Insights & Perspectives

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Friday, April 10, 2015

WHY DO MORE THAN HALF OF ALL SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS STRUGGLE OR FAIL?

Do you have a software development project you can’t get off the ground? Can’t find trusted development resources that can understand your business objectives and work within the “triple constraints” of time, cost and quality? Or worse yet, a software development project that is stalled, under-delivering or has failed?

Well, there is good news! You’re not alone! The Standish Group has ongoing research on more than 50,000 IT projects across a wide range of global industries and found that only 30% of projects were successful, 43% were challenged and 18% failed. Unfortunately results also show most projects have a slight increase in both cost and time overruns with cost overruns increasing to 59% and time overruns increasing to 74%.

Why do many software development projects cost more and take longer than planned, or worse yet fail? The following is a list of the leading reasons I’ve encountered in a 20+ year career as a programmer, architect, analyst and consultant:

  • Incorrect, inadequate or changing requirements caused by lack of stakeholder involvement and/or underestimation of project complexity
  • Lack of clear stakeholder/provider agreement on expectations and outcomes
  • Lack of executive sponsorship
  • Scope creep and poor project management during execution
  • Competing demands for resources
  • Limited resources and/or resources with limited experience
  • Lack of milestones, quality testing and a solid, fast feedback loop
  • A team that is too focused on technology rather than business goals and outcomes

It’s also worth noting that the Standish Group has categorically stated (based on extensive and substantive research) that the main driver for project success is to strongly recommend and enforce limits on size and complexity. We wholeheartedly agree! It’s always best to eat an elephant one bite at a time. Clear, well defined and agreed upon project requirements coupled with milestones and fast feedback loops lead to much more successful projects that are delivered on time and on budget. More importantly, these projects deliver business value and results that make Business Process Automation (BPA) a key driver for improving a businesses’ bottom line.

At Definity Partners, our seasoned solutions architects understand and speak the linqua franca of business. They will work closely and collaboratively with key stakeholders to understand and document current business processes to ensure a clear understanding amongst all stakeholders. Then, before a single line of code is written, we will work to simplify and standardize those processes. Our experts then deliver a carefully crafted requirements package to get all stakeholders aligned on expectations and outcomes using industry best practices. This ensures that the solution actually provides value and helps the business achieve their objectives. Once alignment is achieved and agreed to, our award winning team will go to work to produce the software to automate those processes and, we will regularly meet with your key stakeholders to review the software functionality and progress to ensure that the project stays on track and meets stakeholder needs. Our time tested approach has led to the delivery of more than 200 successful projects for more than 125 clients and earned us nearly 60 testimonial letters in the past fifteen years.

Topics: Technology

Written by:
Dave Hatter