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Project Failure

The thermocline of truth — at NASA

August 26, 2008 1 Comment
The thermocline of truth — at NASA

Rand Simberg at Transterrestrial Musings (an outstanding blog, BTW) points to this e-mail from someone leaving NASA due to a litany of frustrations. I may parse out more of the e-mail later to note some of the classic troubled/failing project attributes, but this passage caught my eye: Then between us workers and the highest levels […]

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They’d rather be wrong: rejecting project solutions

August 15, 2008 1 Comment
They’d rather be wrong: rejecting project solutions

I have a new Baseline column up on the tendency of large organizations to reject the best solutions for a troubled IT project: The consultants, usually with the help of the employees in the trenches, would use their time, effort, and expertise to analyze the system under development or in production. They would arrive at […]

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Anatomy of a runaway IT project

June 16, 2008 28 Comments
Anatomy of a runaway IT project

The following document is the actual text — carefully redacted — of a memo I wrote some time back [i.e., several years ago] after performing an IT project review; names and identifying concepts have been changed to preserve confidentiality (and protect the guilty). The project in question was a major IT re-engineering effort for a […]

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“Pitfalls of Modern Software Engineering”: an update

May 29, 2008 0 Comments
“Pitfalls of Modern Software Engineering”: an update

One of the books I’m currently writing is Pitfalls of Modern Software Engineering, a greatly expanded and updated version of a book I published back in the 1990s. I’ve been posted new and revised pitfalls over at my Bruce F. Webster & Associates (bfwa.com) website. To make the pitfalls a bit easier to browse, I’ve […]

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The Wetware Crisis: All Our Sins Remembered – Intro

May 14, 2008 0 Comments
The Wetware Crisis: All Our Sins Remembered – Intro

[Copyright 2008 by Bruce F. Webster. All rights reserved. Adapted from Surviving Complexity (forthcoming).] Humanity has been developing information technology for half a century. That experience has taught us this unpleasant truth: virtually every information technology project above a certain size or complexity is significantly late and over budget or fails altogether; those that don’t […]

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