What You Should Do

By Larry Barrett  |  Posted 2003-01-13 Print this article Print

After two humiliating technology failures, six major news services are disbanding VNS, a consortium formed to count votes and conduct Election Day surveys. How could the system have been overhauled before disaster struck twice?

Launching on a Deadline

  1. Test early: Stress-test your system at least six months before launch
  2. Test heavy: Put it through at least 10 times as much activity as you really expect
  3. Trick yourself: Establish a deadline at least two months in advance of the "real" deadline and make all project managers and vendors comply
  4. Name one chief: Regardless how many partners, consultants and vendors are involved, give one person ultimate decision-making power
  5. Don't reinvent the wheel: Make good use of existing personnel and technology, where possible

Senior Writer
Larry, of San Carlos, Calif., was a senior writer and editor at CNet, writing analysis, breaking news and opinion stories. He was technology reporter at the San Jose Business Journal from 1996-1997. He graduated with a B.A. from San Jose State University where he was also executive editor of the daily student newspaper.

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