[LINK] web: Ultranet's costly failure an education in politics and procurement

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Sat Nov 15 14:17:24 AEDT 2014

On 15-Nov-14 1:50 PM, Jan Whitaker wrote:
> A case study in how NOT to acquire a govt system. Bureaucrats who don't/didn't listen to advice. Sound familiar?
>       http://www.theage.com.au/it-pro/government-it/ultranets-costly-failure-an-education-in-politics-and-procurement-20141114-11lz8e.html

There's an old joke:

A child says to its parents. "Should I get into trouble for something I 
didn't do?" Parent says, "no, of course not".
"Good" says the child, "I haven't done my homework"

It's not what governments do, its what they don't do.

Governments have a standard process. Write a business case, get it 
approved, run the project. The bit they don't do is in between the 
business case and the project. The requirements "gathered" for the 
business case are high level and only sufficient to inform the decision 
to proceed. Running a project based upon those requirements is 
guaranteed (based upon observed behaviours and observations) to fail.

Government managers, procurement specialists, project managers, vendors 
all have a vested interest in the spending of money. They want to get 
going as soon as possible, that way, the project will get finished sooner.

The idea that they should stop and have a good think about what needs to 
be done is foreign to these people. They don't do it and don't realise  
it is essential.

Auditors come along and look at such projects and aslo don't realise 
that something is missing.

Its a bit like dark matter. they know something is missing, but they 
don't know what it is, Mr Jones.

(bonus points for the 60's cultural reference)



Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Sydney Australia
email: brd at iimetro.com.au
web:   www.drbrd.com
web:   www.problemsfirst.com
Blog:  www.problemsfirst.com/blog

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