Software Project Management - Towards Failure Avoidance

Thang Nguyen

Abstract

Development tasks, in the thousands or more, are involved in a complex system/software project. These tasks aim at three objectives in the project, namely on budget, on time and on performance. Behind these tasks are decisions made on them to move the project forward. Project failure is an aggregated and cumulative failure of these tasks due to errors in tasks and/or decisions made. The project errors from faulty strategies to wrong builds, collectively called exceptions are much harder to detect than cost overrun (amounts spent) or time delay. The paper suggests a biologically-inspired approach to project failure avoidance which is different than most. It focuses on exposing exceptions as they occur and understanding the decisions made on them. Thus, there are two pieces needed for the proposed approach. The base piece is a management by exception (MBE) framework to monitor development exceptions occurred for management attention. The second piece is an adapted measurement method which will elicit, analyse and evaluate the decisions made on the reported exceptions. We argue that using the proposed approach, failure avoidance is possible and software project performance (in scope, intended features and desired quality) would be under control, and so are expected cost and time.

References

  1. Alexander, Christopher, 2002. The Nature of Order, Pub. The Center for Environmental Structure.
  2. Alberts, Bruce, Dennis Bray, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts and Peter Walter. (1998). Essential Cell Biology, Garland Publishing.
  3. Beer, A. Stafford,1972. Brain of the firm: Managerial Cybernetics of Organization, The Penguin Press, London 1972.
  4. Bourne, Humphrey and Mark Jenkins, 2005. Eliciting Managers' Personal Values: An Adaptation of the Laddering Interview Method, Organizational Research Methods 2005 8: 410
  5. Calleam, 2014. Why Projects Fail: Facts and Figures, Calleum Consulting. .http://calleam.com/WTPF/? page_id=1445
  6. Cannon, Walter, 1963. The wisdom of the body, The Norton Library, Norton & Company, 1963
  7. Charette, Robert N., 2005. Why Software Fails? IEEE Spectrum. Volume 52, Issue 9. September 2005.
  8. Demarco, Tom and Timothy Lister, 2012. Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, http://javat roopers.com/Peopleware.html.
  9. Foster School of Business, Washington, 2010. A decade's worst financial scandals, April 2010
  10. Fransella, Fay and Bannister, Don, 1977. A Manual for Repertory Grid Technique, Academic Press, 1977.
  11. Fromm, Martin, 2004. Introduction to the Repertory Grid Interview, Waxmann Verlag.
  12. GAO, 2009. Review of Future Combat System Is Critical to Program's Direction, http://www.gao.gov/new. items/d08638t.pdf.
  13. GAO, 2012. 12-565R: DOD Financial Management http://gao.gov/assets/590/589796.pdf
  14. Galorath, Dan, 2012. Software Project Failure Costs Billions. http://www.galorath.com/wp/software-proje ct-failure-costs-billions-better-estimation-planningcan-help.php June 2012
  15. Gross, C. G., 1998. "Claude Bernard and the constancy of the internal environment" Neuroscientist 4 (1)
  16. Heusser, Mathew, 2013. 6 Software Developments Lessons from Healthcare.gov's Failed Launch, http:// www.cio.com/article/743366/6_Software_Developme nt_Lessons_From_Healthcare.gov_s_Failed_Launch
  17. Kanaracus, Chris, 2012. The Scariest Software Project Horror Stories of 2012. http://www.cio.com/ article/print/721628
  18. Kandel, Eric and James Schwartz, Thomas Jessell, 2000. Principle of Neuroscience, 4th edition, (Eds), McGrawHill, 2000
  19. Kelly, G., 1963. A Theory of Personality: The Psychology of Personal Constructs. New York: W. W. Norton & Company
  20. King, Roger J.B., 1996. Cancer Biology, Longman, 1996.
  21. Christof, Koch and Davis, Joel L., 2003. Large-Scale Neuronal Theories of the Brain, Christof Koch and Joel L. Davis (Eds), MIT Press
  22. Korenini, Bojan, 2012. Conducting Consisting Laddering Interviews Uisng CLAD, MetodoloŇ°ki zvezki, Vol. 9. No.2.
  23. Krigsman, Michael, 2008. 68% of IT Project Fail, Beyond IT Failure, December 2008, http://www.zdnet.com/ blog/projectfailures/study-68-percent-of-it-projectsfail/1175
  24. Leeson, N., 2012. Rogue Trader, Little Brown Book Group.
  25. Mack, T., 1993. Hidden Risks, Forbes.
  26. Maturana, Humberto R. and Francisco J. Varela., 1980. Autopoesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living, D. Reidal Publishing Company.
  27. Mieritz, Lars, 2012. Gartner Survey Shows Why Project Fails? June 2012, http://thisiswhatgoodlookslike.com/ 2012/06/10/gartner-survey-shows-why-projects-fail/
  28. Moore, J.F., 1996. The Death of Competition - Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems, Harper Business, 297.
  29. Nguyen, T. N., 2014. A Different Approach to Information Management by Exceptions: Towards the Prevention of another Enron, Information & Management, Vol 51 Issue 1.
  30. Nguyen, T. N., 2006. A Decision Model for Managing Software Development Projects, Information & Management, Vol 43 Issue 1.
  31. Pressman, Roger S., 2010. Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach. 7e. McGraw-Hill.
  32. Powers Jr., W. Report of Investigation, 2002.
  33. Stewart, Valerie., 2010. http://valeriestewart-repertory grid.blogspot.com/
  34. Raven, Peter H. George B. Johnson, Jonathan Losos, Susan Singer, 2008. Biology, 8e, McGraw-Hill
  35. Reilly, Sean, 2012. How the Air Force blew $1B in a dud system. Federal Times, http://www.federaltimes. com/article/20121126/DEPARTMENTS01/31126000 9/How-Air-Force-blew-1-billion-dud-system
  36. Schadler, Ted, 2013. Healthcare.Gov's Failure Starts with Leadership, Not Technology, http://www.forbes.com/ sites/forrester/2013/10/25/healthcare-govs-failurestarts-with-leadership-not-technology/
  37. Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, 2006. http:// plato.stanford.edu/entries/peirce-semiotics/
  38. Stewart, Valerie, Andrew Stewart with Nickie Fonda, 1981. Business Application of Repertory Grid, McGraw-Hill Books Co.
  39. von Neumann, 2000. The Computer and The Brain, 2e, Yale University Press.
  40. von Neumann, John; Burks, Arthur W., 1966. Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata, University of Illinois Press.
  41. Weiner, Norbert, 1948. Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the animal and the machine, The Technology Press.
Download


Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

Nguyen T. (2014). Software Project Management - Towards Failure Avoidance . In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Software Engineering and Applications - Volume 1: ICSOFT-EA, (ICSOFT 2014) ISBN 978-989-758-036-9, pages 560-567. DOI: 10.5220/0004992605600567


in Bibtex Style

@conference{icsoft-ea14,
author={Thang Nguyen},
title={Software Project Management - Towards Failure Avoidance},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Software Engineering and Applications - Volume 1: ICSOFT-EA, (ICSOFT 2014)},
year={2014},
pages={560-567},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0004992605600567},
isbn={978-989-758-036-9},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF
JO - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Software Engineering and Applications - Volume 1: ICSOFT-EA, (ICSOFT 2014)
TI - Software Project Management - Towards Failure Avoidance
SN - 978-989-758-036-9
AU - Nguyen T.
PY - 2014
SP - 560
EP - 567
DO - 10.5220/0004992605600567