Finishing Your IoT Development Project on Time
Why do IoT project timelines so rarely go as planned? A couple of common mistakes occur in the strategy phase, including:
Overcommitting and Underperforming
This point goes back to the discussion above about defining your MVP. While it can be tempting to create a product that tries to solve multiple problems at once, this approach is not feasible.
Products with lots of bells and whistles not central to the core value prop can get stuck in long development processes that never seem to end. IoT applications, in particular, have more integration and interaction points than regular software, which means that more things can go wrong.
The more complex features you add, the more testing you’ll need to do. If you end up cutting corners to deliver something on time, the product is not likely to live up to the high expectations you set in the planning and strategy phase.
Failing to Identify Potential Roadblocks
Do you have a strategy for managing the multiple vendors creating the hardware components for your device? Does your project require machine learning? Have you consulted with your managed services team to confirm you have the infrastructure available to support your product?
In software development, you’ll often hear the phrase “fail fast.” In IoT, you can still fail fast, but you have to be more strategic about where and when you fail.
If you’re going to fail on something, fail in conceptual design or market analysis, when you have the time and resources available to go back to the drawing board. Avoid failing when you’re halfway through IoT device production.
Determining Your IoT Project Cost
Underperforming and going way over budget on your IoT project can sideline your entire career, so this topic isn’t to be taken lightly. There are multiple factors that can influence the cost of your IoT initiative, and leaders need to take specific steps to mitigate risk.
Don’t begin your IoT project without knowing your financial targets — the price point you can go to market with if you’re planning to sell the product, for example, or target efficiency gains for an internal system. Involve your finance team early on and use a scenario-based, end-to-end financial model to eliminate surprises. This approach will help you account for:
- Non-recurring and recurring expenses, and projected recurring revenue and/or operational savings
- Known and unknown costs
- Make assumptions for unknown costs and recalculate as they become known.
- Include costs for human capital for post-launch operations and support.
- The cost of each phase of the project
Using this model, you should also run worst-case, best-case, and most-likely-case scenarios and review these regularly with key financial stakeholders.
Achieving IoT Development Success
It’s time to start slashing the 75% failure rate for IoT projects down to zilch. By addressing potential challenges with product scope and available resources upfront, you’re more likely to avoid the most common pitfalls.
If you’re eager to learn more about the basics and nuances of IoT development, check out our free comprehensive guide to IoT development here.