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Software Project Failure and Solutions

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Software Project Failure and Solutions

According to Krigsman, (2007) business-critical and services project are not completed on time, cost too much, contain a lot of defects and fail to satisfy the business requirements they set out to achieve. Clancy, (1995) states that United States spend more than $250 billion each year on approximately 175,000 IT development project of which most will fail and that software development projects are in chaos. This paper aim to explain the reason why a significant amount of software projects fail and what make software projects succeed by reviewing evidence from a few reports and surveys.

Research conducted by Standish Group in 1995, shows that 31.1% of project will fail before they are completed and 52% of project will cost 189% of their original cost. On average only 16.2% of software projects are finish on time and on-budget and 9% of software projects are finish on time within budget for large companies. Similarly failure figures for project failure due to restarts, cost overruns, tie overruns were disheartening and to make things worst nothing change since then (Clancy, 1995).

The Standish Group survey of IT executive manager reveals that user involvement, executive management support and clear statement of requirements are the three major reasons why project succeed. Incomplete requirements and lack of user involvement are the main opinion why projects are impaired, eventually cancelled and hence fail.

Table 1: Some of the result of Clancy, 1995 Standish Group survey results


Project Success Factors

% of Response

Projects Impaired Factors

% of Response


User Involvement


Incomplete Requirement



Executive Management Support


Lack of User Involvement



Clear Statement of Requirement


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