View Full Version : Help With Reseach: Web Development

04-02-2007, 11:30 PM
I am looking for the opinions of web developers who build web applications for my university dissertation. My interest centres on why IT projects fail and whether or using "formal methodologies" improve the chances of project success when working in a team of one. I am sorry I have no better way of articulating formal methodologies other than to give example of what I understand them to be. I a referring to Agile methods such as XP or Scrum; Waterfall or phased methods; and Rapid Application Development.

Realistically I am trying to see if there is a difference between the "theory", how projects should be implemented and the practice how they are implemeted, whether or not projects fail or succeed because "they just do", or whether the "methodology" has contributed to the success or failure of the project.

I have my own ideas of course, but for my project to have academic value, it is essential that I test these ideas against the experiences of those more knowledgable than I am. If you are one of those people then I would value your opinion, if you are not, I thank you for taking the time to answer my post in the first place.

04-03-2007, 11:51 AM
I'm not a professional web developer, but I have been professionally active in application development for over 12 years; I have participated in many projects and have a good idea about why projects fail and the role development methods play in this.

I currently lack the time to go into this with any depth, but I'll be happy to return once I've had the chance to collect my thoughts.

04-03-2007, 09:15 PM
That would be great, I really appreciate your help.

04-03-2007, 11:58 PM
Well I have worked professionally as a web developer. I specifically was an Intranet application developer and at while none of the projects I worked on "failed" and I can tell you why they always take longer than originally planned.

The number one reason: feature creep. If you are unfamiliar with it, I can explain it in more detail.

Like Ronald I can probably go into much greater detail if I think about it for a little bit. Just trying to help get the ball rolling here.

04-04-2007, 09:54 AM
Okay, first in a multipart response, some reasons projects fail (as far as I have experienced):

Requirements not specified clearly and unambiguously. This can result in a discrepancy between what is delivered and what the client expects. Also:
Scope creep, or feature creep, as Oracleguy called it: not clearly defining what the scope of the project is, or changing it along the way without taking into account what the effect is on the planning will cause projects to fail time and again.
Planning is insufficiently detailed, or just plain wrong. You'll never going to deliver on time if you don't know how much time you need.
Insufficient progress monitoring. Detecting discrepancies between the original planning and the real progress as early as possible and taking steps to resolve the issues is paramount is you want to stay on track.
Unclear priorities. This one is particularly critical when methods like timeboxing are used. Prioritizing requirements can help determining what needs to be done first and what can be left for later. Get these wrong and the whole project can fall to pieces (been there, done that, suffered the consequences).

Those are some reasons that spring to mind; I'll think about methods later.