May 21, 2018 Stewart Marshall

Once More Unto The Breach

The big end of town has once more demonstrated how to make a mess of an IT implementation, this time costing the tax payer a lazy $20,000,000.

After 3 years and abject failure, the Department of Education has finally declared the Australian Apprentice Management System (AAMS) dead in the water and will now rely on its incumbent system, one that is outdated and was apparently buckling under pressure in 2013.

Every Cloud Has…

A report in to the project by PwC paints a somewhat bleak image, highlighting governance issues from the start, and includes the following statement.

“Management practices did not validate the proposed solution regularly to confirm it would continue to meet policy objectives, requirements, expected benefits and the needs of end users.”

And if that isn’t sufficiently damning, an assurance review in July 2017 suggested that,

“the proposed AAMS solution was not fit for purpose nor would it realise the benefits as intended in the business case.”

Why?

“End users were not consistently consulted on their needs from design and throughout the project lifecycle”.

Words fail me…well nearly.

…A Silver Lining

Still, the $20,000,000 should not go entirely to waste. It may have been the big end of town making a mess, but there are a few things SMEs can learn from this utter schmozzle, and they apply not only to new systems that are being planned and implemented, but existing solutions too.

So, three simple tips to ensure your “$20 million” doesn’t get wasted.

  1. Regularly review your systems to ensure that they actually meet the needs of your business and your users
  2. Ensure your vendors and suppliers understand your business needs
  3. Talk to your team! They run your business and their portrait of it will be “warts and all”

These may sound like I’m trying to teach granny to suck eggs, but if the AAMS debacle is anything to go by, it would seem that granny does have a tendency to be a little forgetful, and an occasional, well meaning reminder, will do not harm at all.


Today’s Top Takeaway

If there’s one thing we can learn from history, it’s that we never learn from history


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