Software Management

Common Software Failure Causes

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Most software projects fail completely or partial because they don’t meet all their requirements. These requirements can be the cost, schedule, quality, or requirements objectives. According to many studies, failure rate of software projects ranges between 50% – 80%. There are a variety of causes for software failures but the most common are: [2]

  • Lack of user participation
  • Changing requirements
  • Unrealistic or unarticulated project goals
  • Inaccurate estimates of needed resources
  • Badly defined system requirements
  • Poor reporting of the project’s status
  • Lack of resources
  • Unmanaged risks
  • Poor communication among customers, developers, and users
  • Use of immature technology
  • Inability to handle the project’s complexity
  • Sloppy development practices
  • Poor Project Management
  • Stakeholder politics
  • Lack of Stakeholder involvement
  • Commercial pressures

Software Acquisition Worst Practices: [1]

  • Use schedule compression to justify new technology on a time critical project
  • Have the government mandate technological solutions
  • Specify implementation technology in the Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Expect to recover more than 10% schedule slip without a reduction in delivered functionality
  • Put items out of project control on the critical path
  • Plan on achieving more than 10% improvement from observed past performance
  • Bury as much of the project complexity as possible in the software as opposed to the hardware
  • Conduct critical system engineering tasks without software expertise
  • Believe that formal reviews alone will provide an accurate picture of the project
  • Expect that the productivity of a formal review is directly proportional to the number of attendees above five

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