Project Management

IT Project Lessons from Titanic (Part 9)

Durham Highlands Chapter

In recapping the famous ship's situation, Titanic's officers tried desperately to avoid a collision (see Part 8). However, the S-turn, a good decision, failed to decelerate the ship enough. Titanic almost innocuously came to a halt later described by hundreds of passengers as a quiver, rumble or grinding noise that lasted a few seconds as if the ship was rolling over a thousand marbles.


There was no "crash stop," fatalities or even minor injuries. There was no violent jolt sideways or repeated strikes along the ship's length. This is common with a side swipe against an ice spur when a ship is turning very hard away from it. The breakfast cutlery that was laid out in the dining salons barely trembled, and drinks remained unspilled in the first class smoking rooms and lounges. All the evidence indicates that the ship came to rest on an underwater ice shelf at the base of the iceberg. Murdoch had prevented a head on crash that could have demolished the first 4 compartments, and killed and maimed hundreds of passengers.


Likewise, when an IT solution falters in production steps are taken according to a process prepared, planned and tested in the project itself (see Part 4). The process should be based around a Mean Time To Recovery (MTTR) clock were the principal objective is to get the IT solution back on-line as quickly as possible to meet Service Level Agreements (SLAs). …

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"Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week."

- George Bernard Shaw