Demand better in Government IT Procurement

10 Feb 2010

I saw from a Twitter post that Rob Bowley has created an interesting petition on the 10 Downing Street web site: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/ITProcessReview/

He’s asking for “a review of the out-of-date manner in which government IT projects are undertaken“, going on to say that the current string of failures is “… mainly due to […] demanding and committing to all the requirements for enormous projects up front …” and that “the private sector has mostly moved away from this failed model to an incremental approach, which allows for changes in understanding and requirements and enormously reduces the chances of failure“.

While I suspect that the Rob Bowley and I would disagree on the details of how to resolve the problem (I think his dismissal of the open letter written by a group of over 20 prominent software engineering academics is unfair – they make valid points too) but you can’t disagree with the thrust of his argument!

[Update: in the interests of completeness I found a copy of the original open letter the software engineering professors sent, so I’ve added it here in case others are interested in what they said too: NHS_Select_Committee_NPflT_Open_Letter]

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