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  # 1319813 9-Jun-2015 06:45
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Recycled from another thread:

Sideface: Throwing money at a Government IT problem does not always work.

The classic example of this was the UK National Health Service "Connecting for Health" scheme - an online booking system with electronic care records.

Started in 2004, it was expected to cost 2.3 billion pounds over three years, but by June 2006 the total cost was estimated to be 12.4 billion pounds.

Our Auckland-based company was building software for the NHS - we designed it to run on really basic Windows XP machines, of the type then used in New Zealand schools.

I traveled to the UK on a delivery trip to discover that our software would not run on NHS PCs, which had only 250MB of RAM - this was AFTER 6 billion pounds had been spent on upgrades.

In April 2007, the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons issued a damning 175-page report on the programme. "This is the biggest IT project in the world and it is turning into the biggest disaster." The report concluded that, despite a probable expenditure of 20 billion pounds "at the present rate of progress it is unlikely that significant clinical benefits will be delivered by the end of the contract period."

Our company went bust - we got none of the money wasted on "Connecting for Health".




Sideface


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  # 1319900 9-Jun-2015 08:17
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MikeB4: The company selected has good credentials and a large portfolio of clients similar to IRD, How many NZ companies have that? And how many have experience with projects of that scope?
With out knowing the full details it is hard to make a complete assessment but it would seem to be an appropriate decision.



As soon as the IRD says it is a 1 billion dollar project you know it will fail. 

The project delivery company is irrelevant as the internal/external politics at the IRD will surely kill it off.

Rod Drury had some interesting ideas a while back. Some workable, some not.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1319931 9-Jun-2015 08:43
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surfisup1000:
MikeB4: The company selected has good credentials and a large portfolio of clients similar to IRD, How many NZ companies have that? And how many have experience with projects of that scope?
With out knowing the full details it is hard to make a complete assessment but it would seem to be an appropriate decision.



As soon as the IRD says it is a 1 billion dollar project you know it will fail. 

The project delivery company is irrelevant as the internal/external politics at the IRD will surely kill it off.

Rod Drury had some interesting ideas a while back. Some workable, some not.


 from an experienced Government IT perspective, I disagree,




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

There is no planet B

 

 


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  # 1319942 9-Jun-2015 08:53
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JWR:
I think the Green Party is right.

Surely that 'money' would be more effectively used and spent in New Zealand.


While I agree with the sentiment, the realities can often mean this isn't a viable option.

In a lot of cases we simply do not have the scale to support the skillset required, so why not leverage the experience of someone else?

Bit hard to comment without any real insight into the details.

edit: In conclusion, highly effective soundbite from the opposition, need more detail please.


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  # 1319943 9-Jun-2015 08:53
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MikeB4:
surfisup1000:
MikeB4: The company selected has good credentials and a large portfolio of clients similar to IRD, How many NZ companies have that? And how many have experience with projects of that scope?
With out knowing the full details it is hard to make a complete assessment but it would seem to be an appropriate decision.



As soon as the IRD says it is a 1 billion dollar project you know it will fail. 

The project delivery company is irrelevant as the internal/external politics at the IRD will surely kill it off.

Rod Drury had some interesting ideas a while back. Some workable, some not.


 from an experienced Government IT perspective, I disagree,



You disagree that big government projects often fail , or , that Rod Drury had interesting ideas?

I think you are wrong if you think this IRD project will succeed.  

(from an experienced commercial perspective).

I've seen really good system delivery companies fail to deliver because the client mismanages their side. 

Only time will tell who is right. 


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  # 1319987 9-Jun-2015 09:08
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http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/executive-insights-and-innovation/why-do-big-it-projects-fail-so-often/d/d-id/1112087?


"17% of lT projects budgeted at $15 million or higher go so badly as to threaten the company's existence, and more than 40% of them fail."

The 15 million failure threshold is only 0.01% of the government tax redesign budget.  
 
The article even goes on to say government is more of a risk. 

"Combining the inherent problems associated with very large IT projects with outdated government practices greatly increases the risk factors. "

"In a landmark 1995 study, the Standish Group established that only about 17% of IT projects could be considered "fully successful,""

Just saying. 


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  # 1319998 9-Jun-2015 09:21
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MikeB4:
surfisup1000:
MikeB4: The company selected has good credentials and a large portfolio of clients similar to IRD, How many NZ companies have that? And how many have experience with projects of that scope?
With out knowing the full details it is hard to make a complete assessment but it would seem to be an appropriate decision.



As soon as the IRD says it is a 1 billion dollar project you know it will fail. 

The project delivery company is irrelevant as the internal/external politics at the IRD will surely kill it off.

Rod Drury had some interesting ideas a while back. Some workable, some not.


 from an experienced Government IT perspective, I disagree,



From an experienced Govt IT perspective, I think it will fail.

The fact that it's a billion dollar project tells me that the previous system wasn't able to grow. Why wasn't 10 (or 50 or 100) million a year spent over the last 10 years to keep the system up to date? My view is that was because it's all been corner-cutting and sticking-plaster fixes to keep the existing system running at minimal immediate cost. Pay enough to retain staff? I don't think so! There's no real IT career in the public service, so, as well as the old system becoming outdated, all the knowledge and skills required has been lost. 

Now the Govt has been sold the idea that if we throw an enormous amount of money at the problem, it will go away.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1320000 9-Jun-2015 09:25
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frankv:
MikeB4:
surfisup1000:
MikeB4: The company selected has good credentials and a large portfolio of clients similar to IRD, How many NZ companies have that? And how many have experience with projects of that scope?
With out knowing the full details it is hard to make a complete assessment but it would seem to be an appropriate decision.



As soon as the IRD says it is a 1 billion dollar project you know it will fail. 

The project delivery company is irrelevant as the internal/external politics at the IRD will surely kill it off.

Rod Drury had some interesting ideas a while back. Some workable, some not.


 from an experienced Government IT perspective, I disagree,



From an experienced Govt IT perspective, I think it will fail.

The fact that it's a billion dollar project tells me that the previous system wasn't able to grow. Why wasn't 10 (or 50 or 100) million a year spent over the last 10 years to keep the system up to date? My view is that was because it's all been corner-cutting and sticking-plaster fixes to keep the existing system running at minimal immediate cost. Pay enough to retain staff? I don't think so! There's no real IT career in the public service, so, as well as the old system becoming outdated, all the knowledge and skills required has been lost. 

Now the Govt has been sold the idea that if we throw an enormous amount of money at the problem, it will go away.



Because voters would cry themselves silly if that sort of money was spent yearly. And yes that is a better process but the NZ public will not allow it. The result is the systems run down to a point where a big project is required.




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

There is no planet B

 

 


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  # 1320002 9-Jun-2015 09:26
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surfisup1000: http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/executive-insights-and-innovation/why-do-big-it-projects-fail-so-often/d/d-id/1112087?


"17% of lT projects budgeted at $15 million or higher go so badly as to threaten the company's existence, and more than 40% of them fail."

The 15 million failure threshold is only 0.01% of the government tax redesign budget.  
 
The article even goes on to say government is more of a risk. 

"Combining the inherent problems associated with very large IT projects with outdated government practices greatly increases the risk factors. "

"In a landmark 1995 study, the Standish Group established that only about 17% of IT projects could be considered "fully successful,""

Just saying. 



Which means 83% and 60% succeed ;)





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

There is no planet B

 

 


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  # 1320129 9-Jun-2015 11:08
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I cant fathom where $1 billion would go into such a project

Id be keen to see a project scope \ overview with a cost breakdown...would make for some interesting reading.
 

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  # 1320131 9-Jun-2015 11:09
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MikeB4: The company selected has good credentials and a large portfolio of clients similar to IRD, How many NZ companies have that? And how many have experience with projects of that scope?
With out knowing the full details it is hard to make a complete assessment but it would seem to be an appropriate decision.


I'd agree with this assessment but with a healthy dose of trepidation...!

Hopefully the contract will include penalty clauses for late/no delivery etc etc although IT companies are good at blaming both of those on the client shifting requirements mid-project (in many cases they are justified to blame them too, of course.).

At least they are not trying to put SAP in there to do it....





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  # 1320167 9-Jun-2015 11:23
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heylinb4nz: I cant fathom where $1 billion would go into such a project

Id be keen to see a project scope \ overview with a cost breakdown...would make for some interesting reading.
 


People are REALLY expensive.



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  # 1320194 9-Jun-2015 11:53
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So is software licencing. 

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  # 1320317 9-Jun-2015 14:15
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Zeon: Most NZ government departments are relatively good to deal with from a business persepctive. Except the IRD. Seriously I explicitly put the tax type and period in when I pay them but always find it in some random account.


From a personal perspective, my recent dealings with IRD from a business perspective have been excellent. I may not agree with the tax laws themselves, but IRD have been timely, and far more professional, approachable and have knowledable staff on the front line than they did a few years ago.

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  # 1320323 9-Jun-2015 14:24
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surfisup1000: http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/executive-insights-and-innovation/why-do-big-it-projects-fail-so-often/d/d-id/1112087?

"In a landmark 1995 study, the Standish Group established that only about 17% of IT projects could be considered "fully successful,""



Central to that statement is what criteria the study used to define a "successful outcome". Lies, damned and statistics.

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