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The Novopay Debacle – #2 – some perspective


Interestingly as Adam was considering his next posting on this absolute ominshambles, to use the word of the moment, he read this article in the McKinsey Quarterly. This extract seemed very pertinent:-

As IT systems become an important competitive element in many industries, technology projects are getting larger, touching more parts of the organization, and posing a risk to the company if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, things often do go wrong. Our research, conducted in collaboration with the University of Oxford, suggests that half of all large IT projects—defined as those with initial price tags exceeding $15 million—massively blow their budgets. On average, large IT projects run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent over time, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted. Software projects run the highest risk of cost and schedule overruns.

So the MoE omnishambles, really like that word, seems to be symptomatic of what happens. That does not excuse the various levels of ineptitude which appear to exist, but shows us that we are not alone. Cold comfort that fact might be!

McKinsey found, after looking at a survey of some 5,400 IT projects that:-

 the longer a project is scheduled to last, the more likely it is that it will run over time and budget, with every additional year spent on the project increasing cost overruns by 15 percent.

In that regard it would be interesting to know why the  outsource contract appears to be some 8 years now, compared to the originally reported 6years? Despite the fact that Novopay appears to be some 2 years late!



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