Knowledge Base

Successful software projects

What makes a software project a success? What factors are involved? Richard Svensson and Aybüke Aurum have researched this with interesting results.

What clearly doesn’t work:

  • Working long hours
  • Rewarding for overtime
  • Using extra staff
  • Changing the project manager

What sometimes works, but just as often does not:

  • Customer involvement
  • Using a method for specific requirements
  • Experience of the project manager

What clearly does work:

  • Clear and precise requirements from the start
  • Sufficient time for requirements drafting
  • Good planning estimates

Sound familiar? In our opinion, the software industry has yet to find a good solution. Waterfall may ensure project success, but possibly less so product success. While an Agile project is likely to experience the opposite.

And our own experience?

Make sure all stories are well worked out and take the time to identify all the requirements. If a story is more than a day’s work, break it down into smaller tasks.  The likelihood of a correct estimate then increases, but so does the chance of a better formulation and approach to the solution. Conversely: not well-crafted stories, or poor planning, are almost always the hurdles that cause problems. Either because you can’t deliver within time or budget, or an incorrect requirement was built.

Click here for the survey


Written by Kees de Kraker


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