If it wasn’t the fastest-ever project failure, it had to rank right up there. The project manager appointed two people to get started on the design of a software program, then immediately left on vacation.
Needless to say, there wasn’t much progress while the project manager was away. The designers spent a lot of time fixing problems that were interesting and in the neighborhood, without really getting much done on the software design itself.
The IT people were grateful for the extra help, but the project mostly wandered aimlessly away from the original short-term intent..
After the project manager returned, the carelessness of the launch was reflected in a continuing lack of focus. The project wasn’t very large, but the eventual cost and finish date were way out of line.