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Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
Failure *Is* an Option
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Failure *Is* an Option

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Learning from Failure: Or How IAs Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bombs

Learning from Failure: Or How IAs Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bombs

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    • 1. Learning from Failure <ul><li>or… Failure is an Option </li></ul><ul><li>@ IA Summit 2007 </li></ul>
    • 2. What is Failure? <ul><li>The condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends. </li></ul><ul><li>The condition or fact of being insufficient or falling short: a crop failure. </li></ul><ul><li>Nonperformance of what is requested or expected; omission: failure to report a change of address. </li></ul><ul><li>A decline in strength or effectiveness. </li></ul><ul><li>The act or fact of becoming bankrupt or insolvent. </li></ul>
    • 3. Usually… <ul><li>“Success has 100 parents, failure is an orphan” </li></ul><ul><li>John R Ashton </li></ul><ul><li>(See also similar quotations from JFK, et al.) </li></ul>
    • 4.  
    • 5. The Case of the Deadly <ul><li>Scope Creep </li></ul>
    • 6. The Project <ul><li>A large software company named after a nearby celestial body </li></ul><ul><li>A consortium site for developing a proprietary language named after coffee </li></ul><ul><li>A requirement to automate excruciatingly detailed workflows </li></ul><ul><li>An opportunity to add community and collaborative features </li></ul>
    • 7. The Assets <ul><li>A 55-page requirements document </li></ul><ul><li>- 13 unique roles </li></ul><ul><li>- 90 detailed requirements </li></ul><ul><li>- Numerous flowcharts </li></ul><ul><li>The “constitution” of the community </li></ul><ul><li>The existing site </li></ul>
    • 8. The Discovery <ul><li>Interview multiple stakeholders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Community Participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Expert Group Representatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Specification Leads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Executive Committee Representatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- PMO Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review of requirements document </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze analogous, related, and competing sites </li></ul><ul><li>Present findings and recommendations </li></ul>
    • 9. Results of Discovery <ul><li>Scores of new requirements were “discovered” </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Logins should be secure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t break old URLs/bookmarks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would like to be able to “impersonate” a user </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Long wish list of reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog, message board, wikis and other community features (later abandoned) </li></ul></ul>
    • 10. Sitemap The Sitemap
    • 11. The Wireframes
    • 12. The Functional Spec
    • 13. The Use Cases
    • 14. In Other Words… <ul><li>Documentation HELL </li></ul>
    • 15. Long Story Short <ul><li>The functional spec was never signed off </li></ul><ul><li>The prototype was never finished </li></ul><ul><li>The IA documents were finalized but too late to save the project </li></ul><ul><li>The cost of the project more than doubled </li></ul><ul><li>The agency still lost money on the deal </li></ul><ul><li>The client lost confidence and took the project back in-house </li></ul>
    • 16. Also <ul><li>The site has, nearly a year later, still not re-launched. </li></ul>
    • 17. What I Learned <ul><li>Application sites can’t be built with static site methods </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation is a double-edged sword </li></ul><ul><li>Scope creep must be managed forthrightly </li></ul>
    • 18. thank you Christian Crumlish Yahoo! Pattern Detective Director IT/Web Infrastructure, IA Institute

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