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Yet again there has been signficant controversy around a government IT project, and the fall-out suggests that we are still repeating the same mistakes now as we did 25 years ago.
There is much coverage at the moment of the coalition government ending the taxpayer-funded ID card programme, and cancelling or scaling back on a range of other public sector IT projects and programmes that are deemed to be wasteful, unnecessary, underperforming or simply unsupportable in this age of austerity.
Information compression and inaccuracy seems to be the curse of the Help Desk age. My friend Harry had a traffic accident not long ago which he swears was not his fault. Well it never is, is it? However, I think he has a valid point about inadequate description leading to inaccurate conclusion.
So what's in the news these days? Hacking. Demise of the NOTW. Loss of trust in senior police officers. The death of a whistleblower who reported on the man who later worked for the political party now in power. And perhaps some lessons to be learned for project management.
One of the strengths of a good project manager, we are often told, is the ‘helicopter view’. This is the ability to not only work the detail, but stand back to see the big picture, and focus our effort accordingly.
One of the consequences of the current financial predicament is cost-cutting and restructure of what's left. Yet like the 'Millennium Bug' context there's no doubt that some organisations have used this exercise to masque better internal control over infrastructure, remove political obstacles, or implement regime change.
APM in conjunction with Skills CFA have announced the official launch of the new Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management, and it will be interesting to see how many IT-based employers take up this opportunity.
PROMSG is the BCS Project, Programme and Portfolio Specialist Group, and as such is keenly aware of the current enthusiasm for agile project management. PROMSG is not in the business of promoting any particular standard approach to project management.
Digital media (DM) projects are growing in number and importance. With the BBC Digital Media Initiative they have even got their own massive project disaster to match those in other industry sectors. Although there other aspects to DM projects such as the creative skills needed to design engaging content, the importance of the role of IT development and deployment in them is unarguable.
Project Eye had someone at the first event of the PROMSG Spring School on project start-up and they have just reported in. Jeff Morgan, the hugely experienced former project manager (now PhD student in computer-supported music composition) was giving a talk which could well have been entitled ‘what makes a good project manager’.

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