Reputation ICT is disappointing
Mistakes happen everywhere. But, the large IT projects for the government have a particularly bad reputation. Thanks to this reputation, even the man in the street is familiar with the expression 'twice as long and twice as expensive'. The reality is often even more disappointing. Which made parliament decide about the establishment of the 'Research committee IT projects at the government' led by Ton Elias. This committee's report dates from April 2015. What should we learn from it?
What can we learn from it?
The experts are, gently put, not optimistic about this learning effect. They point out that the findings are not exactly new and that the earlier reports and recommendations have not really been heeded either. The most important recommendations have been known for quite some time and yet, little seems to be changed in the way large IT projects are set up. Because it all hinges on a good start. With a client who at least takes the first few steps right.
Whether it concerns a study into infrastructure (2003), railroad materials (FYRA 2015) or the construction industry as a whole (2002), one of the common threads is the client's role. There's much to be said about the quality and behaviour of service providers and suppliers, but in the end those who pay, decide and you get what you ask for. The test of whether this concerns true value for money usually occurs afterwards and the fact that parliamentary research is needed makes the conclusion predictable.
As a service provider or supplier in the field of IT, you are hired for your knowledge and expertise. At the same time, there isn't much that makes you happier than a client with some sense and knowledge. Someone who understands that he, with his first steps, influences the success of his project to a greater extent than with any changes made halfway through. The research reports are clear about how a client can become the weakest link in his own project. The other side of the same coin is that a client who does follow the recommendations can be instrumental in creating a successful project.
Client; look before you leap and profit from lessons from the past.