Avoiding IT Project Failure: Specific methods for preventing, detecting and fixing IT Project Failure to deliver qualities efficiently

Monday 15 December 2014

6pm - Registration, Networking then 6.30 - Presentation by Tom Gilb

BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps
(Approximately 10 minutes walk from Waterloo Station and Charring Cross Station)


This is a joint BCS Quality Specialist Group and BCS Business Change Specialist Group event


IT Project failure, of various types, to various degrees is common, as we all know. We believe that failure is avoidable, detectable early, and can be fixed intelligently when it is an emerging fact.

1. Failure Prevention Methods

  • Quantified quality and value management
  • Stakeholder Focus: not just users and customers
  • Early Frequent measurement of Critical Project Values
  • No Cure No Pay Contracting
  • Architecture Engineering: Focus on quantified quality and costs.

2. Failure Detection Methods:

  • Specification Quality Control: aka Agile Inspection
  • Quality Level Exit and Entry Control of all critical IT specs, code, test plans
  • Impact Budgeting coupled with Impact Accounting:  Using Impact Estimation Tables.

3. Failure Recovery Methods:

  • Refocus on quantified top level critical objectives
  • Radical decomposition to immediate benefits delivery
  • Refocus to exploit current systems for change base, rather than large scale pipe dreams

Tom Gilb Hon FBCS

Tom is the author of nine published books, and hundreds of papers on Agile and related subjects. His latest book ‘Competitive Engineering’ (CE) is a detailed handbook on the standards for the 'Evo' (Evolutionary) Agile Method, and also for Agile Spec QC.  The CE book also, uniquely in the Agile community, defines an Agile Planning Language, called 'Planguage' for Quality Value Delivery Management.

His 1988 book, Principles of Software Engineering Management (now in 20th Printing) is the publicly acknowledged source of inspiration from leaders in the Agile community (Beck, Highsmith, and many more), regarding iterative and incremental development methods. Research (Larman, Southampton University) has determined that Tom was the earliest published source campaigning for Agile methods (Evo) for IT and Software. His first 20-sprint agile (Evo) incremental value delivery project was done in 1960, in Oslo

Tom has guest lectured at universities all over UK, Europe, China, India, USA, Korea - and has been a keynote speaker at dozens of technical conferences internationally.

Tom Gilb and Kai Gilb have, together with many professional friends and clients, personally developed the Agile methods they teach. The methods have been developed over five decades of practice all over the world in both small companies and projects, as well as in the largest companies and projects. Their website www.Gilb.com/downloads offers free papers, slides, and cases about Agile and other subjects.

There are many organisations, and individuals, who use some or all of their methods. IBM and HP were two early corporate-wide adopters (1980, 1988). Recently (2012) over 15,000 engineers at Intel have voluntarily adopted the Planguage requirements specification methods; in addition to practicing to a lesser extent Evo, Spec QC and other Gilb methods.  Many other multinationals are in various phases of adopting and practicing the Gilb methods. Many smaller companies also use the methods.