That said, I've only ever seen one software project consistently meet production deadlines. Is there benefit to committing to the original schedule with Partner X if there's no way you can deliver on schedule? Or is it one of those things where Partner X has committed itself and they have no real choice but to work with the sliding deadlines?
I'd say that some aspects of the capability maturity model make sense, even for engineering groups that practice agile day-to-day.
Definitely. I used to see that all the time in the games industry. Getting the right launch window is critical because most of a game's sales happen in the first few days of launch. And yet, games are famous for shipping months, even years late. They usually seem to make it work. I guess you'd be particularly hosed if you couldn't afford the burn rate for the extra X months it would take to get to a decent launch window.