The Conservatives have uploaded a leaked government IT strategy report onto a new website, as part of a nifty wheeze to get the IT community involved in coming up with a better plan. The Make IT Better site seeks comments from the public, amid claims that "crowdsourcing" and Web 2.0-style collaboration will result in the …
All any government need to do is tell El Reg readers what they want to acheive and within minutes they will be given the solution (free of charge). True, the solution will be along the lines of:
Use Open Office & GIMP (who needs anything else)
Micro$oft is evil
I can do it for a hundredth of that price.
And there was me thinking it was a long-standing pillar of tory doctrine that turning to the plebs for answers is a sign of weak leadership.
Who would've thought all it takes to turn centuries of dogma on its head is a few bullshit buzzwords.
First thing they should do ...
.... stop giving EDS any more contracts!
Do away with consultants, get some self selecting 'net users who "know about computers" to do all the work, that'll make projects run more smoothly and be of higher quality, gauranteed.
In evidence I site 'Snakes on a Plane'.
Lets play Buzzword Bingo
Just skimmed the whole report on a train journey and its complete Buzz Word bingo. Apparently the Cloud, Data Centres and Standardisation are going to save us all. Funnily enough there's no mention of usability or user experience throughout the entire document. So, regardless of the task you are trying to carry out, the section of the population you are aiming for, simply putting it all in a Cloud with XML will cure all the nations ICT ills.
Okay, let's do it?
I think I may grant higher esteem if there is something like Adobe Jamjar at work somewhere in all of this.
Stunning app but initial high entry level step (or so it appears) that once it has been stepped over really is no step at all.
Hi Fraser, apologies in advance
Apology accepted, and offered for my lamentable spelling.
(All spelling mistakes are my own work.)
"The government invites public response via the No 10 websites but these don't go anywhere. That's a wider political point we'd like to address."
Wake me up when you actually address it. Everyone says they will, no-one ever does.
Re: First thing they should do
Who do you think it was that first started giving EDS contracts?
Too many cooks?
"large IT projects ought to be broken up between a larger range of suppliers."
So the Tories have learned nothing from their botched rail privatisation! Can you imagine the legal complexity of the contracts between all the different* suppliers? The court room wrangling and buck-passing when the inevitable delivery failure occurs? The lawyers will be laughing all the way to the (bailed out) bank while the tax payer gets screwed!
* i.e. The usual ones that keep getting the government pork, no matter how many times they screw up!
How I would do it?
Well as the Tories seem to be very open or at least being semi pro open government I thought I would bite on the hook.
OK, so here's what I would do:
-Fire the incompetent (i.e. project managers that don't/can't manage, technical managers which don't have a clue, colleagues which somehow got the job but you wonder how/why as they cannot do their job and have attitude problems to boot).
-Employee technical commentant people only and pay them what they are worth (none of this I've got Prince 2 or ITIL; it should be these people have the following experience and are ideal for the job - infact these are my dream employees/collegues). If anything get as many of these people not only one person who understands all system and no one else who does because this person is overworked.
-Internal training and proper external training courses - none of this cheap tate courses.
-Listen to your employees and their interests - most people work were they are interested and get frustrated when they cannot do their job properly (due to say red tape) - if you wish to keep these people; treat them with respect, give them the career progression and development that they want.
-Get realistic projects which don't interconnect in stupid ways (be realistic) with over major projects (i.e. don't be over dependant).
-Don't get employee stupid contractors (EDS are a prime example) or out source to companies in India who can barely speak English unless you really wish to have communication problems with them? (HP; I'm looking at you) - shock HP owns EDS (shock horror).
-Don't be over releant and unreleastic project deadlines (these are a prime reason projects go over budget in my opinion). Have realistic expectations.
-Use open and existiing open standards.
-Be selective about projects tools and use open source where possible (I'm not preaching open source or linux but some open source tools are very good for their purpose). Likewise use Windows if you must (it might be necessary) but don't build your empire on protery software and don't build it on unmaintained open source either. If you do want to use open source, employee people to maintain and contribute to these projects and your likely to work with others then suggest these tools.
-Don't reinvent the wheel - if you must redesign something for a good reason then do it but should/must you? If the process is failing then look at it.
-Use existing kit where possible (I recently spoke with our 3rd party printer repair guy and reminisced on the old Laserjet 4 Plus/5N printers and how reliable they were - OK so they are now very old and not very quick but they work incredibly well, are reliable for what they do and cheapish to maintain (1x fuser lasts how many years) - why replace quality equipment with cheap tat which lasts 5 minutes and costs a ton to maintain??? This just doesn't make sense.
-Documentation - Make people write documentation and give them time to; if they don't then fire them (I'm serious I've bought people to book for this and the amount of 3rd party I've had to dealt with which don't use documentation or rely on an individual is truely disturbing - THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT PROFESSIONAL; THEY ARE INEPT; FIRE THEM (SHOOT WITH A GUN WOULD BE JUSTICE BUT YOU WILL BE LOCKED AWAY :) I get annoyed dealing with these people and would love to lock them in a cupboard and then drop them in a large hole and fill it into concrete/hot tar.
Sorry last point is a little off topic but its true...
"In the post-bureaucratic age"
LOL, as if.
Tories and bureaucracy, a match made in heaven.
Ah - the shame
100 billion GBP on IT projects ...
70% of recent projects failed ...
Now those are some extracts from
And the sad, shameful and stomach churningly awful thing is that it seems to tie in very well with banks & finance sector doing a really excellent job (for some) of pocket lining (their own) and publicly funded sectors doing exactly the same.
And it sort of leads to ...
+ are they in cohorts (MPs with shares in companies taking public monies very easily)
+ aware of the colossal waste of public monies
+ never before have such good intentions been so very thoroughly fleeced
+ the UK has a very obvious senior management crisis (well, they are the ones who take responsibility. All the Labour can be so genuinely accused of is of being so stupidly, stunningly naive to believe senior managers.)
Then there are prudence, governance and diligence issues.
It looks (interim conclusion) as if Labour has been ripped off by senior managers with a serious senior management issue in the UK part of which seems:
+ say 'owt, but take the money
+ once the monies have been got restructure with lots of kaboodles going you know where, nothing or very little to front line workers and for the public sector: an additional reduction to public service at much increased cost.
There! That's it!
Paris because as one accustomed to handling and managing capital sums she is probably well aware of the pitfalls our public fund administrators seem to dive into
Cloud computing web 2.0?
Oooooh so THATS what it means, drop in those terms and any project will work.
I did wonder why the BS merchants at my illustrious large IT company employer kept prattling on about them.
Perhaps we should also have some Java in there, or am I sooooo Web 1.0 (beta presumably).
If the Tory fools want to make a difference, stop talking bo11ocks and start creating realistic projects designed by people who's knowledge of IT isn't singularly derived from watching Spooks or other nonsense.