The National Health Service is in the middle of a massive ”£12bn IT programme designed to keep electronic records of 30 million NHS patients throughout the UK.” This program has been ongoing since 2002 and has been called the greatest IT disaster in history.
Beyond IT Failure
Michael Krigsman is a recognized authority on the causes and prevention of IT failures.
Michael Krigsman is an internationally recognized analyst, strategy advisor, and authority on enterprise software leadership, CIO innovation, and social business. Interact with Michael on Twitter at @mkrigsman.
An interesting discussion related to consulting ecosystems, software implementation failures, and complexity, from Charles Zedlewski’s blog.From the discussion (quoting myself this time):Implementation failures generally do not have a root cause based in technology.
The Anchorage Daily News reports about technical problems with new Diebold voting machines. From the article:Problems with Alaska’s new touchscreen voting machines slowed election returns Tuesday and caused elections officials to hand count and manually upload vote totals from several precincts across the state.
Project management and planning errors are often an important cause of the failures described in this blog, so I read the recent book Race Through the Forest with great interest. The book was written by Timothy L.
The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required) that $2-300 million of fraudulent US tax refunds were paid due to an IT project screw-up. From the article:“The management efforts of both the IRS and its contractor to improve our automated-refund fraud-detection system were insufficient and are unacceptable,” IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said in a statement Friday.
Government Computer News reports that cost over-runs on software projects are a problem at the Department of Defense. Anyway, from the article:The problem is huge.
Senior Journal reports that the Medicare program erroneously sent out $50 million in drug refunds to seniors, due to an unspecified computer glitch. Unfortunately, the seniors who received over-payments must return the money.
Most of the project failures described in this blog are BIG: huge projects, global system integrators, and so on. This case study shows that even the smallest companies are not immune to software stupidity, with negative impact on customers.
Hugger-Mugger Yoga Products is a $5 million supplier of yoga-related products such as clothes, yoga mats, and so on. After struggling with a variety of individual software products that did not integrate well, the company decided to implement open source ERP package Compiere.