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Software Rescue vs. Termination: When to Call it Quits


Software and app development projects don’t always go according to plan. Deciding between software rescue versus termination isn’t easy. When to Call it Quits? According to Gartner, less than 0.01 percent of all consumer mobile apps will become financially successful

Perhaps you chose the wrong outsourced development partner, or maybe internal priorities at your enterprise have changed. Either way, when things go off track you’ll need to decide whether to perform a software rescue effort or terminate the project entirely.

The 4 Stages of Assessing a Derailed Software Development Project

The process of making the decision to scrap your project or implement a rescue effort can be broken down into the following four stages:

  • Assessment, during which you investigate all issues that have occurred from as many perspectives as possible.
  • Recommendation, during which you make a decision about whether to terminate the project or move forward with a rescue effort.
  • Planning, during which you plan how you will accomplish your goals.
  • Execution, during which you carry out your plans from the previous stage.

Analytical Factors to Assess While Deciding to Terminate or Rescue  an App Project

The Assessment stage described above will be the most labor-intensive stage of the decision-making process.

During Assessment, you’ll want to dig into the following factors with the key decision makers at your enterprise:

  • Magnitude: How important is the project to your company?
  • Fitness: Is your project ‘fit’ to be continued as is, or does it need to be redefined entirely?
  • Impact: Are the necessary resources such as a qualified engineering team available to rescue your project?
  • Motivation: Is everyone on board and inspired enough to carry out a rescue effort?

If the conditions of the market and the project’s technical requirements haven’t changed since you first decided to begin your project, then it’s probably worth moving forward with a software rescue effort.

The Implications of Performing a Software Rescue Effort

If after your analysis and assessment you decide that your software development project is worth rescuing, your goals should be to redefine the project’s plan, set updated and feasible deadlines, and correct any problems that derailed the project during your last attempt.

One of the biggest factors once you’ve decided to move forward with a rescue effort is finding the software rescue team that’s best suited to help you get things right this time around.

Perhaps the engineering team you worked with during your last attempt is qualified enough to do better this time, but in some cases, you’ll need to find an outsourced team that specializes in software rescue projects.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Work to a Specialized Software Rescue Team

Outsourcing the development components of your rescue project will allow you to focus on the business side of things while not having to worry about the actual building of the technical functionality of your digital solution.

A top-notch outsourced rescue team will appoint a dedicated project manager to ensure seamless communication between teams, and that the project stays on track and within budget at all times.

Plus, these specialized software rescue teams will know and share the most effective means for identifying the root cause of why you ended up with a derailed project in the first place, and will be able to provide advice on how to avoid the same mistakes in the future.

In general, specialized software rescue teams will help you to:

  • Fix defects in your product
  • Put new workflow regulations and processes in place
  • Rework and/or complete the necessary project documentation
  • Build a detailed recovery plan
  • Set up rules for quality control and progress reporting

The Implications of Terminating a Project

Most enterprises hold the perception that project termination is essentially equivalent to failure. However, this isn’t the case.

After thoroughly assessing the state of your derailed project, you and your team may come to the conclusion that the best move is to terminate the project entirely.

Maybe the deliverables of the project can’t be produced within the previously established timeline. Perhaps your company’s business goals have shifted. When circumstances like this present themselves, choosing to terminate a project isn’t a failure at all — it’s a step forward in the right direction.

But how can you be 100% certain that termination is the right move, and that you’re not leaving opportunities on the table? Well, you can start by performing the following actions:

  • Check, and recheck the possibility of project recovery
  • Define and communicate your reasoning for cancellation to all stakeholders
  • Specify data points such as costs, damages, and timeline ineffectiveness, that backup your rationale for termination
  • Turn your decision to terminate the project into a learning experience for all parties involved

If you do choose to move forward with project termination, you’ll need to consult with all departments of your enterprise that hold stake in the project, receive approval from the top down, draft a written statement to team members and customers if necessary, and formally announce the termination.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve decided to move forward with a software project rescue, but need an experienced and qualified team to make sure things go right this time, then look no further — Koombea is here to help!

We specialize in software rescue projects for enterprises of all sizes. Our team of 95 engineers have delivered over 500+ digital solutions over 11 years to some of today’s leading enterprises. We’re familiar with the rescue process, and can provide customized consultation that will allow you to build the digital solution you and your users want, while remaining on time and on budget.

To learn more about Koombea and our software rescue chops, feel free to schedule a free 30 minute consultation today!



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