If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Computerworld (Australia))   Ever spend a billion bucks on a project, realize it's going to cost another billion to finish, and decide to just write off the first billion instead of actually getting things to work? No? You must not be the Air Force   (computerworld.com.au) divider line 55
    More: Asinine, U.S. Air Force, ERP, Enterprise, CSC, write-off, software designers, legacy system  
•       •       •

2662 clicks; posted to Business » on 15 Nov 2012 at 11:00 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



55 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-11-15 07:10:00 AM
Well, if you don't try........
 
2012-11-15 08:33:31 AM
Because tossing good money after bad is always a good idea, right subby?
 
2012-11-15 08:47:43 AM
Hmm, I think I've worked for subby before.
 
2012-11-15 09:05:36 AM
So let me get this straight - they could have had a finished, functional whatever-it-was for less than the cost of one stealth bomber?

/When you're talking USAF, "billion" isn't that big an amount.
 
2012-11-15 10:24:59 AM
the project has racked up $1.03 billion in costs since 2005, "and has not yielded any significant military capability," an Air Force spokesman said

But the consultants and contractors LOVED it. Nothing like a cost-plus contract to soak up those sweet, sweet billable hours.
 
2012-11-15 10:34:41 AM

Thoguh: Because tossing good money after bad is always a good idea, right subby?


beat me to it
 
2012-11-15 10:43:52 AM
It's called "sunk costs", Subby.
 
2012-11-15 10:53:52 AM
This is very different from the Superconduction Super-Collider project. That really was wasted billions.
 
2012-11-15 10:56:35 AM

give me doughnuts: This is very different from the Superconduction Super-Collider project. That really was wasted billions.


Add "super" to any military pie-in-the-sky project and watch the research money roll in.
 
2012-11-15 11:02:25 AM
I makes me sick that shiat like this can go down, but I cant even get a loan that is a fraction of a fraction of this to start a business.
 
2012-11-15 11:04:51 AM

sasbazooka: I makes me sick that shiat like this can go down, but I cant even get a loan that is a fraction of a fraction of this to start a business.


What do you want to do?
 
2012-11-15 11:07:18 AM
Since there are no guarentees another billion will make the project successful seems like a pretty good idea to kill it now.

But hey, lets make sure to defund NPR and planned parenthood to balance the budget.
 
2012-11-15 11:08:43 AM
Sounds like the AF is doing it right. They spent a billion to get half way to their target. Now they estimate it'll cost another billion to finish the job. In truth, it'd prolly cost another billion to get half way there, then another billion to close the remaining gap half way...we've seen this somewhere before.

Keep up the good work, AF.
 
2012-11-15 11:09:26 AM
I see the "sunk cost" comments have already been made.

I foresee a new case study in every project management textbook, right after the chapter on the Denver airport.
 
2012-11-15 11:11:32 AM

dbirchall: So let me get this straight - they could have had a finished, functional whatever-it-was for less than the cost of one stealth bomber?

/When you're talking USAF, "billion" isn't that big an amount.


Probably not, considering the way that the project had gone so far if they threw another billion at it in 4 years they would almost certainly find they need to spend another couple billion. It's a money pit.
 
2012-11-15 11:18:47 AM

dbirchall: /When you're talking USAF, "billion" isn't that big an amount.


I think it's about equivalent to the cost of 23 wrenches.
 
2012-11-15 11:20:07 AM

Harv72b: dbirchall: /When you're talking USAF, "billion" isn't that big an amount.

I think it's about equivalent to the cost of 23 wrenches.


Yeah but it's only 1/3 of a plane.

/not to scale
 
2012-11-15 11:20:08 AM

Thoguh: Because tossing good money after bad is always a good idea, right subby?


Just what I was thinking. Subby needs to learn about sunk costs.
 
2012-11-15 11:22:50 AM
i.ytimg.com
 
2012-11-15 11:24:23 AM
subby, throwing good money after bad is one of the most fundamental and egregious business mistakes one can make, and it's one the Air Force tends to make all the time. See: B-1 and F-35 programs.

Lookup "Concorde Fallacy" or "sunk Cost Fallacy". Good for the Air Force here...it take balls to make a decision that is so contrary to what our flawed human tendencies want us to do.
 
2012-11-15 11:28:42 AM
Isn't this like swimming to the middle of a pond and saying to yourself "I can't make it across" so you swim back to where you started?
Ya know a billion here and a billion there, starts to add up after a while.
 
2012-11-15 11:31:27 AM

WayToBlue: dbirchall: So let me get this straight - they could have had a finished, functional whatever-it-was for less than the cost of one stealth bomber?

/When you're talking USAF, "billion" isn't that big an amount.

Probably not, considering the way that the project had gone so far if they threw another billion at it in 4 years they would almost certainly find they need to spend another couple billion. It's a money pit.


Between USAF and Oracle, I'm surprised they spent only $1 billion. Of course, they're trying to do the "one big system that will solve everything", which never works, rather than breaking it down into modules which can all fit into something like a data warehouse. It's like trying to revamp the entire US highway system at once. You can't do it, the best you can do to is come up with the core requirements which are applied to all new systems so they can talk to each other.
 
2012-11-15 11:32:44 AM

cig-mkr: Isn't this like swimming to the middle of a pond and saying to yourself "I can't make it across" so you swim back to where you started?
Ya know a billion here and a billion there, starts to add up after a while.


No. It's more like getting halfway across, and having the option to just get pulled into a boat, or drowning while you try to keep going.
 
2012-11-15 11:35:49 AM
I'm not sure why the military ever works with IBM or Oracle. The biggest the project, the more likely those leeches will do everything they can to intentionally turn it into a never-ending money sink. It's in their best interests NOT to ever finish the projects and to drag it on for infinity (or until the client kills it). They're so big that they don't give a sh*t about their reputation.
 
2012-11-15 11:36:49 AM

cig-mkr: Isn't this like swimming to the middle of a pond and saying to yourself "I can't make it across" so you swim back to where you started?
Ya know a billion here and a billion there, starts to add up after a while.


But in a pond, you know that if you swim the other half you'll end up at the other side. There's no guarantee that the system would have been what they wanted if they just spent another billion. A better analogy would be trying to swim from shore to an unanchored boat. Swim a little more only to find that the boat has moved farther away and in a different direction. Change course and swim a little more only to find that it's moved yet again. Then when you finally get there you realize the boat is barely seaworthy, the radio is broken and there's water in the fuel tank.
 
2012-11-15 11:38:42 AM

cig-mkr: Isn't this like swimming to the middle of a pond and saying to yourself "I can't make it across" so you swim back to where you started?
Ya know a billion here and a billion there, starts to add up after a while.


It's more like jumping into a lake to swim across it because someone told you it's only 86 feet across. And then, when you're 40 feet into the swim, they say, "well, it's more like 500 feet across." And then, when you're 400 feet into the swim, they say, "well, I guess it's more like 1,000 feet across." And then, when you're 1,000 feet into the swim, they say, "huh, looks like it's actually about 2,000 feet across."

At some point you stop believing them and just turn around.
 
2012-11-15 11:41:50 AM
Sad accountant keeps hearing "write off" used wrong.
 
2012-11-15 11:45:46 AM

cig-mkr: Isn't this like swimming to the middle of a pond and saying to yourself "I can't make it across" so you swim back to where you started?
Ya know a billion here and a billion there, starts to add up after a while.


I think it is more like trying to swim across the Atlantic, swimming for an hour and realizing you still can't even SEE the other side, so you decide to turn around and head back to shore, rather than risking disaster.
 
2012-11-15 11:48:09 AM
So will heads roll for wasting $1 billion of taxpayers money? Will people go out of their minds as if this was a failed solar panel company?
 
2012-11-15 11:50:20 AM
Ah, subby... You've never taken an econ course, eh?


That first billion is sunk costs. You can only take future expenses into account.
 
2012-11-15 11:59:33 AM

WayToBlue: dbirchall: So let me get this straight - they could have had a finished, functional whatever-it-was for less than the cost of one stealth bomber?

/When you're talking USAF, "billion" isn't that big an amount.

Probably not, considering the way that the project had gone so far if they threw another billion at it in 4 years they would almost certainly find they need to spend another couple billion. It's a money pit.


TFA says that the extra billion would only get the thing about 1/4 way to what they thought the original billion would have done.

So yeah, sounds like it was a money pit that's better off being left face down in the gutter than being fed stacks of cash. I'd rather the fed.gov quit after spending $1b and realizing it's going nowhere than doubling that amount and getting no more than 25% of the originally intended effect (and that's a best case scenario). Better to cut bait.
 
2012-11-15 12:00:38 PM

neritz: It's called "sunk costs", Subby.


yep, it'd be more asinine if they threw another billion at it and THEN scrapped the project
 
2012-11-15 12:10:48 PM

akula: TFA says that the extra billion would only get the thing about 1/4 way to what they thought the original billion would have done..

and not available until 2020.

A quarter of the original scope at twice the price; glad someone else picked up on that.

As for the original billion;
retrothing.typepad.com
 
2012-11-15 12:11:10 PM
I also came here to laugh at subby.
 
2012-11-15 12:17:15 PM
FTFA Air Force scraps massive ERP

And that's where I stopped. Implementing such systems is a large painful task that frequently ends in failure due to its complexity and cost. And even when it does get implemented - the users of such systems wish it failed.
 
2012-11-15 12:23:27 PM

Odd Bird: akula: TFA says that the extra billion would only get the thing about 1/4 way to what they thought the original billion would have done.. and not available until 2020.

A quarter of the original scope at twice the price; glad someone else picked up on that.

As for the original billion;
[retrothing.typepad.com image 475x311]


WTF is that "Navy Blue" thing? Is that a typo for "Have Blue" (which was really just an early F-117 prototype)? Also, the existence of the Aurora is still just speculation. Sure, it probably exists, but the artist is obviously making up the appearance.

/TR-3A and TR-3B are the new(er) hotness for speculative secret aircraft
 
2012-11-15 12:24:24 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: subby, throwing good money after bad is one of the most fundamental and egregious business mistakes one can make, and it's one the Air Force tends to make all the time. See: B-1 and F-35 programs.

Lookup "Concorde Fallacy" or "sunk Cost Fallacy". Good for the Air Force here...it take balls to make a decision that is so contrary to what our flawed human tendencies want us to do.


Came for a comment about the F-22. Close enough.
 
2012-11-15 12:24:45 PM

gingerjet: FTFA Air Force scraps massive ERP

And that's where I stopped. Implementing such systems is a large painful task that frequently ends in failure due to its complexity and cost. And even when it does get implemented - the users of such systems wish it failed.


LOL. So much this. They sell you on integration, only for you to realize that integration = everybody uses the same mediocre shiat.
 
2012-11-15 12:31:13 PM
It is very, very hard to do a new ERP well.

/I can tell by the pixels, and having done quite a few ERP conversions in my time
//refuses to help a business who can't do it's full due diligence up front, even if they're paying $$$$$
///not good to have a failure on your hand, ERPs almost always fail because of management and poor planning and expectation management, not the ERP
 
2012-11-15 12:34:35 PM

YixilTesiphon: sasbazooka: I makes me sick that shiat like this can go down, but I cant even get a loan that is a fraction of a fraction of this to start a business.

What do you want to do?


Start a software consulting firm to the military
 
2012-11-15 12:47:19 PM
I've been through a major ERP installation. We replaced 117 legacy systems with seven. It worked because we were on a tight timeline (Y2K management panic) and no changes were allowed once the specifications were written.

I've also worked on US military contracts. Changes in scope were a constant problem. On one contract, what the military thought was a minor change, boosted the hardware requirements by a factor of 8.
 
2012-11-15 12:47:49 PM

sasbazooka: I makes me sick that shiat like this can go down, but I cant even get a loan that is a fraction of a fraction of this to start a business.


No one is going to loan you money to start a business. Most businesses fail.

You need to have enough money to operate a business before you can get credit, just like anywhere else. Most banks want to see three years of operations before opening up a credit line, and capital loans are even more stringent.

Start your business, keep your business plan current, and then go find money.
 
2012-11-15 12:47:59 PM
 
2012-11-15 02:07:57 PM
The company that I work for won't even write off a project that was originally supposed to have a few hundred dollars of costs, and so far it's probably cost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars worth of man hours to try to finish. It's now more than a year late, still having technical issues, and will probably never make a tenth of the original investment back.

I've been begging them to write off the project for . . . eight months now? My managers keep assuring me that the end of the project is right around the corner . . .

Nope. Won't happen.
 
2012-11-15 02:09:01 PM

NuttierThanEver: Meh that's nothing, read up on the amount we spent to try and develop a west coast launch pad for the Space Shuttel


Um, it wasn't tried, it was done. Ahead of schedule. The shuttle program died, not the lauchpad.
 
2012-11-15 03:07:28 PM

NuttierThanEver: Meh that's nothing, read up on the amount we spent to try and develop a west coast launch pad for the Space Shuttel


WTF? They are still using it today. Granted, for a different rocket, but it's not like they took a bale of money and dropped it into a hole.

Pushing bales of money out of a plane was more like the way money moved around during the Iraq war.
 
2012-11-15 04:22:55 PM

Stone Meadow: Sounds like the AF is doing it right. They spent a billion to get half way to their target. Now they estimate it'll cost another billion to finish the job. In truth, it'd prolly cost another billion to get half way there, then another billion to close the remaining gap half way...we've seen this somewhere before.

Keep up the good work, AF.


No, they spent a billion to get nowhere and it would cost another billion to get a quarter of the original specs working.

"Dubbed the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS), the project has racked up $1.03 billion in costs since 2005, 'and has not yielded any significant military capability,' an Air Force spokesman said in an emailed statement Wednesday. 'We estimate it would require an additional $1.1B for about a quarter of the original scope to continue and fielding would not be until 2020. The Air Force has concluded the ECSS program is no longer a viable option for meeting the FY17 Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) statutory requirement. Therefore, we are cancelling the program and moving forward with other options in order to meet both requirements.

So, it's even worse than you think.
 
2012-11-15 05:47:29 PM

KierzanDax: Stone Meadow: Sounds like the AF is doing it right. They spent a billion to get half way to their target. Now they estimate it'll cost another billion to finish the job. In truth, it'd prolly cost another billion to get half way there, then another billion to close the remaining gap half way...we've seen this somewhere before.

Keep up the good work, AF.

No, they spent a billion to get nowhere and it would cost another billion to get a quarter of the original specs working.

"Dubbed the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS), the project has racked up $1.03 billion in costs since 2005, 'and has not yielded any significant military capability,' an Air Force spokesman said in an emailed statement Wednesday. 'We estimate it would require an additional $1.1B for about a quarter of the original scope to continue and fielding would not be until 2020. The Air Force has concluded the ECSS program is no longer a viable option for meeting the FY17 Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) statutory requirement. Therefore, we are cancelling the program and moving forward with other options in order to meet both requirements.' 

So, it's even worse than you think.


I was hoping someone would recognize Zeno's paradox of the arrow in flight.
 
2012-11-15 06:42:15 PM
So some people got money and there was nothing to show for it?
That's your welfare state, people. Congratulations for the big win!
 
2012-11-15 07:16:50 PM
CSC?

ahahahahhahhhhahahaha

You would be surprised at the skill level of their $38/hr "programmers"

/not in a good way
//csc exists to rape its customers
 
Displayed 50 of 55 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report