|Title||A Survey on the Characteristics of Projects with Success in Delivering Client Benefits|
|Afilliation||Software Engineering, Software Engineering|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Journal||Information and Software Technology|
Context: A large waste of resources in software development projects currently results from being unable to produce client benefits.
Objective: The main objective is to better understand the characteristics of successful software projects and contribute to software projects that are more likely to produce the planned client benefits.
Method: We asked 63 Norwegian software professionals, representing both the client and the provider role, to report information about their last completed project. In a follow-up survey with 64 Norwegian software professionals, we addressed selected findings from the first survey.
Results: The analysis of the project information showed the following: i) The project management triangle criteria of being on time, on budget, and having the specified functionality are poor correlates of the essential success dimension client benefits. ii) Benefit management planning before the project started and benefit management activities during project execution were connected with success in delivering client benefits. iii) Fixed-price projects and projects in which the selection of providers had a strong focus on low price were less successful in delivering project benefits than other projects. iv) Agile projects were in general more successful than other projects, but agile projects without flexible scope to reflect changed user needs and learning, or without frequent delivery to the client, had less than average success in delivering client benefits.
Conclusions: The software projects that were successful in delivering client benefits differed from the less successful ones in several ways. In particular, they applied benefit management practices during project execution, they avoided fixed-price contracts, they had less focus on low price in the selection of providers, and they applied the core agile practices - frequent delivery to the client and scope flexibility.