The Planit Testing Index 2011 has found that while testing professionals have an unwavering faith in their discipline’s ability to deliver superior project outcomes, software testing is yet to win the respect of management at many organisations. For these, achieving best practice testing remains an unrealised goal.
Failure to implement strong quality assurance practices has a high cost however, and as a consequence project failures in software development remain unacceptably high. Of the software development projects completed through 2010 – 2011, only 41.3 percent were completed on time, on budget and without significant change to scope. Something needs to change, as performance is going backwards. The number of projects that achieved an optimal outcome in 2011 fell 6.6 percentage points from the previous year, and declined 7.7 percentage points when compared to the 2009 findings.
And most alarmingly, the number of projects that were cancelled completely almost doubled this year, equating to more than 550 of the total projects reported on.
Planit Testing Index 2011: Project Outcomes
Failed Postponed Over time/budget Significant change to scope On time, budget and scope
There was a shift in nature of the negative outcomes this year, with a decrease in the number of projects running over time and over budget, and an increase in those that suffered a change of 25 percent of more in the scope of requirements. As we will see throughout the 2011 Index, issues with requirements definition were a source of constant frustration for software and testing professionals, and may constitute a root cause for many of the problems that beset projects.
Of the various groups surveyed, it was Software/IT companies that scored most highly with regard to optimal project delivery, with 40 percent delivering projects on time, on budget and without significant change to scope. This possibly reflects the fact that software development is a core expertise for these organisations. Companies in the Banking and Finance sector were least likely to complete projects optimally.