• Increase your understanding of project planning

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ISBSG Report Pack

Expand your knowledge on a range of important and relevant project topics.  Experts statistically analyze the ISBSG project data to produce a range of informative reports.

project performance

The performance of software projects across the industry and around the world.

application types

Insights into the development and enhancement of different application types.

software costs

Examine the costs of software development by comparing the cost per function point and the cost per hour/s of effort.

project performance

The effort allocated to each phase of the development lifecycle.

maintenance and support

Insights into the maintenance and support of software projects.

Report Descriptions

See the full range of ISBSG reports, grouped by area of interest, below. This includes current reports and some of our most popular archived reports. Click on a report title for more details.


Last updated: 2013.  The IT software industry is often the subject of damning media reports, with continual tales of software development projects that have been abandoned at great cost, or are orders of magnitude over budget and/or duration.  As the decades roll by the disasters continue. Or do they?

Have we learnt anything over fifty years of commercial software development?  Is the IT industry performing better now than it was 20 years ago?

The SIP report is based on research performed by the ISBSG using data submitted to its Development and Enhancement repository.  The report includes analysis of the following:

  • Productivity over Time
  • Defects Rates over Time
  • Speed of Delivery over Time
  • Accuracy of Estimates of Project Efforts
  • Accuracy of Estimates of Project Duration
  • Accuracy of Estimates of Software Size
  • Project Work Type over Time
  • Programming Languages
  • Use of Methodologies

“The Software Industry Performance (SIP) report is an excellent study with valuable and thought-provoking results”, says Capers Jones, Chief Scientist Emeritus of Software Productivity Research (SPR).  “I will certainly recommend the SIP report to my clients and colleagues”.

Last updated: 2014.  Using the projects in the ISBSG Development & Enhancement repository, this report looks at the characteristics of software development for thirteen countries. This twenty-six page report includes the following insights for each country:

  • The mix of in-house and outsource projects and a summary of off-shoring
  • The mix of project types
  • The sizing methods used
  • What language types are favoured
  • Delivery rates, speed of delivery and defect densities.


Last updated: 2011.  This report compares government and non-government software projects; government out-sourced and in-house developed projects.  It examines differences in productivity, team size, programming languages and other project characteristics.

The report answers the following questions:
1. How do software projects, undertaken to support the business of government, compare to non-government projects?
2. How do outsourced and in-house software projects undertaken for government organisations compare?
3. How do government software project teams compare to those operating outside of government?

Last updated: 2012.  An Analysis that compares the differences in development and enhancement projects for three different software types.

This 48 page report provides valuable insight into the development and enhancement performance of 3 different types of applications:  Business, Real-Time and Infrastructure.

The analysis results underline the importance of treating these 3 types of applications differently when estimating and benchmarking.  Project Delivery Rates and Duration times are provided along with useful charts of the correlations of Effort, Productivity and Duration to software size.  The productivity rates of different Programming Languages are compared, as is the impact of software size on productivity.

This report is especially valuable for people interested in Real-Time and Component Software Projects (Infrastructure).


Last updated: 2021.  We aim to provide useful information to help with the planning and management of Maintenance and Support functions. This information can be used to better manage internal or outsourced maintenance and support.

This report provides insight into the following:

  • The number of M&S staff being used by application size.
    •       The level of incident reporting by application size.
    •       The level of defects being encountered by application size.
    •       The median time to repair by application size.
    •       The proportion of time being spent of Maintenance and the proportion on Support.
    •       The percentage of time being spent on the different categories of maintenance: Corrective & Preventative; Perfective & Adaptive.
    •       The proportion of time being spent on the different categories of support: User help & Advice; Problem investigation; Queries and quick service.


Last updated: 2017. The ISBSG collects data about the effort for each of the 6 phases of a project: Plan, Specify, Design, Build, Test and Implement. Knowing the percentage ratios of these phases is important  for project estimation, management and benchmarking.

This report presents these phase ratios for both enhancement and new development projects and provides and example of their use.

Last updated: 2010. Effort and duration are the 2 main factors that are sought from software estimation exercises. Software customers want to know how long it will take to develop the software and how much it will cost.  Cost can be derived once the effort is known.

This Special Analysis Report concentrates on project duration.  The report provides useful information that can be used to obtain an approximate duration for a software project based on the known software size or effort; or to provide a “reality check” of an existing estimate of duration.

Last updated: 2010.  Despite the legendary ‘Mythical Man Month’, software project estimation often ignores the impact of team size.  Adding more people to a project can have a negative impact on productivity and duration.  The ISBSG data clearly shows this.

This Special Analysis Report looks at the impact that both team size and software size have on productivity. The report provides data in tables and charts, as well as examples that you can use to produce more accurate estimates by taking into account the impact of team size and software size when you are estimating.

Last updated: 2016.  In this report we look at costs per function point and costs per hour, and provide some useful rules of thumb.

Last updated: 2012.  We look at estimates of size, effort, duration and cost; how people have gone about estimating their projects; the accuracy of the estimates and the relationships between estimates. Here are some of the findings:

  • Size estimates are usually based on a data model; functional specification or analogy with a previous project
  • Project effort estimates are only accurate for less than a quarter of projects
  • Despite effort being poorly estimated 51% of projects were delivered on time
  • When functional size-based techniques are used for a cost estimate, the estimate is within 20% of the actual cost 90% of the time.

Improve your understanding of IT project management

Enjoy a wealth of research and information with an ISBSG Report Pack for $250 (AUD)

Explore ISBSG Resources


Accurate estimations are essential for the success of your project.

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Determine the factors that impact your project’s productivity.

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Learn about productivity, estimation and team size in Agile.

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Compare your project’s estimates to the best in the software industry.

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Maintenance & Support

A significant proportion of your IT systems’ budget may be spent on maintenance and support.

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Learn about the importance of software size, as an important factor in estimating cost.

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Discover how customer satisfaction, cost-effectiveness and quality can be maintained with outsourcing.

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Project Control

Learn about the factors that affect the schedule and budget of your project.

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