T306 Block 2: SAQ 1

Speculate on the reasons why there may not be learning about how to
avoid failure by either the purchasers or suppliers of large Information
Systems.

Perhaps these corporations don’t want to admit to making mistakes in the first place. Failure is always an option and the reasons for these failures can be quite complex so perhaps they don’t even know why they’ve failed?

Creating large ISs is very expensive and firms have tended to underestimate how much they cost to produce. I’m sat in an office as part of the test team for a fairly complex system. There must be fifty people in here and that’s not the whole team. Large, complex systems don’t just cost millions of pounds to produce – they can cost hundreds of millions. Many companies fear spending that much money on a system and so IS providers trying and give them an overly optimistic quote, costs escalate and there’s egg on faces all around.

The costs of these things means that they tend to be implemented over many years and don’t happen within a company very frequently. Maybe there’s always different people the second time around? You’d think that the IS providers would learn, though. Do they not have lessons learned sessions after a project or provide the opportunity for single or double loop learning?

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