"The Top Six Reasons Software Projects Fail and How to Avoid Them"

Rich Sheridan, Menlo Institute

When: May 24th, 2005, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Where: Priority Health Conference Center, 3111 Leonard NE

Does your management team know the top six reasons software projects fail? Do they know what practical steps can be taken to avoid them? Management edicts will not create the teamwork required to produce useful software on-time and on-budget. Instead, teamwork must be facilitated through a thoughtfully constructed process.

This program offers some practical insights into how to use agile development techniques to:

  • Have a continuous dialog with sponsors during the course of a project.
  • Get users directly involved while leaving them where they are. Make planning a continuous process rather than a one time event.
  • Avoid the unrealistic expectations that usually come with large software projects.
  • Build a highly effective and flexible software team that actually embraces changing business requirements.
  • This session will also explore how to:
  • Support business goals and improve return on investment using simple project planning tools.
  • Build better software with less money, less meetings and less costly mistakes.
  • Increase communications with fewer meetings.
  • Energize the team and delight users at the same time!
  • Put business in control by giving them a steering wheel on development efforts.

The presenter will be Rich Sheridan. As President of Menlo Innovations, Rich, along with his three business partners, formed a company around the passions of building great software and great software teams. He has sponsored dramatic changes to existing teams using techniques from many sources, including Extreme Programming. He has focused on improving the culture, productivity and results of teams with which he works. His experiences as the Vice President of R&D at Interface Systems were captured in the book “Creativity at Work” by Jeff DeGraff and Katherine Lawrence of the University of Michigan Business School. It came at a time when Interface Systems was named the #1 public company in Michigan. Rich is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he received a BS in Computer Science and a Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering. Rich has focused his attention and energy on the power of open and collaborative work spaces as originally practiced by Thomas Edison. Edison’s lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey was the inspiration for the company name. The dramatic success of Menlo, during one of the hardest times for the information technology industry, captured the attention of Forbes magazine, where Rich appeared on the cover in May, 2003. He was recently named one of the top 100 emerging business leaders of the Metro-Detroit region by the Detroiter magazine. An excellent speaker and presenter, Rich readily shares his knowledge and successes from real-world experience. He is now scheduled to be a Guest Lecturer at the U of M Business School. Rich Sheridan, Menlo Institute