Software project failure is a common problem in the software industry landscape. We discuss about ways and means to prevent IT projects from failing – so why do they still fail? There have been ample articles and discussions surrounding IT project success and failure. A survey by research firm Gartner showed the likelihood of failure for bigger projects vs smaller projects. The common reason attributed to software project failures in all articles and research studies was scope misinterpretation causing functionality issues, budgetary overruns and substantial delays.
Scope misinterpretation leads to functionality issues at later stages of development. In the absence of clear scope description, scope creep is a normal phenomenon. We are well aware of how an IT project though starting small can get unmanageable in size and complexity with scope creep.
Clear scope definition means that it should be understood fully by both the client and development team. A scope misinterpretation in the beginning would hinder proper breakdown of the system. This would doom desired functionalities. What you develop is not what was desired, resulting in client and hence customer dissatisfaction. The latest Standish Chaos Report, 2015, suggests customer dissatisfaction (due to poor functionalities) as an important criteria for IT project failures.
A clear scope definition is the fundamental framework on which user stories can be defined and Implementation types can be estimated. If your base is weak, how can you expect your system structure to be strong and well representative of the customer needs. A misinterpreted scope results in inaccurate determination of use cases causing inaccurate estimation and poor functionality.
This calls for a system where scope definition is state of the art. We need a structured process to account for every user story further being broken down into an implementation type. By enlisting all possible implementation types, every user action that is going to trigger the final system would be accounted for in the scope definition.
A realistic and correct scope definition also prevents scope creep in future. Scope creep happens due to poor requirements definition in the very beginning. A scope creep at later stages of the project results in the project getting unmanageable and complex. Estimation of time and budget goes awry causing budgetary overruns and costly delays.
This lands us to the second most important element for project success – Accuracy of estimates for time and cost.
Any IT project owes its success to the development team’s ability to produce reliable and realistic estimates of cost and time. Being overly optimistic or loose in estimation is not appreciated. Both over-estimation and underestimation are equally bad and result in project failures.
The Standish Chaos Report lays emphasis on On-time and On-budget as strong determining factors and till date have been the greatest reasons attributed to IT project failures. Organizations incur huge financial losses and erosion of client trust, as these overruns ruin the project.
What take away do we have from this?
As operators in the software development industry domain, we require a structured estimation procedure to remain not just successful but also competitive with industry peers. For quite long we have been using traditional, and complicated estimation models. Not only do these models require high-end technical expertise for which you need to recruit specialized experts, but also do not ensure reliability and consistency of estimates. We have been using extensive models for producing reliable estimates but have still witnessed huge project failures in IT industry.
We need to re-invent our existing software estimation procedures. Project failures doesn’t just have cost implications, but it affects brand name too. It erodes client’s trust and your reputation as a ‘software developer’ in the industry you operate. With changing strategy and paradigm of how we do business, we require a transformation in software estimation technique to guarantee project success.
An automated system which enables a transformation of the basic estimation technique to guarantee reliable and realistic estimates of scope, time and budget is indispensable for higher project success rate.
We require an automated system which offers structured and standardized procedures so that even a person with a basic understanding of software can estimate at an expert level. We require a system which enables detailed technical analysis of the scope for accurate estimates.
Quick FPA is a case in point. Our newly developed estimation software is a unique estimation tool with never before experienced features and capabilities. An invention in its domain, the product is one of its kinds.
We have developed this product to enable developers and development companies solve two primary purpose:
1. Enhance project success rate significantly
2. To remain competitive in industry
This is not just an estimation tool which enables developers to produce reliable, accurate and consistent estimates but also does so in the quickest possible way. Estimation should be focused on developing a system which delivers expected value proposition and ROI to the client and the end users. Accuracy of what and how you estimate in the beginning plays significant role.
Using Quick FPA for your software estimation requirements will ensure that your project is successful and stays within estimated cost and delivery schedules. With consistent scope definition, estimation of all use cases, true scope gets covered (as per client requirement) – end users are satisfied. Rework on estimation can be prevented, hence saving billable effort and hours. Accurate estimates ensure that the project is not rolled back out of production midway or get cancelled due to overly inflated budget and cost!
As we are gearing up for the launch, I invite all concerned stakeholders in the software development landscape to come forward and visit our website Quick FPA where we have expressed out intent and basic knowledge about what all this new product stands for, through extensive content knowledge.
As actors in a similar industry domain, we seek to make high software project success rate a reality. As a team we are geared towards making that happen through our innovative products.
Highly appreciate your time. Stay tuned as we share more insights about Quick FPA and its value proposition to you!