I'm part of an internal software development team at a retail business. We're currently working on a major project and in all likelihood it's going to fail. It's pretty much over at this point.
Over the last two years this will be the second high profile failure the team has had, not only failure in terms of failing to delivery what was asked but in terms of delivering anything of value at all. We haven't done anything else in that time.
Several members of the development team have found out from various people around the business that the team's manager, who has only been a development manager for these past two years, is now blaming this failure on the development team to the rest of the management, including the managing director.
This is a complete mischaracterization of why this and previous projects have failed. The reasons for failure have all been due to management. These are a list of reasons that I think caused the failure of projects.
Business systems have been chosen by management with no thought of how/if we can integrate with them. They do not suit how the business operates and do not fit our current workflows. The rest of the business is unwilling to change workflow to fit the new systems
All advice from the team is ignored by the development manger. Every single senior member of the team has said from the moment the project started that it was completely unfeasible, there was simply not a technical solution that we could have implemented that would have solved the limitations of the chosen platform and enabled the business to operate as it wanted. Not only were advice and warnings ignored but were actively persecuted; people that raised warnings were punished.
All warnings were never surfaced beyond our team. No other member of the management team know about the serious short comings of the project. There is zero transparency in our team. Things are reported externally as being okay and on schedule despite us internally knowing for weeks that things are never going to work. External departments only know a few days in advance of missed deadlines despite us being able to warn them well in advance.
Project and team management is dysfunctional and outright incompetent. Tasks are vague and unspecified. Critical decisions that are needed are not taken until the last minute, which creates additional work and serious problems with existing assumed solutions. Edge cases are ignored when inconvenient. All work is done by a few core team members, so while we are all supposed to be busy, it's a situation where a few are busy and others have to keep asking for stuff to do. Communication is terrible; people that have raised problems are excluded from calls and meetings so they don't know what's going on and can't contribute productively. Knowledge of the problems and proposed solutions has been treated as top secret and kept from most people.
Arbitrary deadlines that are completely unmoored from the work that needs to be done.
The development team have been working to breaking point, working extra including some weekends, to try to create a solution. The failure is not due to our lack of commitment or technical ability.
How can we counter being blamed for this failure? We are thinking about collectively asking for a meeting with the managing director to put across our concerns. Is this a good idea? What would be the best way to approach a meeting like that?