilities,
– performance issues,
– and integration challenges.
According to the Standish Group Chaos Report, only 29% of IT projects are considered successful, while 19% are considered complete failures.
Large projects are subject to constant changes in stakeholder requirements. According to a survey conducted by VersionOne, 52% of respondents consider managing changing requirements to be one of the top challenges of managing agile projects.
Faced with these challenges, project teams must demonstrate agility, collaboration and careful planning to carry out their projects. The identification of best practices and the ability to adapt quickly to technological changes and user demands become essential elements for success.
Let’s now move on to a scenario between a Product Owner and developers who find themselves in difficulty in dealing with customer requirements, i.e. they are overwhelmed by the volume of significant returns following the customer’s acceptance of the software developed and delivered in iterations.
Dialogue: “How not to be drowned in customer feedback?”
Product Owner (PO) addressing developers: Hello everyone. I hope you’re doing well. Today, I would like to talk about an important problem that we encountered during the last recipes that the client’s team carried out. This is the management of the prioritization of the processing of customer returns. I’ve noticed that often we struggle to decide which returns will be processed first. Some returns seem more urgent than others. How can we improve our approach to better manage this situation?
Back developer: I agree that we have a real problem in prioritizing customer feedback. Perhaps we could establish clear criteria to assess the urgency and importance of each return? For example, we could consider the impact on the user experience, the frequency of the problem and the number of users affected.
Front developer: What we could do is give ourselves scores for each return and rank them according to these scores. This would help us know what needs to be prioritized.
PO: I love that idea. On the other hand, how could we detect feedback that has a considerable impact on the satisfaction of business users? How could we handle these special cases?
Front-end developer: We also need to be flexible in the processes we put in place. For example, we could set aside a little extra time in each development sprint to address these specific issues.
Back Developer: I like the idea of flexibility. This would allow us to remain responsive to client needs while maintaining a certain level of planning. In addition, I think it would also be a good idea to include the customer in the prioritization process, in the scoring that we talked about. They could provide us with valuable information about the relative importance of each return.
PO: Absolutely! We make sure we address the issues that matter most to them. It remains to be seen in what form it is involved. We’re all on the same wavelength, that’s great!
This little dialogue gives you insight into the day-to-day challenges faced by functional and technical teams. Let’s end this article by addressing the usual issues that teams face in large application development projects.
To deal with these challenges, the ideal is to have an excellent product owner or functional project manager. Contact us, we can assign you this resource from our various offices in Madagascar, Mauritius or even in our web agency in Vietnam.
Product Owner challenges on large web, mobile or software development projects
1. Complex planning
Managing a project of this magnitude requires detailed and precise planning. Project managers must be effective in the following tasks:
– distributing resources efficiently,
– defining milestones,
– estimating deadlines,
– and anticipating any problems.
2. Coordination of multiple teams
It is common for several development teams to be working on different parts of the project. Coordinating these teams, ensuring their harmonious collaboration and the integration of their work is not a task that everyone can carry out successfully.
3. Risk management
Long-term projects are exposed to various risks such as:
– specification changes,
– unforeseen delays,
– and technical problems.
Project managers should anticipate these risks and put in place appropriate mitigation measures. Just like we saw above in the dialogue.
4. Communication and cooperation
With multiple stakeholders, including development teams, customers, end users and internal stakeholders (management), project managers hold the key role, as a conductor, of maintaining constant communication in order to ensure expectations are aligned and needs are met.
5. Budget management
On projects of this duration, it is crucial to effectively monitor and manage costs. Project managers are also responsible for ensuring that resources are used wisely and that the budget is respected.
In conclusion, large web projects remain exciting opportunities despite the daunting challenges. They require a meticulous approach and effective coordination. By taking up these challenges with determination, the teams create innovative products that shape the future of technology. This is the realm of learning opportunities and constant progress.