Why do Software Projects Fail?

Maged Koshty
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IEEE Certified Instructor - PMP - ISTQB CTAL - PMI-ACP
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Certified ISTQB Agile Tester Foundation Level Exam - Updated

An online course to Be an ISTQB Agile certified tester and learn testing techniques in various Agile methodologies

03:44:21 of on-demand video • Updated January 2019

  • Understand The Fundamentals of Agile Software Development
  • Understand The Differences between Testing in Traditional and Agile Approaches
  • Master The Roles and skills of a tester in Agile Projects
  • Get Familiar with Agile testing processess, tools, techniques and methods
  • Assess product quality risks within an Agile project
  • Estimate testing effort based on iteration content and quality risks
  • Understand the Roles and skills of a tester in Agile Projects
English As per a recent study, 70% of organizations have suffered at least one project failure in the past 12 months, and 50% of them indicated that their large software projects failed to constantly achieve the objectives they had set out at the beginning. Being able to identify the causes of failure and categorizing them can lead us to lower failure rates in future projects. You need to keep in mind that there’s only a 6% chance your project would be successful and by successful we mean the projects are delivered on time, on budget, and have a satisfactory implementation. A 52% chance that your projects would be challenged which means it could be over budget, late, and/or have an unsatisfactory implementation and a sad 42% chance your software would fail, either canceled prior to completion or discarded after implementation. So the question arises “why do software projects fail?” if we could know the answer to this question, there’s a big chance we might avoid having a troubled software project. The possibility of software projects failing can be attributed to different reasons The top 10 reasons that lead to failure of large software projects in no specific order are Miscalculated Time and Budget Frames Clients are looking to get everything quick and cheap. This leads us to agree to a rather shorter, unrealistic and non-negotiable time frame for the project delivery at very low rates. Was it Needed At All? This is rather a surprising reason which attributes to a software project failure. A classic example as mentioned in a report by a leading Consulting firm shows The FAA Advanced Automation System (1981-1994) The Cost of the project is $3.7 billion; peak staffing of 2000 persons; - Nothing was delivered; no code was ever used. The reason: nobody wanted it in the first place or in other words there was no business case for it Lack of Communication Another key aspect is the failure to set up effective communication channels between stakeholders. Developers, testers, customers, users,…everyone. No End-user Involvement Failure to find and engage the right users to participate in the software development process is extremely dangerous. Unfocused Executive Sponsors: Higher managers didn’t provide the needed support to the project Failing to See the Bigger Picture - In UK, officials called off what was considered to be the largest public IT project of all time. It was a project which was intended to provide electronic health records for all of its citizens. After 10 years and costing an estimated around 19 billion USD the authorities concluded that the project was not fit to provide the modern services it was intended to. Chasing Technology Some managers try to use whatever the latest available technology for their ongoing projects. This leads to the failure of the whole system, or failing to complete the project on time. Moreover, these latest technologies may not even be mature enough to have been used in the first place. Development Downtime Software bugs, environmental factors, infrastructure or software failures, viruses, hackers, hardware failures. All these could contribute to the unplanned extension of the development downtime of the project Lack of Periodic Assessment Lack of client and developer assessments, and failure in smartly establishing milestone points leads to improper assessments. finally, and not surprising, Lack of Quality Testing In most projects, the importance given to coding isn't given to testing. Casual testing or testing under non-real time environments contribute to testing failures. Well, I hope that this makes sense and I know there are different other reasons that can contribute to software project faiures so let us know look why other types of projects don't fail as software project in other words, why software projects are different? Thank You