Yesterday I watched a documentary on National Geographic about the infamous Sampoong Dept Store Collapse. It immediately got me thinking of some of the threads running here on testing and the business case for testing. In Agile and in our industry in general we always say that fulfilling business requirements are our top priority…
The Sampoong disaster was probably caused by spinelessly following the business requirements. The collapse was caused by building the store in an incremental fashion with the “business” requirements taking precedence over every reasonable engineering concern.
- The cross-section area of the pillars was reduced by 50% to give more useful floor space.
- An extra floor was added as an afterthought.
- 5 extra cm was added to the extra floor to allow under floor heating.
Do we risk making the same mistake in our business? Will we provide solutions that the customers ask for even when they are not good for them? Will we perhaps give bids so low that we cannot deliver a reliable solution?
Two recent IT incidents in Sweden highlights the risks:
- In November a vital component in a data center crashed and caused massive outages for the customers.
- Just last week another in another case the system could not deliver reliable service to a municipal social welfare office in Sweden and as a result poor people did not get their welfare pay-outs almost causing riots.
Finally, a humorous picture to cheer things up: