Orignal Post Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010 

It’s a common practice to measure failure or success of a project based on the initial functionality requirements and initial cost and schedule estimated.

The Standish Group publishes its Chaos report for software projects which terms a project as a "Success" if it is completed on time, on budget, and satisfying all the initial requirements. Projects are deemed a "Challenged" if functionality is achieved but cost and schedule over runs occur and "Failed" if a project is cancelled while in execution.

However there are other factors e.g. Tom DeMarco’s  Estimation Quality Factor  and Boehm’s Cone of Uncertainty (COU) or combination of these two (a brief analysis of these two factors can be found in the Jan/Feb IEEE Software magazine The Rise and Fall of the Chaos Report Figures: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/MS.2009.154).  

The questions is, does your company measure project success/failure based on initial software estimation? If yes , what methods are used at your company to establish the matrix (Standish, EQF, COU, any other)? In your opinion what is the value of software estimation accuracy?