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Project failure

IT Snapshot: Chapter 1 of “The Mythical Man-Month”

October 17, 2017
IT Snapshot: Chapter 1 of “The Mythical Man-Month”

Over forty years of working in information technology (IT) have taught me how few people have ever actually read some of the most important books in software engineering and IT project management. I teach a senior-level class in Software Engineering (CS 428) at Brigham Young University, and my students have to read a few of […]

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Post-mortem of large IT failure in Scotland

March 21, 2017
Post-mortem of large IT failure in Scotland

I am currently teaching CS 428 (“Software Engineering”) at BYU this semester, and my students just finished their midterm a week ago. Most of the questions on the test posed a hypothetical situation on an IT project or at work and asked them to identify risks and/or solutions, with citations from the books and articles […]

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Another $1 billion troubled system project

January 11, 2017
Another $1 billion troubled system project

A few years ago, I posted about the Air Force’s abandoned $1 billion effort to consolidate all its many accounting systems. Now it appears the State of California is going through similar difficulties: State officials have failed to remedy problems that have contributed to a two-year delay for a new computer system and cost increases […]

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UK Universal Credit project — complete write-off of code?

November 5, 2013 0 Comments
UK Universal Credit project — complete write-off of code?

I’ve written twice before (here and here) about the severe problems with the British government’s Universal Credit project. From my first post: The British government has spent roughly half a billion pounds ($750M) developing a new IT system for its welfare services, with the goal of cutting down on fraud and loss. The project, by all accounts, has […]

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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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