It can often be tempting when software development projects go wrong to think that you’re the only one. Not so! And to prove it we’re launching a tongue in cheek competition to uncover the best (aka worst) software development HORROR STORIES. As part of our campaign against project failure, and because its Halloween we’re looking to demonstrate how easy it can be to go over time, budget whilst simultaneously breaking the stupidity barrier. Your entry should be no more than 200 words please and your will be judged against three key criteria:

Just how late the project was (in months)
How much cash you spent – over what you were given (as a percentage)
1 – 10 on the stupidity scale (the more examples the better)

Judging your exploits will be (drum roll please), Karl Wiegers, Martin Banks and Barbara Carkenord. They’ve seen some things in their time, so you’re going to have to really impress them to get your hands on the prizes. The entry deemed to best meet the criteria will win a Nintendo Wii, two runners up will get their paws on either a Nintendo DS Lite games console or a Canon Digital Camera. All three will win a goody bag including FREE licenses of Contour, 15% discount off the B2T Business Analysis training programs or certaification courses, as well as Karl Wiegers latest book ‘Practical Project Initiation. So come on, what are you waiting for?! Competition ends on November 30th 2007, winner announced by December 10th 2007. For terms and conditions please click here.
>>Click here to the current stories and add your own masterpiece.>>

The Judges
Martin Martin

Martin Banks has been an observer and commentator on the technologies and businesses of the electronics and IT industries since 1968. As one of the UK’s leading specialist journalists he has observed the development of IT systems, and their impact on both individuals and business, since the emergence of the first semiconductor memory chips and, subsequently, the first microprocessors.

In that time he has either worked on or written for all the leading publications covering the industry, from trade papers such as Electronics Weekly and Computer Weekly, through to national press such as The Times and Financial Times.

He has also made a serious study of Morris Dancing as the original computer through which important dates can be calculated. The theory here is that the `1’s and `0’s of binary arithmetic are determined by whether a dancer’s foot is on the ground or not and whether a hand is up or down. In this way, a side of six dancers will yield a powerful 24-bit compute engine. Interpretation of results did – and still does to this day – involve the consumption of mystical hop-based substances and the chanting of traditional incantations. Though compute engine output is normally infallible the results can take time to appear and usually arrive only in time to confirm that the important date in question has in fact just passed.

Barbara Barbara

Barbara Carkenord, President, B2T Training, has over 20 years experience in business analysis. Barbara possesses an MBA from University of Michigan and is a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP). She began her career in the Information Technology area as a programmer, systems analyst, business analyst, and project manager.

Barbara is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has authored many articles on business analysis. Barbara is the main editor and contributor of the bridge B2T Training's business analysis magazine. Actively involved in the IIBA, she is a core team member of the IIBA BABOK creation committee.

Outside of work, Barb enjoys exercising, seeing movies, and chasing that little white ball around a beautiful wooded area (I’m not sure I can call it golf the way that I play!).

Karl Karl

Karl Wiegers is Principal Consultant with Process Impact, a software process consulting and training company in Portland, Oregon. His interests include requirements engineering, peer reviews, process improvement, and project management. Previously, he spent 18 years at Eastman Kodak Company as a research scientist, software developer, software manager, and software process and quality improvement leader. Karl received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois. Karl has written 6 books and many articles on many aspects of software development and management, chemistry, and military history. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and professional society meetings.

It’s not widely known that Karl has played rock ’n’ roll on his electric guitars for more than 40 years (but not very well). His favorite grapes are Shiraz and Pinot Gris.

The Dilbert Correlation Factor (DCF) is the percentage of 100 random Dilbert cartoons that accurately describe how your organization operates. A company with a high DCF will likely have many sad stories to tell of software projects gone terribly wrong. Sad-but-true stories present opportunities for amusement, commiseration, but also important learnings. What’s your best worst story?