Software project failures hit 5 year high

by CBR Staff Writer| 22 June 2009

Research shows 44% late, over budget or low on spec

It is fact rather than cliche that software development teams usually deliver project late, over budget, and short of their original specifications or promises, a latest Standish Group report has confirmed.

Its research for 2009 has shown that there are more software projects failing and more considered less successful than anticipated, than previously reported.

This year's results show a marked decrease in project success rates,” Jim Johnson, of The Standish Group said. Apparently, only 32% of all projects succeeding by delivered on time, on budget, with required features and functions. 

Standish estimates that 44% of software projects were late, over budget, and/or with less than the required features and functions.

Another 24% failed and were cancelled prior to completion, or delivered and never used.

These numbers represent a downtick in the success rates from the previous study, as well as a significant increase in the number of failures, Jim Crear, Standish Group’s CIO added.

The ratios stand as a low point in the last five study periods and represent the highest failure rate in over a decade, the analyst group has suggested.


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