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Some Sad IT Facts

Some Sad IT Facts

These are fairly known but often dismissed facts about the IT industry. If you see these facts presented you will find IT managers and developers nodding their heads in agreement.  That is as far as it goes.

I'm always amazed to see an IT manager hesitate to purchase a piece of software because he is afraid of wasting 300 dollars but there is no hesitation to waste 10's of thousands or even 100's of thousands through his/her indifference to good software management practices.

I found a company that specialized in process. I was very excited to be a part of a team dedicated to making quality software at an affordable cost. One week into this project, I realized that very basic steps were missed. They were not oversights, it was simply thought that gathering quality requirements was not worth the time and effort. I was shocked. Don't these people realize that while not sexy, this is still a critical step in the process?

All quality is related to requirements.

As I predicted, we went over budget around 200 percent. We missed our deadlines on a fix priced project and pissed off the customer. All because gathering quality requirements were not sexy enough. It would seem it was more important to measure employee productivity and create schedules. Of course, it's impossible to measure productivity if you don't have a clear definition of what you are supposed to produce and let's not get into the impossibility of predicting a schedule without requirements.

SIDE NOTE: I'll cover this in another blog, after further thought. NEVER measure your employees for the purpose of criticism. When you do this, you will never get accurate numbers from your employees ever again. It's just a fact of life.

The following are the sad truths of IT:

From the Hugh W. Ryan article of Outlook Journal:

  • Only 8 percent of application projects costing between $6 million and $10 million succeed.
  • Among all IT development projects, only 16% delivered to acceptable cost, time and quality.
  • Cost overruns from 100 to 200 percent common.
  • Cost overruns for IT projects have been estimated at $59 billion in the United States alone.
  • IT workers spend more than 34% of their time just fixing software bugs.

Other reports make the following claims:

  • Only 28% of projects are completed.
  • In the UK, over $1 billion a year is wasted on poor software quality.
  • 70% CRM project strategies fail.
  • 90% companies cannot show a positive ROI for CRM.

Here is an interesting fact that I, 100%, believe is true but it is still shocking to comprehend the incompetence that must allow this.

  • "According to the Cranfield School of Management, the more ambitious the return on investment for the project cited in the business case, the more lacking the project plan is likely to be."

Posted 10-13-2006 2:41 PM by rdunaway


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