A Study of the Identification of the Factors that Lead to Time Delays in Software Development

Abdool Qaiyum Mohabuth


Completing software development projects on time has always been very challenging for software developers.  Despite proper planning and use of tools and techniques, project managers often complained that they miss their targets.  Rarely software development projects are delivered on time to the satisfaction of clients.  Time slips, deadline missed and schedule overruns resulting in serious delays for software delivery.  This study aims at identifying the factors which prevent software project to be completed on time.  It extracts where software developers experience most of the time delays and assess whether overrunning schedule is distinct to different size of organisation.  A survey questionnaire was designed for identifying the causes and frequency of occurrences of delays on software projects.  The questionnaire was administered to software developers at small, medium and large software development house.   Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with software developers who have experienced on managing software development projects.  Findings reveal that software delays are mostly due to managerial problems rather than technical complexities.  Coordination, communication, conflicting relationship, unrealistic planning, team complexity are among the factors found that contribute most to time delays.   Technical factors are found to be less prominent with the most frequent ones being in accommodating changes, determining requirements and in the testing phase. Besides, it has been observed that there is uniformity across organisations i.e. the small, medium and large development firms face the same issues as regards to the time delays affecting software project.


delays; schedule overruns; deadline; delivery; target.

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