Here's a list of 16 IT failures worth remembering. Covering a full-range of devastated projects from both government and private industry, this list shows the true diversity of IT failure.
I found the list on a site called Lessons from History. As you browse the failures, consider the waste involved. Bear in mind, these 16 are nothing more than a few representative samples of failures that happen every day, all around the world:
- The IRS project on taxpayer compliance took over a decade to complete and cost the country an unanticipated $50 bn.
- The Oregon DMV conversion to new software took eight years to complete, the budget grew by 146% ($123m) and public outcry eventually killed the entire project.
- The State of Florida welfare system was plagued with numerous computational errors and $260m in overpayments!
- August 2008 Unencrypted memory stick lost with names/dates of birth of 84,000 inmates, England 's entire prison population. Home addresses of 33,000 who had six convictions.
- Feb. 2007 £20bn UK NHS computer system 'doomed to fail‘a senior insider has warned.
- 2007 laptop with records of 600,000 recruits was stolen from Royal Navy recruiter's car
- In September 2006 Department of Homeland Security admitted project failure and closed the Emerge2 program $229m (a new financial IT system).
- In May 2006 the disastrous Seasprite helicopter program for the Australian Navy, with $1bn spent, the helicopters were grounded due to software problems.
- In April 2005 inter-departmental warfare played a significant role in the failure of a $64m federal IT project.
- In 2005 British food retailer J Sainsbury had to write off $526m it had invested in an automated supply-chain management system.
- In 2005 US Justice Department Inspector General report stated $170m FBI Virtual Case File project was a failure, after five years and $104m in expenditures. Over one 18-month period, the FBI gave its contractor nearly 400 requirements changes.
- In 2005 the UK Inland Revenue produced tax payment over payments of $3.45 bn because of software errors.
- May 2005 major hybrid car manufacturer installed software fix on 160,000 vehicles. The automobile industry spends $2 to $3 bn per year fixing software problems.
- July 2004 a new government welfare management system in Canada costing $200m was unable to handle a simple benefits rate increase. The contract allowed for 6 weeks of acceptance testing and never tested the ability to handle a rate increase.
- In 2004 Avis cancelled an ERP system after $54.5m is spent
- In 2002 the UK government wasted £698m on Pathway project, smartcards for benefits payments, & £134m overspend on magistrates' courts Libra system.
[Sinking ship photo via Wired.]