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The Black Death: a parallel of perilous projects

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1 Author(s)
Clark, R.S. ; Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, USA

Three years ago (1995), the author came across P. Ziegler's book, The Black Death (1988). Being an avid history and anthropology enthusiast, he snatched it up for its cultural and historical relevance to the European society of the Middle Ages. Much to the author's surprise, he discovered how well the author's description of this tragic event parallels his own observations over the last 20 years (1978-98) of failing software projects and companies. While the specific characteristics and manifestations exhibited during 1347-1353 AD may differ with those in today's commercial organizations, the basic underlying human responses are much the same. These responses are triggered by extensive exposure to stress and the sudden irrelevance of what had always been accepted as business as usual or “the process”. The author examines some interesting parallels in their historical sequence

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 2 )