Your Application Is a Rotting Old Shack, Now What? (Phase 1)

This great article - Last In - First Out: Your Application is a Rotting Old Shack, Now What? - tells some serious truths about how badly a lot of application development is conducted. Though perhaps a better description of the failed processes would be “application management” or “application lifecycle”. The Phase 1 of this “application lifecycle” generally works like this:

  1. Company identifies need for Application
  2. Company decides internal team can’t develop Application and they decide to buy off-the-shelf Application.
  3. Company goes to market
  4. Company discovered no off-the-shelf Application does what is required or requires significant modification to do what is required.
  5. Company either buys off-the-shelf Application with intent to modify it or decides to develop Application themselves.
  6. Company decides internal team can’t perform the required modifications to the off-the-shelf Application OR build the required Application.
  7. Company goes to market to find an Application development team
  8. Company finds and engages highly-priced Consulting Company to perform Application development.
  9. Partner in highly-priced Consulting Company takes CIO + relevant line management to dinner/tennis/Maldives/strip club. (order of Steps 8 and 9 vary)
  10. Consulting Company sets up shop at Company bringing highly-skilled and trained development team. Team consists of one Director and 25 largely untrained grads.
  11. Application development.
  12. Application development completed. Please select three or more options below:
    • Cost overruns
    • Functionality descoped (usually includes “security”, “reporting”, and “management” functions)
    • Incorrect Functionality developed (requirements, we don’t need no stinkin’ requirements!)
    • Inadequate documentation (comments, we don’t need no stinkin’ comments!)
    • No handover to internal team (handover, we don’t need no stinkin’ handover…!)
    • Abbreviated or no training of staff due to time/cost constraints
    • Insufficient or no test cases due to time/cost constraints
    • No development or test environments
    • Infrastructure does not match or integrate into Company’s environment
  13. Project after-action report acknowledges minor issues with the project but generally roaring success. Sixteen appendices containing feedback from internal teams mysteriously lost in fire in strip club in the Maldives.
  14. Partner at Consulting Company buys new Aston-Martin.
  15. Resentment and Alcohol intake in internal team sharply rises.

End Phase 1.

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