Learning from the World's Worst Computer Disasters

David Bicknell, Tony Collins

Publisher: Simon and Schuster, 1998, 428 pages

ISBN: 0-684-81687-3

Keywords: Biography, Information Systems

Last modified: July 30, 2021, 10:09 p.m.

Ever since Babbage invented the computer, it's been crashing. Today nearly everyone in business uses computers but few do so with confidence. There is scarcely an industrialized country that has not seen its businesses seriously damaged by computer disasters. More than 60 per cent of new computer projects fail. In the US and UK alone, £58 billion has been lost through technology-related 'teething troubles'.

Crash is the first book to piece together in remarkable detail what went wrong in some of the world's biggest computer failures. It describes the ten common factors found in most if not all disasters, whether the victim is a multinational or a small business, and shows how to recognise the warning signs of impending failure. Jargon-free, non-technical and full of practical advice, it also outlines key strategies for successful project implementation.

Most disasters can be avoided and millions of pounds saved. Crash tells you how.

  • Foreword:2000 and Counting by Robert Guenier
  • Preface: Ten Ways to Avoid a Computer Disaster
  1. The First Deadly Sin: Overambition
  2. The Second Deadly Sin: Pride (I)
  3. The Second Deadly Sin: Pride (II)
  4. The Second Deadly Sin: Pride (III)
  5. The Second Deadly Sin: Pride (IV)
  6. The Third Deadly Sin: Presumption
  7. The Fourth Deadly Sin: Pusillanimity
  8. The Fifth Deadly Sin: Credulity (I)
  9. The Fifth Deadly Sin: Credulity (II)
  10. The Sixth Deadly Sin: Credulity (III)
  11. The Sixth Deadly Sin: Consutancy
  12. The Seventh Deadly Sin: Tailored Software
  13. The Eighth Deadly Sin: Concealment
  14. The Ninth Deadly Sin: Buck-passing
  15. The Tenth Deadly Sin: Lawyers (I)
  16. The Tenth Deadly Sin: Lawyers (II)
  17. The Tenth Deadly Sin: Lawyers (III)
  18. The Tenth Deadly Sin: Lawyers (IV)
  19. Success At Last
  20. Another Rare Success
  21. The U.S. Experience
  22. The Experts
  23. Putting Theory in Practice — A Five-Step Guide
  24. Perfection?
  25. And Finally…
  • Appendices



Reviewed by Roland Buresund

OK ***** (5 out of 10)

Last modified: May 21, 2007, 3 a.m.

Fun to read, but most of the stuff is obvious.


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