back to article CSC, NHS extend jaw-jaw on disaster deal: 500 jobs go

The NHS and IT contractor CSC can't agree on the terms of their amputated contract so have pushed a decision on the deal back two months, leaving a temporary arrangement in place. CSC's deal to digitise patient records – Project Lorenzo – was finally scuppered in December last year and CSC has paid back £1.8bn to the NHS after …

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Unhappy

This lot almost make m$ look good

But of course, they still get all the big juicy government contracts despite their incompetence. For some reason. Which no one can fathom. Unless it was done over a secret dinner with Cast Iron, or whichever of the two union reps were acting as PM before him.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This lot almost make m$ look good

Its quite obvious why the big players get the big deals.... lets see a small company have the cash/credit to aquire hundreds of servers, tons of network equipment and circuits, install it in fault tolerant data centres and have it up and running 3 years before a single penny is paid by the customer - if ever in some cases...

Not got that line in credit?

Thought not.

Thats what its all about...

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FAIL

Re: This lot almost make m$ look good

That's a mighty big list you got there buddy. Does it include knowledge of leap years?

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FAIL

Re: This lot almost make m$ look good

And that's why "big bang" implementations on this kind of scale are stupid and should never, ever be attempted under any circumstances whatsoever*.

You only find out that it's an abject failure once all the money has been spent with nothing to show for it, and either the customer pays huge cash for nothing or the supplier goes bankrupt.

Instead, if you do the project as a series of small changes, implementing each part of the system in a limited area (not the whole country) and expand it slowly, not only do you get a system that works (and is useful at each step) but there are many more companies that could bid for it because there's money at each stage so crazy credit isn't required.

As a bonus, when the credit requirements are smaller at shorter periods it's much cheaper to build, with less risk to all parties, and more of the cash goes towards the actual project rather than the banks that loaned the money.

As a bonus to the bonus, you can pause or even stop the project at almost any stage and still have something useful, and usually change the requirements of the next stage without penalties in time or money.

Yes, I just more or less described the Agile methodology.

It does work, unlike Waterfall which always fails.

*(C) Department of Redundancy Dept.

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IT Angle

Re: This lot almost make m$ look good

That is laziness on the part of the main player.

They want a one stop shop.

In reality the design and specification is really better done by a small team of professional consultants: they can then farm out the implementation to someone bigger once its been more or less proven to be actually feasible.

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Anonymous Coward

Money money money

What you don't understand here is that the failure and the penalty clauses is exactly what the government customer actually wants... no I jest not.

One particular large government customer I used to work with used to actually do budget forecasts including the money they'd get back from the large IT company I used to work for's penalty payments - they actually WANTED us to fail and write them cheques...

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