More Software Project Failure / Challenge Information From CAI

Bob Lawhorn of CAI, one of my favorite speakers, had a list of recent software project failure information. 

  • Poorly defined applications (miscommunication between business and IT) contribute to a 66% project failure rate, costing U.S. businesses at least $30 billion every year (Forrester Research)
  • 60% - 80% of project failures can be attributed directly to poor requirements gathering, analysis, and management (Meta Group)
  • 50% are rolled back out of production (Gartner)
  • 40% of problems are found by end users (Gartner)
  • 25% - 40% of all spending on projects is wasted as a result of re-work (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Up to 80% of budgets are consumed fixing self-inflicted problems (Dynamic Markets Limited 2007 Study)

Bob also listed reasons why projects fail including:

Requirements Issues: Unrealistic project goals, uncontrolled scope creep with no allowance for such in the plan.

Estimating Issues:Inappropriate schedule, no process to re-estimate when the project changes, no reasonableness chekcks.

Quality issues: Trying to test in quality rather than a process that implements quality throughout

Poor Team Productivity: High rework (doing the same thing multiple times due to issues with the initial work)

Project Management Issues: (Lack of planning, earned value, impact of changes and issues... No estimates so  no earned value)

Cultural Issues: Hiding the bad news

Bob also touched on how their automated project office product can help with many of these issues and can integrate with Galorath's SEER-SEM for estimation.