Many executives are feeling worn down by confusion around project business objectives and recognize the need for more involvement from business stakeholders. These are the key findings of a new study of approximately 600 business and IT executives published by software development firm, Geneca.
The study, entitled “Doomed From the Start? Why a Majority of Business and IT Teams Anticipate Their Software Development Projects Will Fail” examines why teams continue to struggle to meet the business expectations for their projects. It surveys participants on such topics as requirements definition, accountability, and measuring project success.
“There is no question that the overall survey results shows that our single biggest performance improvement opportunity is to have a more business-centric approach to requirements,” states Geneca President & CEO, Joel Basgall. “Unfortunately, poor requirements definition practices have become so common that they’re almost tolerated. The gloomy results of this survey really drive this home.”
Interestingly, survey responses from IT professionals and their business counterparts are fairly similar, indicating that both groups have many of the same concerns with regard to their projects.
Key survey findings include:
- Lack of confidence in project success: 75% of respondents admit that their projects are either always or usually “doomed right from the start.”
- Rework wariness: 80% admit they spend at least half their time on rework.
- Business involvement is inconsistent or results in confusion: 78% feel the business is usually or always out of sync with project requirements and business stakeholders need to be more involved and engaged in the requirements process.
- Fuzzy business objectives: Only 55% feel that the business objectives of their projects are clear to them.
- Requirements definition processes do not reflect business need: Less than 20% describe the requirements process as the articulation of business need.
- Lack of complete agreement when projects are done: Only 23% state they are always in agreement when a project is truly done.
“Although most software projects begin with high expectations, this research reminds us that problems usually lurk below the surface right from the start,” states Basgall. “The key is to understand what we are seeing and what to do about it.”
Do you have a project success strategy in place for your business? Are you constantly revisiting it to improve how well your project performs? Tell us about your biggest issue with project success in the comments below.