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Project Failure

Teaching CS 428 (Software Engineering) at BYU

January 12, 2017 0 Comments
Teaching CS 428 (Software Engineering) at BYU

This (Winter 2017) semester, I am teaching Computer Science 428 — “Software Engineering” — for the Brigham Young University Computer Science department. I am actually taking over this class from Dr. Charles “Chuck” Knutson, who was one of my students 30 years ago when I previously taught for BYU. I’m going to do a bit […]

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Remember Conway’s Law

October 8, 2013 11 Comments
Remember Conway’s Law

Some years ago, I was called in to lead a team of three other people in reviewing a major project at a Fortune 50 corporation. This project, which I’ll call QUBE, was a major end-to-end re-engineering of that firm’s mission-critical systems, intended to replace all the existing legacy systems. The QUBE project was supposed to […]

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The 5 books every IT manager should read right now

September 30, 2013 1 Comment
The 5 books every IT manager should read right now

In a prior post I talked about setting up a reading program for your IT department. However, whether or not you can get your IT engineers to read, you yourself need to be aware of the fundamental realities of IT project management and software engineer that have been discovered again and again. In other words, […]

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Septic code: why some large IT projects never go into production

September 12, 2013 4 Comments
Septic code: why some large IT projects never go into production

A common pattern in the failure of large IT software projects is “the Never-Ending Story”, which I described back in 2000 (PDF) as follows: The client contracts with the manufacturer to develop and install a system. The project starts. The completion date slips. It keeps slipping. Each time the adjusted delivery date approaches, the project slips […]

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Active risk management: doing IT projects right

September 9, 2013 1 Comment
Active risk management: doing IT projects right

In a prior post, I talked about IT project risk management and gave a real-world example of doing it wrong, with the expected consequences. But some organizations do it right, and it’s worth looking at those examples as well. Some years back, I spent a few months at a client site reviewing a couple of […]

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