The Best Way to Improve ROI is With Good Requirements

woodcut of man levering the earth

Here’s some leverage to use on the pointy-haired boss.

An article at IBM titled Calculating your return on investment from more effective requirements management throws out some stats from the Standish Group:

  • 31% of all software projects are canceled before completed ($81 billion waste)
  • 53% of projects will cost 189% of estimates
  • 9% on time and on budget (large companies)
  • 16% on time and on budget (small companies)

More leverage: Why we should invest in requirements management

I also really like the quote from the abstract (their emphasis):

“There is strong evidence to suggest that reducing requirements errors may be the single most effective action application developers can take to improve project outcomes and assist us in our goal of delivering quality software, on time and on budget .”

One ROI benefit of good requirements is being able to work on the most important stuff first.

The top 3 reasons for project failures identified in their poll:

  1. Lack of user input
  2. Incomplete requirements
  3. Requirements churn

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