back to article Glued-shut IT wallets hindered UK govt's programmes – study

Efforts by the previous UK government to rein in lavish Whitehall technology spending caused more harm than good in some instances. That's according to a new academic paper, titled Identifying the critical success factors for major government projects that incorporate IT or “digital” developments. It builds upon two …

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Holmes

Yes minister.

You'll implement a trajectory to plan for an inventory session to kick off the start of preparations for defining your project scope so you can appoint a committee to handle the actual project conceptualization from which you develop a working model of the organisation structure that you plan to deploy as a pilot to work with focus groups.

But will you sign off on the resources that are needed to implement your policy...? I guess that would be foolish. Implementations, or "real world results" as we call them in chambers, are just a hobby thing for the invisible basement geeks that we hate because they understand what they are doing, and who do they think they are to want tools and money to do their work...?

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As soon as £££.gov involved

the quotation gets multiplied by 1,000

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Any chance of changing the headline?

It's not the money. Prof Weerakkody's paper is all about the ignorance and prejudice of the project participants. That's what sank DEFRA's Basic Payment Scheme and DWP's Universal Credit. Both projects have burned their way through eye-wateringly gigantic piles of money. There was no lack of it, it's not the wallets that were "glued shut", it was the minds of the participants. That could usefully be reflected in a more accurate headline.

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Holmes

"government programmes ought to be viewed as means of implementing policy"

And it's taken an outside report how long to point this out?

And BTW all big IT systems embody some concept of how a problem is to be solved. That will point you in certain directions and away from others. Anyone not realizing that is likely to find themselves in trouble.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "government programmes ought to be viewed as means of implementing policy"

Well they closed down the Civil Service College that ran courses on making policy happen to save money ....

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There are times

when I wonder how HMG ever manages to procure a working IT system at all.

Too often the bidding or procurement processes or management of the transition are handed over to contractors or consultants who therefore have a conflict of interest when they should tell their client that what is required is to stop and think about what they want to achieve, and to sack the contractors and not start again until they actually have a good idea of what it is they are after, and how to get it.

At one (previous) employment I was informed that the job of the consultant is to determine the client's budget and spend it. (That was a serious statement by a senior manager, not facetious in any way.)

<Sorry, rant over.>

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