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Not So Timely

December 15, 2010

Our most recent Global Development survey series showed that fifty-one percent of North American developers say their latest project was delivered on time, and two-thirds of their projects came in within 3 weeks of target date. That might not seem so bad to people who have been active as product managers or development managers. Fact is it’s hard to predict how much time a software project is going to take. How can you know how the bugs will be injected, where they’ll be and how long it will take to find them? Software development is in many ways more an art than a science.

Asian developers were slightly less likely to be on time, but 71% came in within 3 weeks, while European developers delivered only 36% of their projects on time, and less than 60% were delivered within 3 weeks of target dates. Those most likely to be on time were developers writing internal corporate apps for the enterprise.

Sometimes the projects were not just late but discontinued altogether – the ultimate form of late. The phase during which projects were most likely to be discontinued was the coding phase in both North America and EMEA, but in the APAC region things work a little differently. Projects there were more likely to be abandoned during external beta testing. If we consider these situations, the Asian one sounds much worse. Aftter all, how discouraging to abandon the project after it’s already in external testing. Does this imply that the bugs they found in beta were too bad to try to fix – or is it that the app itself was so uninspiring that users couldn’t even get through testing?

Whichever, some of the code generated even in these projects can be used infuture porjects, and much of it is. That’s the magic of reusable code.

Now it’s on to the magic of Christmas. Have a great holiday!

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