Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Political Considerations in Requirements Analysis


California has recently declared another costly computer project a failure, indicating a need for new techniques in developing technology projects. For at least the fifth time this decade, California's state government has spent millions of dollars on a failed computer project. This project, the Statewide Automated Welfare System-Technical Architecture, would have linked four welfare networks to allow welfare offices in different counties to communicate with each other. California's string of failures can be attributed mainly to a difficulty in adapting to change. Legislators are often removed from technology, and therefore may not realize the importance of these projects. Political power may also complicate the projects, as local elected officials may protest sacrificing their individual systems to a central design. To prevent further failures, the state plans to incorporate business solutions such as dividing projects into smaller tasks, choosing experienced managers, hiring independent consultants to oversee each phase, and involving in every design the potential users of the project. (Los Angeles Times 07/12/99)

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