Guest Blog by Sanjiv Prabhakaran: Struggling with a Never-Ending Software Project?

A few months ago, an entrepreneur approached us with a very typical problem that we have seen happen many times. His project was within budget (so he thought) but far from complete after 6 months of time and effort. So, although he thought it was within budget, the fact was that for the money spent so far nothing major was accomplished. After some review, we found that he had taken all the basic steps to outline the initial requirements and to prepare the site layouts, the wire-frames, time-lines, etc., but he was missing the key factor of proper development and monitoring practices. There was a lack of well-defined target milestones that could be measured properly. Despite periodic status meetings and display of some progress, the important features were not emerging in the design, and there were many bugs even during simple demonstrations. Since he was not technical enough it was difficult for him to gauge what was happening.

It is crucial to ensure that any development project has a well-defined strategy for the development approach, proper project management, quality assurance and testing phases well planned. Ideally, the team must consist of a project manager, appropriate number of programmers and database specialists, and one or more quality assurance and quality control engineers. When a project is outsourced to a remote team, it is very important to ensure that there is a local project coordinator with whom you may directly discuss project statuses.

About the Blogger:
Sanjiv Prabhakaran is a senior executive with 25 years of software development management and technical architecture experience for applications in fleet management, automatic vehicle location systems, wireless mobile data applications, enterprise web applications for business management, corporate real estate, and financial markets. He holds an MSEE from Ohio State University. He has also been the inventor and recipient of 9 U.S. patents in the fields of Fleet Management, Mapping technology and Mobile Data suite. In addition, Prabhakaran’s experience includes image processing, complex GPS integration, radio-modems and data terminals.

In early 2002, Mr. Prabhakaran founded Bytes, Inc. to provide very low cost and rapid software outsourcing and project management services. Please see http://www.bytesinc.com. Prior to this position he was vice president of engineering and R&D at BayLogics, a software solutions e-business company offering enterprise-level asset management, lease management and financial applications to the retail, telecommunications, healthcare and energy industries to F1000 customers. He previously served in senior management roles at Mobile Information Systems and Chronos Systems where he spearheaded the development and implementation of Fleet Management systems.

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