System and Software Failure

A look at how bad requirements can lead to system or software failure.

This paper examines how a collaborative approach on the part of customers, users, and the entire project team is essential to realizing a successful software development project. It looks at how the main objectives of lowering development costs and improving project success rate require clear understanding of user requirements, the need to anticipate changes, integration, and frequent communication among all parties involved. It also shows how effective software quality assurance is a challenge that requires strategic planning and a long-term commitment.
“Project requirements/user involvement is the number one problem for these failed projects. The typical problems with requirements that we see are similar to what Glass has described as well. This includes too many requirements, unstable or constantly changing requirements, ambiguous requirements or incomplete requirements. In most organizations we find that incomplete or missing requirements seems to be the most prevalent requirement’s issue. The second major finding has to do with project planning and estimation, which are activities typically performed by management. These categories are similar to the Executive Management Support and Proper Planning found in the Chaos Study. Somehow we are just too optimistic when it comes to delivering software.”