What percentage of software development projects are successful?
When you consider all project success factors, including budget, schedule, functionality, performance, and user satisfaction, twenty percent or less of software development projects are completely successful. Of course this does not imply that only twenty percent of software development projects are ever completed. There are many projects that complete either over budget, not as originally scheduled, or missing some functionality or performance goal.
What is the primary reason so few software development projects complete successfully?
While it's impossible to pinpoint a single reason so few software development projects complete successfully, most project failures can be traced to early phases in the software life cycle. Typically, unsuccessful software development projects either have not accurately defined their requirements or have not successfully translated these requirements into a successful software architecture.
We all know the role metrics play in the infrastructure (i.e., online system availability, etc.). What metrics do you need for a successful software development project?
Unfortunately, software development metrics are not as easy to define as typical data center operations metrics. We specifically caution against using single point metrics such as lines of code to benchmark a development project. Chapter 12 provides more information on software metrics and their relation to productivity and quality. That chapter introduces the McCabe metrics, which we believe are some of the more useful software metrics.