In a report released in January, the House of Commons’
Select Committee on Public Accounts examined 25
government IT projects that did not work and came
up with project management lessons from each, including:
Planners need to have clear project objectives and
Projects that are part of an overall strategy must
clearly fit together, and those implementing the separate projects must understand this
Carefully examine the full implications of introducing
changes to IT systems, including the impact of any policy changes (like
passport laws) that may affect demand for services.
Contingency plans are essential to cover the risk that
the system won’t be delivered on time.
Planners should consider whether programs with sweeping
goals might be too ambitious to attempt in one project.
Arrangements with subcontractors should include terms
with both incentives to reach project goals and
penalties if they don’t.
Delays in implementing projects place them at risk of
being overtaken by technological developments.