Argues that unless software system purchase is tightly controlled, any subsequent development contract is likely to fail technically, financially or in meeting user requirements. Suggests how to avoid this during the system procurement process using structured methods against detailed assessment criteria. Examines the content of a technical specification which defines criteria in detail. Concludes that causes of the stream of disastrous projects in the 1970s and 1980s have largely been resolved as procurement agencies recognise the importance of involving the quality assurance department.
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