[LINK] Project Management at UK Ministry of Defence

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Mar 7 09:05:24 AEDT 2007

Graham Lay presented on "Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) 
Initiative - Case Study" at the Australian Institute of Project 
Management (<http://www.aipm.com.au/>AIPM) Canberra Chapter, 28 
February 2007. Graham is Managing Director of EDS Defence U.K. EDS 
won a contract to redevelop the UK MoD's personnel and pay system.

EDS arranged to install Oracle's personnel package for the $4B 
project. But Graham emphasized that a military personnel has to 
handle complexities unknown to a civilian system, such as issuing 
medals. Pay is very important to military personnel, who will not 
perform at their best in a remote and dangerous environment if 
worrying that their families have no money or their car has been 
repossessed back in the UK because they were not paid on time.

... EDS will implement a Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system 
for AFPAA which will deliver GBP600 million savings to the MoD over 
10 years. The JPA implementation - rolling out across the RAF, RN and 
Army in turn between 2006 and 2007 - will modernise and harmonise 
what are at present multiple standalone systems. This implementation 
is consistent with the terms of the service delivery contract awarded 
to EDS in Nov 1997 and which runs to November 2009. ...
From: <http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=133152>EDS 
Strikes Strategic Partnership With Ministry of Defence to Deliver 
Joint Personnel Administration System for UK Armed Forcese, News 
Release, EDS 28 October 2004

Graham emphasized that while the IT aspects of the project were 
challenging, the major problems were with organizational change and 
staff motivation. The system's aim had to be seem by the military as 
aiding their mission of defending the country, rather than just 
saving some money for the Treasury. The rivallray of the army, navy 
and air force had to be overcome to unify the pay and conditions of 
the tree services so a single simplified system could be used.

Graham explained it was not all without problems. As an example 
personnel were told to log in to the new system to change their 
password after a particular time. In the civilian environment, staff 
could be expected to do that throughout the day. But military people 
are trained to carry out tasks precisely at a specified time. So all 
the personnel tried to log on at the specified time, causing a system 
The RAF has declared it will have its stalled human resources 
computer systems fully operational by the end of the week, seven 
weeks after it went live.

But the MOD still has to determine what the problem was before it can 
guarantee that the Joint Personnel Administration system (JPA) can be 
rolled out on schedule to the Army and Navy later this year. ...
From: <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/11/raf_hr_fix/>EDS's Air 
Force system should fly by 'weekend', Mark Ballard , 11th May 2006
Graham is in Australia to talk to the Australian Defence Department 
about systems. One of my first jobs on joining 
<http://www.tomw.net.au/nt/tt97.html>Australian Defence Force HQ in 
Canberra was to help review the personnel system then in development. 
My report was not favorable a the project was canceled. The 
replacement project started out well, but was then canceled after a 
few years. After I left Defence they had more success adapting an 
off-the-shelf package, much as Graham recounted for the UK.

More in the blog version of this at 

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                http://www.tomw.net.au/
Visiting Fellow, ANU      Blog: http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/atom.xml  

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