The client, processing complex data related to customers across the country, had spent a significant amount of money on a custom application that after 18 months’ development was still not able to handle basic information. We were called in to assist in the IT dispute resolution process.
- We reviewed the contracts, emails and written notes available to the client.
- We interviewed the development company personnel.
- We reviewed the Requirements Document and supporting files.
- We retained an expert in the development technology being used.
We identified a number of fundamental issues which indicated that the project, as designed, would never satisfy the demands of the Requirements Document. Sadly, the project could not be rescued and we advised immediate stoppage.
- Technology advocated by the developer was old-school
- It was almost impossible to find developers familiar with the tools being used
- The tools themselves had serious issues which impeded the speed of development and were specifically unable to meet the needs identified in the Requirements Document
- A language problem existed between the client and the main development coder, resulting in overly long meetings and misunderstandings
- The main development coder had not been provided with the Requirements Document
- The development house project manager was no longer involved in the project, with no replacement identified
- The development house had seriously under-estimated the complexity, cost and development time for the project
- No additional analysis had been done by the development house
- The client had no experience of IT project management and did not have the expertise or language to engage with the development house at the appropriate level
This project was a case-study in how an IT project can go very wrong, leading to high stress and a large loss of time and money.