Do you know what’s in common between Marilyn Monroe, Dr. Deming and PriceWaterhouseCoopers or PwC? Well, time to find out! In the previous episode I had the good fortune to be talking to Kai Gilb about the secrets of product development and in that discussion we kept referring to his father’s work multiple times. This time I thought I’d continue on that same path and get face to face with one of the absolute heavyweights in the IT business and Kai’s father, mr Tom Gilb himself. I can promise you this two part discussion is extremely relevant especially for all of you who might have a managerial role and/or the responsibility for successful IT projects in your organisations as Tom spells out some really, and I repeat, reeaally hard truths about the current state of things and how to maximise the likelihood of succeeding with your projects by adopting a systems engineering approach.

We also touch on topics such as creating extremely clear and unambiguous goals, how the lack of them is causing huge problems all over the world such as in the United Nations, how the lack of competence both from those selling IT services and those buying said services is causing catastrophic failures and mind boggling amounts of waste of time, money and human potential and what you actually can do about it. I must warn you though, if you don’t have a thick skin I’m sure you’ll be insulted in one way or the other. Hard truths can be uncomfortable like that.. 🙂


By Tom Gilb:

Other resources:

2 comments on “Episode 2 – Tom Gilb on engineering and failed IT projects, pt 1

  1. tom gilb says:

    re part 1 minute 46 27 reference to usability value quantification
    10 Suggested Principles for Human Factors 
Systems Engineering
Keynote at WUD (Worldwide Usability Day)
    Silesia, Katowice Poland, 9 Dec. 2017
    PDF slides, 10.6 MB, R57 slides

    Tom Gilb: 10 Suggested Principles for Human Factors Systems Engineering
    lecture from WUD Silesia conference is online:
    42 MINUTES.

  2. Paul Danon says:

    Very interesting. The points do, of course, apply to the specification and implementation of many types of undertaking, not just covid-apps. All home-owners have experience of commissioning building-work and of how that can go wrong.

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