26th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering

16-20 June 2014, Thessaloniki, Greece

Against the Odds: Managing the Unmanagable in a Time of Crisis

Diomidis Spinellis

Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece


Many consider the information technology systems at the Greek Ministry of Finance as the ideal tools for fighting widespread tax evasion, bureaucracy, fraud, and corruption. Yet making this happen is a battle against protracted procurement processes and implementation schedules, ineffective operations, and rigid management structures. This is a story about guerrilla tactics: simple measures, methods, tools, and techniques that worked. Sadly, it's also a story (still being written) of the limits of such approaches. On balance, it demonstrates that in any large organization there are ample opportunities to bring about change, even against considerable odds.


Diomidis Spinellis is a Professor in the Department of Management Science and Technology at the Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece. From 2009 to 2011 he served as the Secretary General for Information Systems at the Greek Ministry of Finance. He is the author of two award-winning books, Code Reading and Code Quality: The Open Source Perspective, as well as more than 200 widely-cited scientific papers. He is a member of the IEEE Software editorial board, authoring the regular "Tools of the Trade" column. Dr. Spinellis has written the UMLGraph tool and code that ships with Mac OS X and BSD Unix. He holds an MEng in Software Engineering and a PhD in Computer Science, both from Imperial College London. Dr. Spinellis currently serves the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors and is a senior member of the ACM and the IEEE.


CAiSE2014 keynote presentation