We ve all heard tales of multimillion dollar mistakes that somehow ran off course. Are software projects that risky or do managers need to take a fresh approach when preparing for such critical expeditions? Iden if ingg A Fram o k Soft ar Proj ct is Software projects are notoriously difficult to manage and too many of them end in failure. In 1995, annual U.S. spending on software projects reached approximately $250 billion and encompassed an estimated 175,000 projects . Despite the costs involved, press reports suggest that project failures are occurring with alarming frequency. In 1995, U.S companies alone spent an estimated $59 billion in cost overruns on IS projects and another $81 billion on canceled software projects . One explanation for the high failure rate is that managers are not taking prudent measures to assess and manage the risks involved in these projects. Mark Keil, Paul E. Cule, Kalle Lyytinen, and Roy C. Schmidt November 1998/Vol. 41, No. 11 COMMUNICATIONS OF THE ACM Advocates of software project risk management claim that by countering these threats to success, the incidence of failure can be reduced [4, 5]. Before we can develop meaningful risk management strategies, however, we
Communications of the ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Published: Nov 1, 1998
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