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'ere we go again. Another IT triumph!


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#1 JohnM

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:04 PM

Hundreds of millions has been spent on software to support the government's flagship Universal Credit scheme, which may not be able to support administering the benefit. Sources close to the DWP's Universal Credit project, which seeks to streamline and automate benefit payments and tax credits for 12 million people, indicate that upwards of £270m has already been spent in government contracts with IBM, Hewlett Packard and BT. Accenture is understood to have received the lion's share of the work, winning more than £110m.

 

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#2 Futtocks

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:09 PM

I blame the Guardian.


A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#3 JohnM

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:13 PM

me, too. That's a given.



#4 ckn

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:32 PM

As a professional project manager myself near the very top of my trade I'd like to propose the following:

 

1. If you're a project manager and all of the following are true for a major project then you should be banned from being a project manager for life:

 

- You agreed to the scope of the project

- You put together the budget, resourcing and schedule for the project

- The budget, resourcing and schedule were either approved as proposed or you agreed to any amendments suggested

- The project ended up exceeding one of the following statuses: 20% late or 20% over budget

 

Additionally, if there are scope changes proposed by anyone then they MUST be fully approved in a scope change including the impact analysis BEFORE any change to the project happens.  If you can't do that then you deserve to be beaten with a truck-load of PRINCE2 manuals.

 

2.  A law is passed that if you're a supplier to a government project and the entire payment to you is likely to be over £1m then you must agree to the following:

 

- There are no Time and Materials provisions.  All costs must be planned up front.

- Expenses are fully included in the contract with a firm, no exceptions expense cap.

- If you over-run then that's your problem, you meet the costs yourself.

- If the scope is unclear on a point then the burden of proof is on the supplier to prove that it should not be interpreted in the government's favour.

- If you agree to an end-deliverable then you are 100% responsible for every bit of work required to deliver it unless an exception is in the contract for specific items or resources.  Again, if there's something missing then it's your fault, you fund it.

 

These points alone would stop almost every single bit of consultancy over-run and scope creep.  I'm used to approaching consultancy contracts from a commercial project perspective and we usually have to have senior lawyers involved to beat out any unclear areas, they try every single time to have vague terms included that could be interpreted as allowing them to charge more for things.  If they can scam a claim for something vague then they will.

 

I fell for this years ago and missed something quite important, we had a named lead consultant who would author the final report, the unwritten assumption was that he'd be onsite for the entire time doing most of the research, contract was signed and we didn't see him again, he was replaced by an "associate" who looked about 18 and just filled in checklists.  We got a final report with the lead consultant's name on it, it was so vague as to be nearly unusable but it did do as the contract said it would.  I now get the contract to specifically state named individuals who will be on site working on the contract with a "no-show, no-work, no-pay" statement, if they send additional people then that's fine but it comes out of their pocket.


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#5 Tiny Tim

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 04:40 PM

 

Additionally, if there are scope changes proposed by anyone then they MUST be fully approved in a scope change including the impact analysis BEFORE any change to the project happens...

 

 

I thought that was a given. The clients that I manage projects for would simply refuse to pay the invoices if change orders hadn't been approved.

 

I had to go back for a couple of extra $million USD recently and they spent weeks thinking about it before finally approving. Timelines are now impacted as they were warned they would be and this is now an issue. Time for a CAPA......ho hum


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#6 Larry the Leit

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 05:01 PM

I look at the names involved. They're not interested in providing solutions, they're interested and driven only by money in my experience.
The Unicorn is not a Goose,

#7 JohnM

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 05:46 PM

IBM is a contraction of the old chinese proverb, "it is better to travel hopefully with someone else's money than to arrive using your own"



#8 Larry the Leit

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 05:55 PM

IBM is a contraction of the old chinese proverb, "it is better to travel hopefully with someone else's money than to arrive using your own"

I have a relative who is a partner there. After a few drinks she almost always goes into meltdown about how she hates ripping people off but doesn't know where else she'd get £330k pa.

Her role is to stuff as many consultants into organisations as possible and dragging out decisions as long as possible whilst appearing to be doing her clients a massive favour.

Edited by Larry the Leit, 04 September 2013 - 06:14 PM.

The Unicorn is not a Goose,




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