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$19,000 per defect

 
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The software development process is profoundly screwed up. According to the Standish Group, which conducts an annual industry-wide survey, 15 percent of all information technology projects get canceled outright, costing the sector $38 billion each year, and companies spend $17 billion annually on cost overruns. Those products that are finally released contain just 52 percent of the features customers asked for. Throughout the industry, projects are chronically late - only 18 percent hit deadline - and consistently, maddeningly flawed. Estimates of the number of bugs contained in shipped products run from one defect in every 1,000 lines of code to one in every 100. According to Watts Humphrey in his book A Discipline for Software Engineering, IBM at one time spent $250 million repairing and reinstalling fixes to 13,000 customer-reported flaws. That comes to a stunning $19,000 per defect.
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[ December 26, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
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"Don't Trust Statistics You Didn't Falsify Yourself"

15 percent of all information technology projects get canceled outright, costing the sector $38 billion each year


Those projects probably would have costed much more if they hadn't been canceled. Of course you could argue that they shouldn't have been started at all, but taking no risk at all probably isn't that profitable either.

Those products that are finally released contain just 52 percent of the features customers asked for.


That *might* mean they found out they didn't need the other 48% at all...

Throughout the industry, projects are chronically late - only 18 percent hit deadline


Interestingly, innovative building projects seem to be chronically late, too...
 
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Those projects probably would have cost much more if they hadn't been canceled.


Been there. In the 80s my mainframe shop produced two internal applications that delivered nothing approaching their goals. They met the stated requirements and ran, but had fatal flaws in matching goals to strategies. Basicly zero understanding of math & measurements ... from some math & CS majors yet. This was pointed out fairly early on, but the projects went to completion, were heralded as on time, on budget, up and running. Then they were quietly ignored, never used and allowed to die.
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At $19,000 per defect few projects would make it off the ground.
 
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Well, right, but it's a value that is measured, as was mentioned above, against the cost of doing nothing at all. It's very easy in these kinds of reports to label as defects or waste all those projects that were cancelled for all the right reasons. In other words, the current price of being less than perfect, according to these estimates, is about $19,000 "per defect."
Spun properly and assuming the exaggeration isn't egregiously high, I'm sure someone could find a way to make this "cost" seem quite reasonable. Makes it hard to sell a big solution, though, if you don't make a big problem to address it.
 
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