Posts Tagged ‘strategy’
Analysis, Enterprise IT, Featured - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 13:38 - 10 Comments
analysis New South Wales’ outgoing auditor-general has published a brief whitepaper outlining the major causes of project failure in the state government and what can be done to address the issue, specifically calling out IT projects as having a bad track record in the area.
Peter Achterstraat was appointed auditor-general of NSW in September 2006, after 20 years in the Australian Taxation Office and most of a decade as the chief commissioner of state revenue for NSW. In the past seven years since he was appointed, NSW, like other states such as Queensland and Victoria, has suffered a number of major IT project problems, with the most high-profile likely being the previous Labor administration’s ill-fated Tcard public transport smartcard project. The project was originally intended to be in place for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, but failed disastrously and was eventually turfed in 2007.
In a brief whitepaper entitled ‘Why large public sector projects sometimes fail’ and published this week (PDF), Achterstraat wrote: “Governments at all levels across Australia spend hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure and IT projects. Some projects are very successful and have delivered positive outcomes. However, many projects fail. They are often over budget, late, not completed or completed with reduced outcomes. My audits of hundreds of NSW Government agencies and many major projects over the past seven years have identified a number of common issues.”
According to the auditor, the “common ailments” of failed projects could be grouped around three key themes: Poor governance, inadequate project management, and a lack of effective leadership.”
“A number of initiatives have been introduced in New South Wales recently which show promise,” Achterstraat wrote. “In relation to governance, NSW public sector agencies are now required to have a majority of ‘independent’ members on their Audit and Risk Committees. Many of these committees undertake serious continuous professional development to keep up-to-date with emerging issues. These independent members are increasingly challenging agency behaviours and are introducing a more rigorous approach to governance issues.” Continue…
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