Why Software Development Projects Fail, Part I

Thirty days prior to delivery, Monteforte personally took over management, acting as the buffer between the client and the development team; bringing scope creep under control, resetting expectations and establishing a new timeline that would accommodate the 17 new functionalities that had been added. “Slowly but surely we stopped the bleeding and delivered something,” he said. “Then, by continuing to roll out the functionality in 60 day increments, we began to rebuild trust. By having the fundamental disciplines of project management in place you can maximize the success of the roll out.”

His experience is far from unique. Companies that improve the project management side of software development tend to see better results—but only if it is done right. “When companies try to formalize a project management discipline, they swing the pendulum 180 degrees and try to go from total chaos up to a CMM Level 4 or 5,” said Monteforte. “They end up paralyzing the entire organization and they give project management a bad name.”

To help improve project success rates, the next four articles will examine different aspects of the software development lifecycle: developing accurate requirements, managing outsourced developers, selecting the best software development method, testing, and finally deploying the software.