Swanwick goes live at last

One of the longest running IT development projects in the history of computing in the UK is about to go live.

One of the longest running IT development projects in the history of computing in the UK is about to go live.

More than five years behind schedule, the bespoke IBM air traffic control system at Swanwick will start to control commercial flights across England and Wales this weekend. The highs and lows of the much trouble National Air Traffic Service (Nats) project have provided the IT industry at large with a worthwhile lesson: don't let yourself become blind to project problems in your determination to hit a particular deadline or target.

Although your bosses may like it at the time, as Nats auditors found, it can lead to an "inhibited open debate about potential problems" which may come back to haunt you in the long run.

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