Sixteen IT failures to remember

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.

Sixteen IT failures to remember

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:

  1. The IRS project on taxpayer compliance took over a decade to complete and cost the country an unanticipated $50 bn.
  2. 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.
  3. The State of Florida welfare system was plagued with numerous computational errors and $260m in overpayments!
  4. 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.
  5. Feb. 2007 £20bn UK NHS computer system 'doomed to fail‘a senior insider has warned.
  6. 2007 laptop with records of 600,000 recruits was stolen from Royal Navy recruiter's car
  7. In September 2006 Department of Homeland Security admitted project failure and closed the Emerge2 program $229m (a new financial IT system).
  8. In May 2006 the disastrous Seasprite helicopter program for the Australian Navy, with $1bn spent, the helicopters were grounded due to software problems.
  9. In April 2005 inter-departmental warfare played a significant role in the failure of a $64m federal IT project.
  10. In 2005 British food retailer J Sainsbury had to write off $526m it had invested in an automated supply-chain management system.
  11. 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.
  12. In 2005 the UK Inland Revenue produced tax payment over payments of $3.45 bn because of software errors.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. In 2004 Avis cancelled an ERP system after $54.5m is spent
  16. 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.]

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