We all aspire that our software projects are delivered on time and budget*. Software is complex and unless we plan for success, it is unlikely to “just happen”. When Planning Software Projects, fortunately we have the experience of past failures from which we can learn. We should embrace the learnings from these mistakes so that our projects can avoid the “pathological” route.
What do we mean by a project being late? Lateness is really about a project being delivered late in relation to expectations, or in other words late vs the estimate. To avoid disappointment we need to create realistic expectations (estimates) AND we need to perform the activities to avoid problems that could lead to the estimates not being met.
In a study 84 projects from IBM and AT&T, Capers Jones observed that projects that ran late by 6 months or more showed little evidence of being in trouble in the early stages. The late projects had skimped on many crucial activities, notably: requirements reviews, inspections, quality control. All of which are about early attention to quality.
Why were they estimated incorrectly? Either the estimate was inappropriate or activities that could have kept it on time were not performed well.
Capers cites 10 factors leading to estimate/actual mismatch:
*Some parties benefit from the extra charges generated when a project is extended.
How AI can help
Planning starts early, as you know or as you discover the requirements. ScopeMaster uses AI to help you get under the skin of the requirements really quickly. Which leads to better plans.