The Non-Existent Software Crisis: Debunking The Chaos Report - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
News
2/6/2014
10:50 AM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
How Upwork Cut Zero-Day File Attacks by 70%
Oct 05, 2017
Upwork has millions of clients and freelancers that have to upload and download many files to and ...Read More>>

The Non-Existent Software Crisis: Debunking The Chaos Report

An alarmist report that's become a universal reference in discussion of development practices obscures a much less dire reality.

The software development success rate published in the Standish Group's Chaos Report is among the most commonly cited research in the IT industry. Since 1995, the Standish Group has reported rather abysmal statistics -- from a rate of roughly one in six projects succeeding in 1995 to roughly one in three projects today. Ever since the Chaos Report was published, various Chicken Littles have run around warning about how this "software crisis" will lead to imminent disaster. However, this supposed software crisis is complete and utter hogwash, it always has been and I suspect always will be. Sadly, that doesn't stop people who should know better, or at least should be able to think for themselves, to continue quoting this nonsense.

Since 2006, I have organized an almost-annual survey for Dr. Dobb's that explores the actual success rates of software development projects. The most recent was conducted in November and December of 2013 and had 173 respondents. The original questions as asked, the source data, and my analysis can be downloaded for free at 2013 IT Project Success Rates Survey results. The survey was announced on the Dr. Dobb's site, on the Ambysoft announcements list, my Twitter feed, and several LinkedIn discussion forums. The results of this study are much more positive than what the Standish Group claims. They still leave significant room for improvement, but they certainly don't point to a crisis.

Read the rest of this article on Dr. Dobb's.

Bio: Scott Ambler is a senior consulting partner with Scott Ambler + Associates and a long-time contributor to Dr. Dobb's. He can be contacted at scott@scottambler.com. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
asksqn
50%
50%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
2/8/2014 | 6:37:17 PM
Money Talks
Compelling and a worthwhile challenger to the more established Standish Group.  But then again, data can be manipulated any which way the surveyors chose.  It all boils down to how much it was paid to obtain which result and for whom.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll