Examining The Failures Of Software Projects – Information Technology Essay

Present years’ business environments are accelerated by IT undertakings. Drastic alterations are seen in concern environments because of the limitless IT applications. IT improves productiveness and besides make possible to turn the concern by entree to new markets and new spouses. Researches continually showed that there are many troubles in pull offing the IT undertakings. Sing the capablenesss of the applications it is seen that merely limited undertakings are successful as per the CHAOS Standish studies. The CHAOS Standish group research confirms that big undertakings normally fail than little undertakings because the big undertakings are complex to manage. The definitions of undertaking success and failures harmonizing to Standish group ( The Standish group international, 1999 ) are:

Successful undertakings are those which completes with in clip and budget with all the characteristics and maps that ab initio specified.

Failed undertakings are those which are halted before completion or ne’er implemented.

Challenged undertakings are those which are completed with fewer characteristics ensuing over budget and clip.

Harmonizing to the research carried out by the Standish group ( The Standish group international, 2001 ) the failure records are, In USA more than $ 250 billion is spent on IT application development of 175,000 undertakings each twelvemonth and besides it depends on the size of the company. For big company it is $ 2,322,000 ; for medium $ 1,331,000 ; for little company it is $ 434,000. From the research, approximately 16 % of package undertakings are successful i.e. , are implemented on clip and budget successfully, 53 % challenged ( that is cost overproductions, budget overproductions or content lacks ) and 31 % cancelled. The undermentioned figure illustrates the package undertaking outcomes from early 90 ‘s to millenary:


The personals involved from start to stop of a undertaking ( project squad, the providers, the clients and other stakeholders ) can all supply a beginning of failure, but the most common grounds for undertaking failure are rooted in the undertaking direction procedure itself and the aligning of IT with organisational civilizations ( Tilmann and Weinberger, 2004 ) .

Harmonizing to the Coverdale Organization research ( Cushing, 2002 ) , the respondents identified appraisal errors, ill-defined undertaking ends and aims, and undertaking aims altering during the undertaking as cardinal factors in undertaking failures.

The followers are the chief grounds for the package undertaking failures and solutions to get the better of them:

Not adequate clip: Every undertaking is given a deadline to finish ; due to this, the coders normally rush in to the undertaking cryptography and complete on clip, this consequence in hapless design or improper execution.

Solution: should non jump some contents that included in undertaking due to deadline assigned.

Insufficient budget: many undertakings are on footing of “ lowest monetary value most successful campaigner ” policy, this means it has low budget which is non based on the true demands, due to this there is a job with the resources which may or may non turn up ensuing low quality work.

Solution: should be realistic about the budget and do certain the budget is assigned consequently on the existent demands. Should travel with a provider or squad who has a path record in bringing within budget.

Poor communicating: For package undertakings good communicating is critical for the success to the development squad, clients and users.

Solution: place possible communicating dislocations. Design communicating program for the stakeholders who involves in the undertaking. Should set up reappraisal meetings to be in contact with the stakeholders who of all time involve in undertaking and to update the position of the undertaking.

Never reexamining undertaking advancement: It is of import to supervise advancement on a regular footing so that the challenges can get the better of.

Solution: should put frequent mileposts during project rhythm and should accomplish the mileposts and therefore the undertaking should be completed.

ALSO READ  Gaussian minimum shift keying

Inadequate testing: when there is a force per unit area to present the system is on, it is frequently the proving suffers. Inadequate proving consequences in undertaking with tonss of bugs and unhappy terminal user ( clients ) .

Solution: should transport out the proving throughout the development lifecycle like proving each faculty or the developed constituent.


The most of the IT failures are related to project direction. The primary direction is one of the causes for the failure of complex IT undertakings as observed from the undertakings failures from early 1990 ‘s. The followers are some of the issues related to package undertakings:

Undertaking induction and planning issues:

Ill-defined concern instance

Non-existent blessing procedure

Poor definition of undertaking range and aims

Insufficient budget

Poor appraisals

Unrealistic clip graduated tables

Lack of thoroughness of the undertaking start-up stages

Technical and Requirement issues:

Lack of user interaction throughout the lifecycle

Scope weirdo ; deficiency of equal alteration control

Incomplete or changing demands

Inappropriate engineering picks

Lack of QA for cardinal deliverables

Inadequate testing

Stakeholder direction and squad issues:

Insufficient attending to stakeholders

Undertaking patrons non demoing dedication to the undertaking objectives.

Project squad with no accomplishments and deficiency of experience

Poor coaction, communicating and squad work

Peoples non dedicated to project

Project direction issues:

Poor undertaking direction patterns.

Inadequately trained personals ; weak on-going direction.

Lack of communicating

Time and cost discrepancies


In February 2008, Software jobs in the machine-controlled luggage screening system of a major airdrome prevented 1000s of riders from look intoing luggage for their flights. It was reported that the job is occurred during a package ascent, despite pre-testing of the package subsequently on system continued to hold jobs in subsequent months.

In December 2007, News studies indicated that important package jobs were go oning to happen in a new ERP paysheet system for a big urban school system. It was observed that more than one tierce of employees had received wrong payroll checks at assorted times since the new system went unrecorded the predating January, ensuing in overpayments of $ 53 million, every bit good as underpayments.

In June 2007, intelligence studies stated that there are package defects in a popular online stock-picking competition. The victors are announced incorrect ; the individual who is on the 6th place is called for the awards.

In April 2007 harmonizing to newspaper histories, A package job contributed to a rail auto fire in a major resistance tube system. The package developed was reportedly failed to execute as expected in observing and forestalling extra power use in equipment on a new rider rail auto, ensuing in overheating and fire in the rail auto, and emptying and closure of portion of the system, the system was wholly crashed due to this mistake.

In March 2007, Tens of 1000s of medical devices were recalled to rectify a package bug but harmonizing to the intelligence reports the package failed to bespeak when available power to the device is excessively low.

In September 2006, intelligence studies indicated the jobs with package utilized in a province authorities ‘s primary election, ensuing confusion and holds in voting sites. The job was due to deficient testing.

In August 2006, a U.S. authorities pupil loan service made public the personal information of every bit many as 21,000 borrowers on its web site, due to a package mistake. The authorities section so offered to set up free recognition monitoring services for those affected because of the package bug.

In June 2006, A package mistake reportedly resulted in overbilling of up to several thousand dollars to each of 11,000 clients of a major telecommunications company. The package bug was fixed within yearss, but the charge mistakes were corrected would take much longer bing batch.

In January 2005, detailed terrible jobs with a practical instance file system for FBI $ 170 million high-profile U.S. authorities IT systems undertaking. Software proving was one of the major grounds harmonizing to a study of the committee reexamining the undertaking. In March of 2005, full undertaking was scraped.

ALSO READ  The Infringement of Trademarks Through Social Media


Harmonizing to Standish studies many of the complex IT undertakings fail. FBI practical instance file system is one among those. The practical instance file system was delivered by Science Application International was aimed to hive away the FBI instance studies incorporating informations from the older system including the machine-controlled instance support system and replacing them ( National research council, 2004 ) . The file instance system was failed to run into the agency ‘s demands ensuing five old ages of development and $ US 170 million in cost loss ( Friden, 2005 ) .

2.2.1 PROBLEM Statement

The National Research Council ( 2004 ) observed that there is no grounds that backup and eventuality programs had been formalized. The program of passage did non include the handiness of the Automated Case Support system after the cutover to the chief practical instance file system database ( National Research Council, 2004 ) .

Harmonizing to the intelligence reports it ‘s been said that Science Application International Corporation delivered the first stage of the undertaking in front of agenda and under budget, but the demands for the package changed more than one clip after the September 11, 2001 terrorist onslaughts on the USA ( Gross, 2005 ) . The inspector general found that FBI was still defined the demands after two old ages from the start of the undertaking ( Fine, Glenn, 2002 ) . The company besides said that there is deficiency of communicating and it is hard to pass on with FBI because of the high turnover of top IT directors ( Gross, 2005 ) .

Harmonizing to National Research Council ( 2004 ) it was found that the demands for the FBI mission were non included in the Virtual Case File design papers.

Here the illustration has shown that there are more troubles related to the people than the engineering itself ( Tilmann and Weinberger, 2004 )

2.2.2 Reasons for the failure of FBI undertaking

Poor planning

Ill-defined ends and aims

Changes in aims during undertaking

Unrealistic clip or resource estimations

Lack of user engagement

Lack of communicating

Poor planning: A cardinal ground for the Virtual Case File system package undertaking fail was due to hapless planning. It was found that really small codification had been released to prove ( Gross, 2005 ) . Software undertakings are full of start to complete relationship. Many activities in IT undertakings can merely get down one time another activity is completed and approved. The critical way is of import, because if there is divergence in undertaking it may ensue in full undertaking failure ( Fichter, 2003 ) . Detailed programs are non effectual for pull offing this undertaking.

Ill-defined ends and aims: The end of a undertaking may be clear partly due to hapless demands garnering in the definition phase of a undertaking ( Glaser, 2004 ) . In the instance of FBI, it should implement the Virtual Case file system to do the system easier for agents to form, analyze and pass on the informations on condemnable and terrorist act instances and to register them. It was non truly clear that how the Virtual Case file system would be used to the analysis and communicating of informations. Specifying clear demands need clip and tonss of communicating but sometime due to project patrons fail to depict what they truly require ( Fichter, 2003 ) this is what happened in the instance of FBI undertaking.

Objective alterations during undertaking: After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks the package was changed more than one clip ( Gross, 2005 ) . The similar IT undertakings will endure from two classical jobs in undertaking direction they are scope weirdo and characteristic weirdo. Scope creep refers to unexpected alterations in the demands when the undertaking is in advancement where as characteristic weirdo refers to uncontrolled add-on of characteristics to the system which are considered as little characteristic that adds nil to cost or agenda ( Fichter, 2003 )

ALSO READ  M v Home Office (1994) - Essay Sample

Unrealistic clip or resource estimation: Appraisal of clip or resource cause jobs to the undertaking. One of the common jobs during the creative activity of the Work Breakdown Structure is presuming that the clip on undertaking peers continuance. the undertaking will take to finish without breaks is known as the clip on undertaking, whereas continuance is the existent clip taken by a undertaking to finish including breaks. The clip on undertaking for gauging the agenda is one of the common errors made by undertaking directors ( Fichter, 2003 ) .

Lack of executive support and user engagement: A undertaking is the interface between the concern and engineering sides of an organisation ( the Standish group, 1999 ) . The executive direction is besides responsible for the reserves about the undertaking otherwise the jobs encountered in the undertaking can non be solved ( Glaser, 2004 ) . In this support it is seen that there is deficiency of executive support which has become one of the failures.

Failure to pass on and move as a squad: Due to the deficiency of communicating between the organisation and FBI the undertaking has encountered with the jobs of user demands at different degrees of the undertaking. It was hard to pass on with FBI by the IT unit which has become one of the ground for failure ( Gross, 2005 )





Initiation stage:

hapless demands garnering

ill-defined undertaking range definition

unstable demands

alterations in undertaking concern instance

improper mileposts due to alterations

hapless explicit hazard computation

deficiency of user and organisation communicating

Planing stage:

Inadequate planning

improper mileposts

budget and clip overproductions

rawness undertaking directors

unequal user input

Execution and monitoring/controlling:

Inadequate testing

Evolving engineering

Integration jobs

Poor coding due to deadlines assigned

Lack of user engagement


Poor design non making to the user outlooks

Developed system did non incorporate the old system and the new system

Difficult to pull off the informations

Change in user demands after execution

MY Own Motivation

In package development undertaking life rhythm user engagement is most considered on each and every stage and besides end product of one stage acts as input for the other wining stage. Integration in package development undertaking life rhythm will be uniting each and every stage after completion of all the stages separately this shows abnormalities in project life rhythm which consequences in project failure. Largely this is seen in complex undertakings because of the clip and budget assigned. So change integrating procedure may assist in planing good PMP ( Project Management Plan ) for the complex undertaking success.


This chapter gives information sing different grounds for the package failures and solution for them. The instance survey of the failure undertaking shows the function of undertaking direction patterns in package industry, How planing good undertaking direction program consequences in presenting the undertaking in clip with in the budget assigned.

5. Decision:

Undertaking directors can cut down the possibility of failures by suggesting good PMP. The undermentioned recommendations help a undertaking director to plan good PMP to accomplish success in managing complex undertakings:

Should make proper be aftering before developing and implementing

Should finish the undertakings in clip

Should setup necessary procedure to cipher and inform the hazard.

Ensure the undertaking has clear aims

Should avoid utilizing additive estimate when gauging the resources and clip.

Proper communications in planing the coveted system

A undertaking director should be skilled professional in appropriate planning, communicating issues.