1 Person Can’t Wear 6 Hats in a Successful Software Project

If you think that hiring one programmer is the most cost-effective way to meet your company’s need for custom software, think again.  Programming is just one part of a software project, and good programmers don’t generally have the skills to perform the other tasks well. It’s easy to see why this is true when you […]

10 Ways to Avoid Software Project Failure

You’re an operational or functional executive, and your company has a business problem that software can fix.  You’re heard the horror stories of budget overruns, software projects that are never completed, or systems that get delivered but don’t work, and you’re having nightmares long before the project begins. How can you make your software project […]

Software Requirements Specification: Time Saving Investment

A software requirements specification is written to give the company that’s paying for the project, the people who will use the system, and the developers who will be writing code a clear shared picture of what an application is supposed to do. photo credit: Understanding via photopin (license) Because this can be a time-consuming task, […]

10 Questions to Answer Before You Replace Your Custom Software System

You worked closely with the designers to be sure your company’s custom database application would achieve your vision for your company.  You brought in your best employees to contribute ideas and learn the in’s and out’s of using the software.  You invested time, money, and resources, and you expected the solution to last for years […]

3 things you shouldn’t accept from your software support team

If the people supporting your software seem like aliens from another planet who have no idea about how your business works, you need to send them back to wherever they came from and find a software team that speaks your language and understands the urgency of fixing critical business software. 1.  Don’t accept “What did […]

When to pull the plug on a software project

Your software project was estimated to require 10,000 hours, but after 10,000 hours of work, only 50% of the functionality is complete, and the project has already exceeded the original budget. Your CFO is yelling, “This has to stop!” Your COO says, “We have to get this new functionality in place.” Here are five questions […]

7 Ways to Avoid Business Software Failure

We talked earlier about how hiring your brother (sister, cousin, nephew, friend . . . ) who is learning to program, putting an inexperienced programmer in charge, and relying on one person to support your business software systems are guaranteed ways to ensure system failure.  Here are specific recommendations to ensure you don’t get stuck frantically […]

How healthy are your business processes?

Do you have days like this? Last night you worked until 11, so you’re running behind this morning and grab a couple of donuts for breakfast. At noon you gulp down two slices of pepperoni pizza as you speed walk to the shop floor to look into a production problem (does that count as exercise?). […]

Custom Software vs Commercial Software

If you have a love-hate relationship with your software, you’re not alone. Many businesses love the increased efficiency and the time savings that software provides but hate the features that don’t perform as expected and despise the workarounds. In more than half of the process improvement projects we’ve conducted, at least one of the findings […]

Computer System Specifications 4: Creating A Solid Investment

Taking the time to create a clear and usable computer system specification is a solid investment in time and money. 6. Invest the time to create a clear specification. After completing steps one through five of the eights steps to creating a specification, you may be thinking, “Too much information!” And you’re right. A good […]