A 1948 Film About IT Systems Development: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

November 3, 2009
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I’m a real fan of classic movies, as you can tell from some of my quotes from presentations or articles.

“Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” makes a great analogy for systems and software development. Even though this film hit the street in 1948, the situations in which the Blandings find themselves is relevant for any project today. This story of a man who wishes to fulfill his life dream of ruling his estate in the country contains almost every gotcha ever seen on a project:

  • Scope changes
  • Conflicting executive sponsorship
  • Changes, changes control, and the cost of change 
  • Conflicting goals 
  • Users who want it all for almost nothing 
  • Poor project planning

My favourite scene is when Mr. and Mrs. Blandings grab some pencils and start ‘tweaking’ the architect’s drawings.

This film was remade as ‘The Money Pit’, but I wouldn’t recommend that film. I doubt any remakes could live up to the tempered chaos shown by Cary Grant, nor the calm, straight-faced comedy of Myrna Loy.

If you see this film you won’t regret it. If you buy it you will watch it often.




I’m a real fan of classic movies, as you can tell from some of my quotes from presentations or articles.

“Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” makes a great analogy for systems and software development. Even though this film hit the street in 1948, the situations in which the Blandings find themselves is relevant for any project today. This story of a man who wishes to fulfill his life dream of ruling his estate in the country contains almost every gotcha ever seen on a project:

  • Scope changes
  • Conflicting executive sponsorship
  • Changes, changes control, and the cost of change 
  • Conflicting goals 
  • Users who want it all for almost nothing 
  • Poor project planning

My favourite scene is when Mr. and Mrs. Blandings grab some pencils and start ‘tweaking’ the architect’s drawings.

This film was remade as ‘The Money Pit’, but I wouldn’t recommend that film. I doubt any remakes could live up to the tempered chaos shown by Cary Grant, nor the calm, straight-faced comedy of Myrna Loy.

If you see this film you won’t regret it. If you buy it you will watch it often.