This week’s focus: I’m beginning to think that there must be a training school for UK politicians that focuses on how to cock up major IT projects. Following debacles with NHS systems, air traffic control and passport control, it’s now been reported that the implementation of systems to deliver the government’s new Universal Credit benefit system has gone badly wrong.

The problems that have been identified include an overambitious implementation timetable, no adequate measures of progress, poor governance procedures, insufficiently experienced and skilled managers who failed to communicate ‘bad news’ to the politicians and a lack of IT expertise within the government’s department leadership team.

Very generously, the government – or, rather, the taxpayer – has provided us, yet again, with a textbook example of how not to run big projects. So, why don’t you use the issues raised as a checklist for your own major projects and identify where you need to raise your game?

Off the record: I Promised You A Miracle by Simple Minds

I promised you a miracle

Belief is a beauty thing

Promises, promises

As golden days break wondering

© Stuart Cross 2013. All rights reserved.