Monday, March 21, 2011

Minnesota Taxpayers to Foot a $7.25 Million Bill for a Failed Software Project

For many years, when software projects failed, the vendors almost always had to pay up big time. looks like the taxpayers in Minnesota are getting stuck with a $7.25 million bill on this one. Why? Basically, the judgment was that the state also contributed to the failed project. Get this..."The payment will bring HealthMatch's total cost to more than $41 million, a department spokeswoman said. The original budget was about $13 million"

You can do a LOT of process improvement and optimization for $41! However, that's all seen as "QA stuff".

I really feel for the people of Minnesota on this one. But, I've seen this happen far too many times. The problem is that software projects are not performed in a vacuum. A vendor goes into an organization to work "with" the people, not "for" the people. So, if the organization is dysfunctional, so will be the project. The reality in this case (as I understand it) is that there were shortcomings on both sides. However, what often happens is that both sides get sucked into a death spiral. Neither can afford to leave, so they keep thrashing until the money runs out and/or someone decides to pull the plug.