TL;DR: Surveys indicate that application development projects have a greater chance of coming in on time, finishing at or under budget, and delivering programs that meet or exceed user needs when IT managers take advantage of the expertise and resources available via cloud-based development services such as the OohLaLog log monitoring and management platform.
Almost as long as there have been software development projects, there have been studies measuring the success of software development projects. As you might have guessed, criticisms of such studies have been around for just as long.
There's no argument about this: Organizations that build useful applications on time and at (or under) budget are the ones most likely to be successful in other areas. Recent surveys of IT app-development managers indicate that a project's success relies increasingly on leveraging resources outside the IT department.
The program development cycle is shorter than ever. At the same time, users demand more flexibility in terms of features and platforms -- particularly for mobile devices. IT managers are pressured to deliver more versatile apps in less time and at lower cost. Piece of cake, right? If you rely solely on in-house resources, maybe not so much. If you take advantage of the many cloud-based development services becoming available, your chances for a successful deployment improve substantially.
The dangers of over-reliance on 'control-oriented' development projects
A report released on August 12, 2014, by the Apigee Institute indicates that when it comes to mobile app development in large organizations, the key to success is to take advantage of resources available outside the organization. "Lessons from the App Masters: How Some IT Departments Excel at Delivering Quality Apps" examines the results of a global survey of IT managers in large enterprises engaged in app development in 2013.
On Consumer Electronics Net, Apigee Institute Director Bryan Kirtschner points out the shortcomings of the traditional "control-oriented" app-development model, which he states is "incompatible with the new business imperative to deliver systems of engagement at the pace the market demands." Development teams that adopted what Kirtschner calls an "outside-in IT" approach were more likely to have a successful deployment.
The report identifies "App Masters" as IT development teams whose members are more open to working with outside parties. The survey indicates that App Masters exceeded expectations across all five of measures of success: number of apps, quality of apps, budget, business impact, and delivery on time.
Conversely, when you look at total app deployments over the same period, 27 percent exceeded their timeline, 18 percent ran over budget, and the same percentage of projects resulted in fewer apps being developed than they had planned.
App Masters' greater willingness to seek solutions outside their organizations translated directly into more successful app deployment, according to the survey results. Development-cost reduction was the principal benefit of the "outside-in IT" approach, cited by 78 percent of the App Masters surveyed. However, the same percentage pointed to the ability to access technical or project-management expertise as a primary benefit of outside-in IT.
Keys to app-development success: Stay lean, stay agile
Earlier this year on the Dr. Dobbs site, Scott W. Ambler announced the results of his almost-annual survey of software-development project success rates. Respondents were asked to rate their projects as Successful (delivered on time, on budget, and to specs); Challenged (delivered, but not all project goals met); and Failed (program never delivered).
Each development project was placed in one of five categories, or "paradigms": Lean (focused on optimizing value to the customer); Agile (iterative but also "lightweight, highly collaborative, self-organizing, and quality focused"); Iterative (tasks organized into periods or time boxes); Ad Hoc (no defined process); and Traditional (the standard sequential model of requirements, design, coding, testing, and deployment).
The Lean paradigm had the highest success rate and the lowest failure rate: 72 percent and 7 percent, respectively. The success and failure rates of the Agile and Iterative approaches were nearly identical: 64 percent successful and 6 percent failure for Agile; and 65 percent successful and 7 percent failure for Iterative. Only 50 percent of Ad Hoc development projects and 49 percent of Traditional projects were successful, according to the survey, while 15 percent of Ad Hoc projects and 18 percent of Traditional projects failed.
Contain costs, improve customer satisfaction by staying agile
Agile software development is clearly catching on in organizations of all sizes. According to statistics collected by Visual.ly, 84 percent of software companies surveyed in 2013 had adopted agile development, up from 80 percent in 2011, while the number of developers planning to implement agile development in future projects jumped from 59 percent in 2011 to 83 percent in 2012.
The defining characteristic of agile development is a "willingness to review and adapt in the light of changing circumstances." One of the most important changes now affecting software development is the availability of cloud-based development support services such as OohLaLog, which is designed to let developers and DevOps personnel troubleshoot applications, databases, and systems quickly and simply.
OohLaLog offers a single dashboard for monitoring Syslogs, app logs, and DB logs. Supported technologies include Apache, Android, Debian, Fedora, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, and Ubuntu. Visit the service's pricing page to view the latest rates (a 30-day free trial is available). You can get started in just a few minutes -- no downloads required!
To give your app-development team the best chances for success, and your users all the features, functions, and performance they expect, you have to think way, way outside the IT box... all the way up to the cloud!