One in four government major IT projects on course for success, report reveals

Written by Sam Trendall on 19 July 2017 in News

No projects in the red zone, meaning IT compares favourably with other sectors, according to IPA report

Ten out of 39 IT projects are on course for fruition without major issues

The government’s annual report on the progress of its major projects has revealed that its IT programmes compare well with those in other sectors, with more than one in four on track likely to achieve successful delivery – and none earmarked as unachievable.

A report from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority revealed that there are 39 central government projects in the ‘ICT’ category that are currently ongoing. Their total cumulative budget is £18.6bn.

The report uses a five-point scale to rank the progress of projects. None of the ICT projects under review were ranked as ‘red’ – denoting that a scheme has become unachievable without remediation of major issues in terms of timescale, budget, and quality of delivery.

Each of the other three categories of project – transformation and service delivery; infrastructure and construction; and military capability – have at least one project in the red zone.

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What is more, there are two IT programmes that have a top-level green rating, meaning that they are very likely to reach fruition on time and within budget, and a further eight in the amber/green category, wherein successful delivery is probable if the project continues to be carefully managed.

This number of projects in the top two tiers puts technology projects on a par with the infrastructure and construction space, and way ahead of both the service delivery and military categories, which do not have one green-rated programme between them.

Some 17 IT projects are designated as amber, meaning successful delivery is “feasible”, albeit after “significant issues” are addressed. Nine technology schemes have an amber/red rating, denoting that success is “in doubt”, due to “major risks”.

Additionally, one project was given a blue rating – meaning it has been “reset”, with a substantial change in scope or business case. A further two projects were exempt from rating.

In a joint foreword, exchequer secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones, and Caroline Nokes – who recently assumed ministerial responsibility for the Government Digital Service – said: “We continue to make steady improvements in the way we deliver government projects. This is thanks to the hard work of the cadre of world-class project delivery professionals working across government.”


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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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