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Are you putting software projects at risk?

In this interview, Daniel Bryant discusses how many software projects are at risk due to development fallacies.

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Software projects tend to miss deadlines far more often than they deliver on time, regardless of whether a modern, Agile methodology is employed or software development is guided using a more traditional, waterfall approach. But why is it that software projects, be it partial milestones or the complete delivery of the application, so often come in late and over budget?

According to Daniel Bryant, a principle consultant at OpenCredo in London, many of the answers can be found in the psychology of the individual. Borrowing from the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Nobel Memorial Prize-winning researcher Daniel Kahneman, Bryant applies concepts such as the optimistic bias and illusion of control to help explain how both the psychology of the individual developer and the sociology of the software development team are inclined to create unrealistic estimates that put software delivery schedules at risk.

At JavaOne 2015, TheServerSide spoke with Daniel Bryant about these common flaws in the thought processes of the IT professional, and what they can do to address the problems these flaws present.

"People naturally like to think about good consequences when we set up projects. When we set up interesting things, we like to think we'll do well," Bryant said. However, efficient managers need to be wary of that mindset, he later added, and learn to ask developers, "Do you understand the [business] problem and the context it's being talked about in the software and the context?"

Watch the first of two video interviews featuring Daniel Bryant to hear more about optimistic bias and other software development fallacies that might be putting your software projects at risk.

Has your enterprise come across development flaws in software projects? Let us know.

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News from JavaOne 2015

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Anchoring is a very big problem that people face when being asked to provide an estimate. Douglas Hubbard provides some interesting training that’s associated with his theory of Applied Information Economics. In the training, people are given exercises that help “calibrate” their estimations based on providing a 90% confidence interval. I’ve worked on a few valuation projects since I’ve received that training and, while it doesn’t eliminate the potential for anchoring to take place, it does help the team that’s deriving the estimate recognize when they have been anchored to a specific value so that they can better address it.
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