Feasibility studies

Jeff Atwood gives a summary of Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering by Robert Glass on his blog. I was struck by point #14:

The answer to a feasibility study is almost always “yes”.

I hadn’t thought about that before, but it certainly rings true. I can’t think of an exception.

Some say about half of all large software projects fail, and presumably many of these failures passed a feasibility study. Why can’t we predict whether a project stands a good chance of succeeding? Are committees sincerely overly optimistic, or do they recognize doomed projects but tell the sponsor what the sponsor wants to hear?

Related post: Engineering statistics

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