Jul 30, 2009

Pulling the Plug on Underperforming IT Projects

The Department of Veterans Affairs pulled the plug on 45 problem IT projects, pending further evaluation to see if they should continue.
In preparing data for the so-called IT Dashboard, a site that offers a window into the complex and costly process of procuring government IT services, VA officials discovered problems with some of the agency's IT projects. For example, while sifting through the data, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki and CIO Roger Baker learned that a scheduling project was running 17 months behind schedule, Kundra said.

Shinseki and Baker announced on Friday that they temporarily stopped development of 45 projects that are either behind schedule or over budget to determine if they should be canceled or salvaged.--Read more on NextGov.
The IT Dashboard allows users to learn more about information technology projects, like the VA's Health Data Repository, a $28 million project that is way behind schedule.

In addition to cost and schedule information, you can easily learn the purpose of the project and review other official documentation. And, very importantly, you can provide your thoughts to the CIO on specific projects.

This project is a tough one for agency CIO's. They are required to very publicly report and evaluate their projects. Many of them are responsible for projects that they didn't approve and in some cases went sour before their arrival. But it's important to begin to get an honest handle on IT projects and expenditures. And it's even more important to do something about them.<

Bravo to the VA, and bravo for this new transparency resource.


  1. Ditto on the bravos for the VA. Projects get in trouble for many reasons. While it might be more difficult to asign blame for underperformance or delays, eventually we should aspire to some objective anaysis so competent managers can fix what is broken. Again, kudos to the VA. Good stuff!

  2. @John B, agree. We need to have room for honest evaluation to allow for innovation and, when required, mid-course correction. Thx for the comment.


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