|Title||What makes software projects successful?|
|Publication Type||Talk, keynote|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Location of Talk||ICSIE, Singapore|
Numerous research studies and consultancy reports make claims about how often, or rather how seldom, software projects are successful, why so many of them fail, and how to succeed more often. These studies and reports have reported very much the same success and failure factors and the same advices since the 1960s. If we already know how to make a successful software project, why is the proportion of failed software projects about the same as earlier? Are software professionals ignorant of the published knowledge or are there other reasons? One reason may be that previous studies have had very little focus on the most important success dimension, i.e., client benefits, contain very little practical advice on how to succeed, and have not managed to include the context-dependency and complexity of the connections between process choices and outcome. In this keynote I present recent attempts to better define and operationalize project success and better analyse and describe the context-dependent and probabilistic network of connections between essential choices made early and the outcome of software projects. The hope is that this may inspire other researchers to emphasise research on software project management that results in more context-aware results of practical use for software professionals.