Sydney Water

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world.


Sydney Water– Australia
Project type : Customer Management System
Date : Dec 2009 Cost : $70M AUD

Synopsis :
Project to modernize and consolidate Sydney Water’s Customer Management Systems runs into trouble.  Project is delayed by 18 months and exceeds its original budget by more than 100%.  Overruns and delays mean that the project’s return on investment is now estimated to be 37 years.  And even then, that figure is based on the assumption that the project will be completed as per the newly published timeline and budget.

Reports indicate that is is not the first troubled project for Sydney Water.  An earlier kick at the can was aborted in 2002 after a project to modernize the customer information and billing system was cancelled once it had run over budget by four fold.

Contributing factors as reported in the press:
Underestimation of complexity, higher than expected system integration costs.

Reference links :

  1. Sydney Water Bungling Triggers a Roasting
  2. Sydney Water doesn’t seem to learn prior IT lessons well

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