Successful Projects

Excessive schedule pressure

Realistic schedule expectation

Executive rejection of estimates

Executive understanding of estimates

Severe friction with clients

Cooperation with clients

Divisive corporate politics

Congruent management goals

Poor team communications

Excellent team communications

Naive senior executives

Experienced senior executives

Project management malpractice

Capable project management

Unqualified technical staff

Capable technical staff

Generalists used for critical tasks: quality

Specialists used for critical tasks: quality

assurance, testing, planning, estimating

assurance, testing, planning, estimating

"Chaos"

This report [Standish Group, 1995] focuses on the commercial software industry and reaches these conclusions:

• U.S. companies would spend $81 billion on canceled software projects in 1995.

• 31% of software projects studied were canceled before they were completed.

• 53% of software projects overran by more than 50%.

• Only 9% of software projects for large companies were delivered on time and within budget. For medium-sized and small companies, the numbers improved to 16% and 28%, respectively.

The report characterizes the top 10 reasons for success and the top 10 reasons that projects are risky. (It calls risky projects "challenged.") These factors are summarized in Table A-3. Most of the "Chaos" report deals with the issues and obstacles perceived by managers of corporate information systems. Although there is only a minor treatment of possible solutions, the report recommends curing the disease, which is a highly process-oriented approach, rather than just resolving the symptoms. The report states:

Research at The Standish Group also indicates that smaller time frames, with delivery of software components early and often, will increase the success rate.

Table A-3. Factors that affect the success

of software projects

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Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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