Doomed: Challenges and solutions to government IT projects | Brookings Institution

English: At a meeting with representatives of ...

English: At a meeting with representatives of US public, academic and political circles. Русский: На встрече с представителями американской общественности, научных и политических кругов. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an article published by international think-tank, Brookings, Niam Yaraghi writes about why government IT projects often fail and what can be done to improve their rate of success.

Source: Doomed: Challenges and solutions to government IT projects | Brookings Institution

Before I retired from mainstream activities, I was a international transformation specialist who rescued large, high-risk IT programs from failure.

So for me, the article by Niam Yaraghi is rather simplistic. It fails to address the role of major IT houses and consultancies who peddle their expertise, yet step away when the stack of cards crashes  – but they always seem to get paid. Whether it’s the US or the UK, in big government IT projects, there’s a massive amount of cronyism. In the UK, for example, top-government IT posts go to former partners of major consultancies. The cronyism cranks up the cost-plus engine, calling in lower level cronies and the taxpayer stomps up the bill. Big recruiters perpetuate the cronyism peddling contractors. All of this is peretuated by deploying bureaucratic methodologies that have been seriously discredited.

To really understand why government IT projects fail, it’s necessary to take a subjective look at the problem. I would recommend reading one of my most popular blogs, which looked at UK local authorities investing in shared services.

For me, the best way to get value-for-money and effective service quality from the public sector is to downsize government at every-level, outsourcing and offshoring as much as possible, just retaining policy units in the public sector. Of course, there are strategic considerations and national risks to consider but these can be mitigated.

For me, the big bureaucracies and their cronies will never be able to deliver effectively. By the way, I’m not biased against the public sector, the same remedies should be deployed with big banks! I admit that I don’t like bureaucracies, especially those that are big on broken-processes.


Opinion – China’s migrant workers head home as Beijing faces an economic storm | World news | The Guardian

Flag of the Chinese Communist Party 贛語: 中國共產黨黨...

Flag of the Chinese Communist Party 贛語: 中國共產黨黨旗 한국어: 중국공산당당기 / 中國共產黨黨旗 lzh: 中國共產黨之黨旗 Português: Bandeira do Partido Comunista da China Русский: Флаг Коммунистической партии Китая Tiếng Việt: 黨旗黨共産中國 / Đảng kỳ Đảng Cộng sản Trung Quốc 粵語: 中國共產黨黨旗 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the Guardian’s Beijing correspondent, Tom Phillips, labour disputes are rising and workers are abandoning cities for the country amid fears a crashing economy could cause political and social unrest.

Source: China’s migrant workers head home as Beijing faces an economic storm | World news | The Guardian

This is an insightful, subjective assessment, looking at one struggling family as a case study.

With collapsing financial markets, the widely predicted ‘hard-landing’ for China already looks in play. Meanwhile, the government are still painting a rosy picture. But there is speculation that the Chinese Premier is under political threat.

Since 1948, China has had one political party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In recent years, influential families with roots in the CCP have become staggeringly wealthy. The suppression of individual liberties has been contained on the back of improved quality of life for the masses. But if the economy goes into serious decline, all bets are off, and it becomes highly dangerous territory.

Personally, I still believe that China can reflate her economy with central policy measures.