How Much Money Has Been Lost on Software Projects That Keep Replanning and Missing Deadlines
Short term becomes the long term if you keep doing it
“More money has probably been lost by investors holding a stock they really did not want until they could ‘at least come out even’ than from any other single reason. If to these actual losses are added the profits that might have been made through the proper reinvestment of these funds if such reinvestment had been made when the mistake was first realized, the cost of self-indulgence becomes truly tremendous.” — Philip A. Fisher
Software projects regularly underestimate the complexity and effort needed to create software and compound the problem by getting into a spiral of replanning. The actions they take to fix the problem of missed deadlines make the problem worse, and the project takes longer.
Software projects get into a sunk cost problem. They have spent too much money to give up but need to spend more to finish.
Software projects underestimate the complexity of creating software and delivering the software into production. They miss deadlines but have soon invested too much money to quit.
For most software projects it’s not if the project will overrun but when and how will you respond.
Not if the plan is wrong, but when
Software projects forget estimates are guesses. They give an indication, it would be more effective if developers estimated a range (good, average, terrible estimates) or they should be based on a similar project (which would be more accurate and bypass planning fallacy)
The standard approach to creating software is to underestimate the complexity and overestimate the benefits. An ambitious plan is created with multiple teams all working to a deadline that everyone would like to finish on (not when they finish on).
“I love deadlines. I like the…