Headlines: January 8th, 2001

A Cabinet Office progress report on “Successful IT” published last year shows that ownership is a key feature in delivering projects. Central government is implementing 50 large IT projects and they all now have a Senior Responsible Owner . The benefits from ownership are streamlined decision-making and an end to confusion about who reports where and who takes responsibility. The process starts at the top with E-Envoy Andrew Pinder fulfilling the role of Senior Responsible Owner for overseeing the implementation of the report.Other management strategies are also being applied to increase the success rate to what can only be described as a poor track record. Suppliers are being actively managed and greater clarity is being brought to government procurement policy through updated guidance. The Office of Government Commerce has published a procurement brief identifying the principal sources of guidance during the various stages within the procurement cycle.

In addition, big projects are being broken down into manageable pieces to reduce risk. This approach has been used in the Knowledge Network Project which, in time will link all Whitehall departments to a single database of policy and statistical information. The Knowledge Network is being developed through pilots, with a work programme carried out by individual departments.