Stop Runaway Software Development Projects – The BrainYard

My latest article for The BrainYard has just been published: Stop Runaway Software Development Projects:

Software development projects have a long history of running over schedule and budget. Recent research by Evans Data estimates that 49% of such projects run over schedule; an IBM survey of CIOs puts the percentage at 62%.

Companies have tried various mitigation strategies over the years–adding more developers to each project, inflating the timeline, and including a substantial buffer to handle cost overruns. While softening the target delivery date and estimated cost are prudent for any project, doing that only masks the underlying problem.

Given the recurrence of these negative research findings for the past couple of decades, something more fundamental needs to be done. Without an understanding of the root causes of runaway software development projects, and a well-defined strategy to deal with those causes, companies will make little real progress.

Research by IBM suggests that two of the root causes are poor communications among developers, especially when they’re geographically distributed, and an unclear understanding of the business domain they’re contributing toward. Through its Rational suite of products and the Jazz.net community, IBM is trying to help developers resolve those issues.

Read more: The BrainYard

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