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An approach to software release

October 10, 2013 3 Comments
An approach to software release

The following excerpt is taken — with a few minor edits — from a white paper I wrote on quality assurance back in the late 1990s for a large corporate client. Given the rather intense coverage of the failings of the Healthcare.gov website — which clearly was not ready for prime time — I thought […]

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The flip site of government IT failures: the contractors

October 7, 2013 0 Comments
The flip site of government IT failures: the contractors

My friend and colleague Robert La Ferla pointed me to this Boston Globe article detailing problems with certain of Deloitte’s large-scale IT projects for governments (emphasis mine): In its brochures, Deloitte Consulting proclaims a record of “smooth implementations” of complex technology projects. But in courts, school systems, and government agencies in several states, the roll-out of […]

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Why government IT projects are so prone to failure or overruns

September 30, 2013 2 Comments
Why government IT projects are so prone to failure or overruns

Joseph Marks over at Government Executive Magazine has an excellent article on the propensity of government IT projects to having significant cost/schedule overruns or to fail altogether. One of the key issues is the frequent lack of authority, power, and accountability precisely because of all the rules, regulations, and procedures in place for acquiring IT […]

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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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$1 billion example of the Thermocline of Truth

September 9, 2013 3 Comments
$1 billion example of the Thermocline of Truth

In a post here last week, I made reference to what I call “the thermocline of truth.” The basic idea is simple: those in the trenches of a large project know how badly it’s going, while those at the top think everything’s fine; the level at which the ‘truth’ stops is somewhere in the middle. As […]

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