Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It Might Be That There Is An Important Lesson Here. Major Technology Projects Need Major Skills!

I spotted this a day or so ago.

Myki faces expensive new hurdle

Clay Lucas

October 20, 2010

THE trouble-plagued myki project has hit another snag, with the expected cost of training newsagents and 7-11 stores to sell and top up the smartcards costing $1.4 million more than originally contracted.

Despite the increased cost, the Brumby government has still not revealed when more than 700 newsagents and retailers contracted to sell and top up myki cards will begin sales.

It comes as a new staff list for the government agency overseeing myki's installation shows employee numbers growing to 161 people. This includes 13 community liaison officers and five media officers.

The government's Transport Ticketing Authority is charged with supervising the creation and rollout of myki, and managing the existing Metcard contract.

Since 2007 - the year myki was meant to be fully rolled out - the Transport Ticketing Authority has grown from just 74 staff. Kamco, the firm being paid to create and install myki for the government, today has 73 full-time staff, and 120 subcontractors.

The government's staff numbers do not include scores of ''myki mates'', employed on casual contracts as part of a $5 million government push to promote myki at rail stations and tram stops.

Transport Ticketing Authority chief executive Bernie Carolan said yesterday he would prefer that the number of people employed by his agency was shrinking, not growing. ''[But] we have got a broad range of responsibilities,'' he said.


Contracts released to opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder under freedom of information show the cost of training staff at newsagents and retail stores to sell myki will be $1.4 million more than expected when the contract to roll out myki was signed in 2005.

A source within Kamco said the government had constantly changed the specifications of what it wanted, leading to increased costs.

Adrian Darwent, a Transport Ticketing Authority spokesman, said the increase in payments to Kamco was because the number of staff needed to be trained ''could only be negotiated once the size and scope of the retail network was determined''.

Full article is here:


What this article raises is the whole issue of how major technology projects can underscope - often badly - the costs of technology implementation and training.

Apply this to the HI Service, NASH and PCEHR and it rapidly becomes clear that there are real risks in underestimating the change management and training resources that will be needed to get an implementation done in reasonable time and with reasonable quality. Each of these programs will involve many people, much training and substantial workflow impact.

We can see from other government programs that these issues are often under addressed and that project outcomes can be badly compromised as a result.

If these programs are to be implemented they need to be done properly and not be associated with the time, cost and staff overruns we see described above. This will be no mean feat!

In that vein a day or so ago NEHTA advertised for Senior Project Managers - Implementations.

See here for the advertisement.


A read through this will make you quickly realise how difficult these jobs will be and what super-human resources and backup will be needed for success.

I have to say I am by no means sure NEHTA could afford the capability profile of people who could deliver these roles. We shall see.

This looks like the sort of work that should be undertaken by a very well resourced ‘project office’ and not just one or two heavy hitters to me!


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