Learning from the Titanic
Hailmar Suranthe de Silva
• Snapshot • Understand what went wrong • Blame-game and performance evaluation • Factors during voyage • Learning from History • How it relates to the IT field
Snapshot of circumstance...
• Business case
• • • • Safety and Luxury through new technology Unparalled Customer Experience 6 year construction and 2 year breakeven. 75% of revenue from first class – reflects in space allocation: 60% for 905 first-class and 7% for 1134 third-class Lavish attention and money substituted processes Marketing drive: ‘unsinkable ship’ Traditional safety (life-boats) given low priority Project Manager (Captain Smith) ...view middle of the document...
• Original goal: Be world-class and premier in technology, safety and luxury. • Actual: Unequal focus on above three elements created contradicting decisions.
• Schedule goal: Set sail on specified date and arrive a day early • Actual: Launch date achieved, however never completed voyage
• Quality goal: The quality should be unmatched and provide unparalleled experience whilst maintaining safety and speed • Actual: Aesthetic quality over-rode quality of safety on several occasions and created a false sense of confidence (implied nonfunctional requirements)
• Budget goal: Money was not an issue in the venture – 2 year payback period • Actual: Investment never realised. Rather caused economic and business pressures directly on project team
Conception Design Implementation Testing Deployment Disater Recovery
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Ambitious Goals Realisation of goals more difficult due to high expectation Marketing and Sales not inline with rest of the team Prototyped design Worst-case scenario tested Design compromised due to political pressure Crashed schedule Inferior Material Design compromisations not challenged No testing done Behaviour of such a large ship unknown as no precedent Pressures - even safety drills were not performed properly Pushing to the limit without testing – over-confidence/pressure Mistrust of new technology Support protocols not established Disaster protocols not planned for due to over-confidence Project Manager not in control of event
What went right?
• Ambitious Goal and Business Case • Excellent (original) Design Concept •...