So another government IT project fails to deliver. The National Offender Management Information System had been budgetted to cost £234m (total lifetime cost) and take four years to complete. Three years in and the costs had spiralled, with a new lifetime project cost estimated at £690m. The plug was pulled and a new three year project at the cost of £513m was commenced. Poor project management was blamed, but I’d go further and blame the project approach as well. The Minister responsible says why;
“As soon as the extent of the projected costs and delays to the project were recognised, we took immediate steps to halt the project and consider the most cost-effective way forward which effectively preserved the work done to date”
So let’s get this straight:
It took three years to recognise that a project to implement a single database had gone wrong.
Contrast this to an agile project where progress, costs and risks are continuously monitored. But what does the goverment do? Continue with the same approach as before with some new project managers on the job. And wait another three years before any value will be delivered.