Why Do Software Development Agencies Lose Projects?


If you are involved in any way with the client acquisition process, then this is a discussion that you cannot avoid. Every design and development agency ought to know the answer to this very introspective question: why do we lose projects?

The answer can tell you a lot about your business, and where you can improve upon your process. For example, if you are losing projects as a result of poor project management, then you know where you need to start making changes.

On the other hand, if you are losing projects because your clients lack the patience for your particular software development lifecycle (SDLC), then you are faced with an important decision: stick to your work ethic, or produce rushed work.

We asked ourselves this question, and here’s what we came up with.

1. Good work takes time.

I need an application built within the month, and I need it to integrate with XYZ.
—The Client With an Absurd Deadline

Has a client ever said this to you? If you are familiar with this type of request, then you know how frustrating it can be to explain that good work takes time. In fact, Codal’s major point of friction with some clients happens at this very junction.

When talking to potential clients, we cannot stress enough that building an app is never just building an app. An application is more than the just the building blocks that were used to construct it.

We place significant value in:

  • Research
  • UX
  • UI
  • QA
  • Top-tier cloud deployment

If we delivered an app in 1 month, it would not adhere to Codal’s code of excellence. We take pride in our work, and we refuse to build apps that do not reflect this—some clients cannot come to terms with this truth.

2. Quality is non-negotiable.

I don’t need UX or QA, I’ll do it myself to save on costs. I just need development services.
—The Cost-Saving Client

Another major point of friction among our clients occurs when they wish to exclude major portions of the software development process for the purpose of saving on the cost of building an app.

In theory, this isn’t a major issue—we could easily build an app without conducting any user research, crafting an efficient user experience, or testing for bugs in the application, but it wouldn’t reflect the pride that we take in our work here at Codal.

You may be wondering, Why don’t you just take the money and do what the client wants?

The answer is simple: quality is non-negotiable. We firmly believe that everything we put out ought to reflect our sky-high standards for quality. There are a number of clients that have walked away from a project because of how firm we are in this belief.

3. We like innovative projects.

I want to make something exactly like XYZ, but it’ll be different because it’ll have XYZ.
—The Client With a Big Idea

Here’s a truth that we live by: we won’t take a project that we don’t believe in.

The reason is simple—we want to help your business succeed, and if we don’t believe in your business strategy, we won’t build it. If we don’t think that a client’s idea is going to be successful, we will work to develop the idea further, so that we rest assured that we aren’t setting up our clients for failure.

We are used to working with the most innovative brands and companies, and we’d like to keep it that way. Unfortunately, we have lost a number of clients because they truly believed that they could compete with a major company like Google or Facebook.