A Troubled Project Case Study - The SS Great Eastern

A Troubled Project Case Study - The SS Great Eastern

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There are several high-profile IT projects in recent history which would be excel lent candidates for analysis in this chapter. These include the UK Passport Agency system replacement project, the Denver International Airport baggage handling system, and the Taurus project for the UK Stock Exchange. However, it would be hard to present an account and analysis of one of these projects without causing potential dissent and strong emotions in the community of the project participants, many of whom are still active in the industry. Taking a project example from another industry such as the Channel Tunnel or the Millennium Dome would not solve this issue. For this reason, I have chosen a historic project from a time well before the invention of the computer (with apologies to Charles Babbage who conceived his Analytic Engine in 1834 but did not live to see it realised). This example clearly illustrates that the same generic root causes which beset IT projects are equally troubling to other types of project.

Inspec keywords: ships; marine engineering; project management; software engineering; airports

Other keywords: Millennium Dome; Denver International Airport baggage handling system; troubled project; Taurus project; generic root causes; UK Stock Exchange; IT projects; Channel Tunnel; SS Great Eastern; The Greatest Iron Ship; UK Passport Agency system replacement project

Subjects: Computing in other engineering fields

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