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Author Archive: bfwebster

Webster is Principal and Founder at at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the BYU Computer Science Department. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at 720.895.1405 or at bwebster@bfwa.com.

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Patterns of failure: how LucasArts fell apart

September 27, 2013 0 Comments
Patterns of failure: how LucasArts fell apart

Over at Kotaku, a Gawker Media web portal that covers computer games (a bigger industry than Hollywood, I might point out), Jason Schreier has an excellent article outlining the fall of LucasArts, once one of the most productive and successful video game companies around, but now no longer in existence. It is worth a careful […]

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The rise of the machines: annals in high-speed trading

September 20, 2013 0 Comments
The rise of the machines: annals in high-speed trading

Several years ago, I served as an expert witness in a trade secrets lawsuit involving algorithmic high-speed trading and learned some fascinating things in the process (most of which I can’t talk about). So it was with some interest that I read this article about the market’s near-instantaneous reaction to the Federal Reserve’s decision not […]

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£10 billion ($16 billion) IT failure — yep, it’s the UK again

September 18, 2013 0 Comments
£10 billion ($16 billion) IT failure — yep, it’s the UK again

It can be hard to imagine that you can spend billions of dollars (or, worse yet, pounds) on IT systems without having much to show for it, but, yes, it has happened again: An abandoned NHS patient record system has so far cost the taxpayer nearly £10bn, with the final bill for what would have […]

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An IT success, albeit an expensive one

September 17, 2013 0 Comments
An IT success, albeit an expensive one

  Since I’ve been writing a lot about large-scale IT project failures, here’s a story about a troubled-but-completed IT project: the CalPERS re-engineering effort. It’s hard to call it successful when it cost double the original estimate ($586 million vs. $279 million), took over 16 years (it started in 1995 and went live in 2011), […]

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Possible £200 million writeoff for Universal Credit — septic code problem?

September 13, 2013 1 Comment
Possible £200 million writeoff for Universal Credit — septic code problem?

I wrote last week about problems with the UK Government’s Universal Credit project, an attempt to do a system-wide replacement and re-engineering of IT systems for the Department for Work and Pension. The latest news article now states that the project has already written off £34 million and may end up writing off up to […]

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