The idea of using software to run a business has been a reality for multiple decades. In fact, many businesses could not exist in the modern economy without the productivity enhancements and competitive advantages provided by custom business software. While a great library of software product options have emerged, many mid-market and enterprise businesses maintain a number of custom software applications, built specifically for their business’s unique needs.
As a business changes, the applications are usually maintained by either internal or external staff, but at some point, a business may look at the gaps in functionality of an application, or at its cost to maintain and consider making a change.
After examining the options, your company may decide that engaging in a software modernization project may be the best route to bring the software up to par. But there are a lot of pitfalls involved in such a large project. Here are just a few that you should be aware of:
- Adding new features
In order to justify the investment, businesses often want to enhance functionality or add features. Don’t fall into this trap before you consider how these additions will impact budget and timeline.
- Scope creep
Proper project management and scoping is very important. Without it, you’ll end up adding to the project bit by bit, which can result in the project always being “just two weeks” from release.
- Underestimation of complexity
Don’t assume that re-writing an existing application will make the project simple. Maintaining existing functionality and managing migration of users to the new platform can be very complex.
- Arbitrary deadlines
Excited stake holders or project managers often announce dates for a “new release” that aren’t based on fact. Set proper expectations and be up front to avoid disappointment and confusion.
- Failing to plan for go-live
The migration and go-live for a new application is just important as the product itself. Leave time for a practice run and make a cohesive plan that accounts for testing, integration, installation, etc.
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