ISBSG Report Subscription
Expand your knowledge on a range of relevant project topics.
At ISBSG, our experts statistically analyse our project data to produce informative reports.
Subscribe now and receive downloadable copies of the reports listed below. The subscription price is $250 (AUD).
See the full range of ISBSG reports, grouped by area of interest, below. Click on a report title for report details.
Software Project Characteristics that Impact Development Productivity
Last updated: 2007. This report highlights the many project characteristics and risk factors to consider when estimating software projects or benchmarking their productivity. It is important to carefully analyse these to ensure benchmarking comparisons are appropriate and to allow for them by adjusting any estimate derived from a broad range of projects.
Early Lifecycle Software Estimation
Last updated; 2005. When a software project is simply an idea, you need to have an indicative estimate of the possible cost and duration. This will provide an indication of whether the project idea is feasible.
This paper describes an early lifecycle estimating technique that uses a combination of formulae and the ISBSG project delivery rate tables. Using the information in this paper you can produce an estimate range for the effort and duration of a proposed software development. Practical examples and the required tables are provided.
Planning Projects – Phase Effort Ratios
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.
Planning Projects - Role Effort Ratios
Last updated: 2006. For this report we looked into the ISBSG data to provide a guide for the percentage effort that each role is likely to require during a project. The report lays out the findings of our investigation & statistical analysis. It provides charts of the role effort ratios for all projects and then for outsourced and in-house projects.
Project Durations by Size and Effort
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.
Team Size Impact on Project Delivery Rate
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.
Software Project Costs
Last updated: 2016. In this report we look at costs per function point and costs per hour, and provide some useful rules of thumb.
Software Project Estimates - How Accurate Are They?
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.
The Use of Function Points in the Industry
Last updated: 2016. This report examines the importance of using functional sizing to measure the size of software projects. It looks at the use of functional sizing by different organisations. Statistics show the most popular sizing methods that are used overall and within each industry.
Managing Your Maintenance & Support Environment
Last updated: 2020. 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.
Government & Non-Government Software Project Performance
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?
Outsourcing, Offshoring, Inhouse - How do they compare?
Last updated: 2007. In this report we present the results of an analysis of the projects in the ISBSG R10 Development & Enhancement repository in order to answer the following questions:
- How do outsourced projects compare to in-house projects? Are there any differences in the types of projects, the methods used, or the indicators of project performance?
- How do onshore projects compare to offshore projects?
Package Customisation - What to expect
Last updated: 2004. This ISBSG special analysis reveals that choosing and implementing a package has advantages over developing new software. This is so, provided that the implementation is either turn-key or utilises customistation facilities provided with the package. Package projects that involve changes to the package source code perform worse than development projects.
The Performance of Business Application, Real-Time & Component Software Projects
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).
Web Projects - How Different Are They?
Last updated: 2008. We present the results of an analysis of the web projects in the ISBSG R10 repository and compare them to non-web projects. The aim of this analysis is to gain an understanding of factors that make web projects different, so that project estimation, planning and benchmarking of web projects can be better managed.
There are four main areas of analysis reported in this document:
- A comparison of key project measures – web and non-web project data sets
- Effort by development phase – a comparison – web and non-web projects
- Use of techniques and tools – a comparison – web and non-web projects
- Typical team sizes for web projects.
Techniques & Tools Special Reprt
Last updated: 2007. In the 1st paper on techniques & tools we primarily reported on their impact on the Project Delivery Rate of projects. The research for that report led to more questions about what impact tools & techniques have on other aspects of projects. In this report we look beyond PDR to provide information about Speed of Delivery; Defect Density; Team Sizes and any changes in project Phase Ratios that have resulted from the use of a technique or tool. We also provide a comparison with research done by Capers Jones of SPR. What works and what doesn’t? Are there any silver bullets?
Software Industry Performance (SIP) Report
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”.
Software Development Performance by Country
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.