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Communications of the ACM

The business of software

An ­Updated Software Almanac


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An Updated Software Almanac, illustration

Credit: Alicia Kubista / Andrij Borys Associates

Software projects can be so complicated and so different from each other that predicting whether they will succeed or fail can be as difficult as forecasting the weather or picking winning stocks. Will the project entirely fulfill its goals? Will it deliver some value at a higher cost or later than desired? Or will it just crash and burn leaving the exhausted survivors to lick their wounds, bury the dead bodies, and shred the evidence?

Courageous efforts are being made to collect and codify the data that is available, to try to spot what trends are occurring in the industry, and to provide some useful guidelines for managing the business of software. The recently published QSM Software Almanac, dubbed the "2014 Research Edition," is an example of this.


 

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