Cutter Fellow Bob Charette has been blogging over at IEEE Risk Factor for the past decade, looking at the myriad ways software projects fail. To mark that 10-year milestone, he set out to analyze what’s changed — and what hasn’t — in the area of systems development- and operations-related failures.
Bob doesn’t claim to have compiled a comprehensive “database of debacles” in Lessons From a Decade of IT Failures. Instead, he’s endeavored to bring together the “most interesting and illustrative examples of big IT systems and projects gone awry.” Be sure to spend some time with his colleague Josh Romero’s five super cool interactive visualizations of the data where you’ll:
- Look at the various ways IT projects have squandered money, wasted time, and generally disrupted people’s lives
- explore modernization failures
- Marvel over budget and deadline disasters
- Have a moment of silence for the monuments to failure
- Play the sadly entertaining IT failure blame game
Bob’s takeaway: “While it’s impossible to say whether IT failures are more frequent now than in the past, it does seem that the aggregate consequences are worse.” Pop over to IEEE Spectrum to read the whole piece.