Last year I taught a systems course to students on the university’s Masters of Public Policy course (this is like an MBA but for civil servants). For their project work, I divided them into teams of three or four and got them to write a case history of a public-sector IT project that went wrong.
The class prize was won by Oliver Campion-Awwad, Alexander Hayton, Leila Smith and Mark Vuaran for The National Programme for IT in the NHS – A Case History. It’s now online, not just to acknowledge their excellent work and to inspire future MPP students, but also as a resource for people interested in what goes wrong with large public-sector IT projects, and how to do better in future.
Regular readers of this blog will recall a series of posts on this topic and related ones; yet despite the huge losses the government doesn’t seem to have learned much at all.
There is more information on our MPP course here, while my teaching materials are available here. With luck, the next generation of civil servants won’t be quite as clueless.
3 thoughts on “Largest ever civil government IT disaster”
Is there a version of this available without the double line spacing?
No worries Duncan – we have provided a single spaced version to Ross to make available.
To avoid hindsight bias in case studies like this, Sidney Dekker’s book on accident investigation might be helpful http://sidneydekker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Dekker-ANC-flyer-Dec-2014.pdf . The question to ask is – why did it make sense to do what they did – at each stage.