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1997-06-10 00:00:00


Code Ready for Testing in 1998: A Naive Manager's Dream



An INFORMATIONWEEK story (May 5, 1997) by William Ulrich points to the false optimism of corporate managers who think that their y2k repair will be ready for testing in late 1998. (I have seen December, 1998, cited repeatedly in interviews with managers.) Ulrich, who has written a book on the subject, says, "In my experience, nothing could be farther from the truth. The executives answering these surveys are in a serious state of delusion. They're either lying to customers, financial analysts, and constituents -- or worse, lying to themselves."

Projected spending to fix the y2k problem shows a drop for 1999. The managers expect the problem to be taken care of by then. They will be unprepared for trouble when it strikes, he warns.

The author cites a study that shows that 96% of all IT (information technology) projects are either "late, reduced in scope, or not delivered at all," which is higher than the more commonly cited 85% figure. "Couple this with the realization that hundreds, even thousands, of suppliers, software vendors, business partners, and data interfaces may fail when the clock ticks over to 2000, and the risks rise expoentially." Conclusion: ". . . executives who think the problem is under control are fooling themselves."

My warning to anyone reading this page is simple: don't believe the happy- face news reports based on happy-face 1998 deadline estimates by happy-face managers who could not program a line of COBOL if their lives depended on it, which in fact they may.


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