Today sees more troubling headlines about the failure of various Scottish public sector bodies to ensure that IT projects are managed in even a passingly appropriate way.
Audit Scotland assessed the handling of IT projects undertaken by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Registers of Scotland and Disclosure Scotland. The Auditor General highlights the key failings in relation to IT developments;
‘”We found significant weaknesses in how they were planned, managed and overseen. Some of this arose from a lack of specialist skills, but there were also flaws in areas of basic project management that apply to capital works of all types.”‘
The combined costs of these projects is a staggering £133m. It seems very surprising indeed that with so much investment, relating to an area of society as crucial as criminal justice, there have been such gaps in terms of internal ICT management and project planning.
The Scottish government insists that changes have already been made, and it is hoped that stories such as these will become a thing of the past. At RAD Software, we know what it takes to deliver large IT projects, within budget and to the satisfaction of all involved. The key is communication, ownership and understanding of requirements.
Decision makers can keep costs down, and increase system usability by focussing on what their organisation needs, not simply on what is on offer. At RAD Software we offer a robust business analysis/system assessment review service, the purpose of which is to define and document a client’s existing business system and IT framework to identify both short and long term functional requirements.
In any large IT project, objectives must be based on sound rationale, with key indicators of success identified, and a wide approach to managing the changes undertaken. Markers of success should not be formulated based on time or cost alone but take into consideration how well the intended system functions and the significant step up in a organisation’s capacity to deliver markedly better service it affords.
By appointing a capable project leader from a position of authority and insight within, both businesses and public sector institutions can ensure that a close rein is kept on the implementation and to ensure that the end result serves their needs. In this way control is kept within the organisation rather than devolved to an implementation team who, though they may have the interests of the company truly at heart, nevertheless, are best treated as positive partners than the final authority.
For more on RAD Software’s business analysis/system assessment reviews, our Prince 2 approach to project-management or to discuss the applications of the powerful EFACS Enterprise Resource Planning system for your manufacturing, wholesale or distribution firm, get in touch via info@RAD.co.uk.
RAD Software | Strategic Solutions