An Investigation Into The Reasons Why Some Software Projects Fail

In December 2009, as an element of my university course work, I submitted an essay entitled, “The relationship between requirements & design and the failure of software development projects”. It was graded as first-class and was placed top of the cohort. It provides a valuable overview as to why correct requirements’ elicitation at the outset, as well as subsequent analysis, is so critical to a software project’s success.

This report looks at the relationship between requirements and design, and the failure of software projects. It investigates several key areas of requirements and design which often lead to failure, such as requirements analysis, prototyping, working with stakeholders, change control and software tools. Each area is subject to critical analysis whereby the strengths and weaknesses of typical processes are identified, and suggestions for their improvements are documented. A case study is included which supports the report by documenting the catastrophic failure of the Mars Orbiter programme.

View the full report.

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