Press Release: Software Project Success and Failure

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August 24, 2005 - Arlington, Massachusetts
Software Project Success and Failure

Cutter Consortium recently conducted two surveys on software projects. One survey studied software project failures at more than 200 organizations and the other evaluated 232 recently completed projects around the world to determine what it means for a project to be successful.

Cutter Consortium Senior Consultants E.M. Bennatan and Khaled El Emam analyzed the results separately. The results will appear in a series of Executive Updates published by Cutter Consortium and written by Bennatan and El Emam.

Some preliminary findings include:

Software Project Failure Rates Based on Specific Criteria

Criterion Failure Rate
Customer satisfaction 27%
Ability to meet budget targets 50%
Ability to meet schedule targets 55%
Product quality 28%
Staff productivity 32%

Percentage of software projects in the past three years that were severely late (i.e., they overran their original schedule by more than 50%):

  Percentage of respondents
None 23%
1%-10% 37%
11%-25% 12%
26%-50% 10%
51%-90% 2%
More than 90% 1%
I don't know 15%

Percentage of software projects in the past three years that were severely over budget (i.e., they overran their original budget by more than 50%):

  Percentage of respondents
None 24%
1%-10% 40%
11%-25% 15%
26%-50% 7%
51%-90% 1%
More than 90% 1%
I don't know 12%

To request the Cutter Consortium Executive Updates in which the analyses will appear, or to schedule an interview with E.M. Bennatan or Khaled El Emam, contact .

More information about E.M. Bennatan is available at http://www.cutter.com/meet-our-experts/bennatane.html.

More information about Khaled El Emam is available at http://www.cutter.com/meet-our-experts/elemamk.html.

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