Whats in a Name?

By Larry Dignan  |  Posted 2006-02-13 Print this article Print

Apparently, everything, when it comes to the success of a technology project.

Apparently, everything, when it comes to the success of a technology project. So writes Nicholas Carr on his Rough Type blog (www.roughtype.com). Carr, known for his book, "IT Doesnt Matter," recaps a big software project that went awry at Lloyds of London.

Here are Carrs lessons, which are worth remembering:

"First is that the bigger the software project, the more likely it is to collapse under its own weight. $100 million seems like the line beyond which failure is almost assured.

"Second is that you should always create software to solve the day-to-day problems faced by the actual users, not to meet big abstract organizational challenges. Solve enough little problems, and the big ones take care of themselves. Fail to make users lives easier, and theyll simply bypass the system (and never trust anything you do ever again).

"Third and finally, you should never give a software project a catchy codename. For Ford, it was Project Everest; for McDonalds, it was Project Innovate; for Lloyds, it was Project Kinnect. If youre about to launch an IT initiative big enough to warrant its own name, you should probably make sure you have a really good golden parachute."

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Business Editor
Larry formerly served as the East Coast news editor and Finance Editor at CNET News.com. Prior to that, he was editor of Ziff Davis Inter@ctive Investor, which was, according to Barron's, a Top-10 financial site in the late 1990s. Larry has covered the technology and financial services industry since 1995, publishing articles in WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, The New York Times, and Financial Planning magazine. He's a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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