IDAP BLOG Custom Software Development

Challenges in Software Development Projects


Software project development is easy once you know how to do it. However, you do need to take time to consider all the biggest challenges in software project development. 

Although programming in its various forms is one of the most rapidly evolving industries in the world, it is full of risks and numerous challenges all along the way. And no matter how good you may be at planning and delegating tasks, you cannot predict what kind of production issue will occur around the corner. 

Here is a short informative checklist of the most common and irritating challenges in software projects that most developers can face during product creating. 

The Most Common Challenges in Software Development

Challenges in Software Development

Now, let’s discuss the biggest problems in software development that may occur in your practice. Keep in mind that no matter how big or small your project, there is always a possibility of failure. The main purpose of this checklist is not to ruin your confidence about your career path, but to encourage you to never give up on looking for the best way out of the most awkward and unpredictable situations.

1. Scope estimation

Let’s take a closer look at one of the most widespread software development challenges: project scope estimation. Most of us tend to make wrong assumptions when estimating time, resources and effort needed to complete the task. In software development, correct and adequate estimation of the scope of work is a basic condition that demands the usage of project management tools and methods.

project scope estimation

This step is all about teamwork and smart planning. If a project manager lacks leadership qualities and necessary skills for smart and effective management, it is the first mistake. The planning stage of any software project development is a crucial step for understanding what technology stack and what kind of IT experts the manager of the project needs to engage. This stage of project development also reveals how well the team understands their client’s needs and requirements for the final product. Thus, it is also quite a psychological challenge because as we all know, all people lie. At least, they may hide something that will turn out to be a game-changing factor. Thus, smart project scope estimation demands questions, a lot of questions and clear answers. It also demands a clear and objective vision of the product’s integration when it is ready for release. 

2. Competition

The next challenge you can face during software project development nowadays is high competition on the market. It is needless to remind that the IT industry is evolving fast and brilliant experts are emerging in the most variable spots of this planet. The following infographics show approximate spending on different IT services in the regions with high sources involved in programming. 

high competition on the market

Thus, it is evident that the global information technology industry will stick to the growth and development tendency rather than decaying. The industry resembles a stampede with how many people are getting into IT with little expertise or without any specific skills, but with a high budget to invest. But unlike the gold fever, IT allows a diversity of thinking and expressing; it doesn’t limit a person to certain working locations, for instance. That is why, in order to cope with this challenge, a lot of companies hire specialists who do not possess perfect IT skills but have expertise in macro- and micro-economics, psychology, statistics and other fields. Knowing how to code and design is not enough these days to stand out from the crowd of numerous software service providers. 

3. User requirements

changeable user level requirements

User demands in the IT industry seem to be some of the most changeable phenomena. If you find it hard to follow the latest technology tendencies, changeable user level requirements are a far more serious challenge in software development projects. Changes in the requirements to the user-side details provoke changes in the code and the whole concept of the project. The more changes the team does to the existing code, the more errors and hidden issues will occur. Your client’s demands and needs must be taken into account, as well as the needs of the core audience. Even though examining and considering all the possible user requirements is crucial in software development, very often the developers team lacks the most crucial knowledge about the people they are building a product for. Either the team tries to meet their stakeholders’ expectations, or simply ignores some of the evident data about consumers. Current user requirements may go ignored, which automatically makes the whole project concept incorrect.

To avoid such mistakes, you need to do a lot of long, diligent and scrupulous studying, comparing, and analyzing. What is also important here is to stop considering the changeable environment a problem for progress, but use it to find new opportunities and possibilities for successful software development. This is when flexibility and readiness to adapt to constant changes play the main role in the whole process. 

4. Technology stack

finding sufficient technology stack

After the project has a good plan and it has been approved and greenlit by stakeholders, there comes one of the toughest challenges of software development, which is finding sufficient technology stack. It is vital for a software development company to have experts with extensive experience and a rich palette of skills. Usually, a project manager is in control of a team of such professionals, but in big companies, employees with highly estimated expertise may be involved in working on several different projects. However, getting sufficient technical stack for a project is not just the project manager’s task. It is highly recommended to consult the recruiters who can advise on which type of professional skills are missing from the team. When there is no possibility to find a necessary expert among the in-house employees, it is time to outsource the talent pool.

5. Adapting to innovations

adapting the latest market trends to older legacy systems

Besides qualified staff to work on the project, the software services provider must also think carefully about technical challenges in software development. The biggest problem usually comes with adapting the latest market trends to older legacy systems. For a skilled team of developers, working with innovative programming tools is not only a chance to practice something new and untried but also experiment and build unique products. However, older legacy systems and interfaces that become redundant may get the entire project stuck, as the team will be constantly enhancing, maintaining and patching them instead of progressing.

As long as it is all about getting the biggest revenue possible, it seems strange that businesses have not gotten rid of older legacy systems yet. Although there is a clear tendency for upgrading and updating software and hardware systems, many stakeholders prefer to stick to the older legacy systems and interfaces simply because they invest funds in them. This is the kind of challenges in software development projects when project managers must investigate all pros and cons of gradual but complete switching to the usage of up-to-date systems and smartly convey all the benefits to the stakeholders. 


Software project developers are always open to something new, but they are not oracles and cannot foresee all the issues that may arise on the way. Moreover, many problems are not an obstruction, but a chance to see the entire project from a different point of view. Apply all your responsibility, attention, skills, and mental flexibility, embrace teamwork and team-problem-solving, and you will always come up with the best solution for any problem.

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