Department of Transport – UK


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

Department for Transport – UK
Project name : Shared Services
Date : May 2008 Cost :$160M

Synopsis :
Program to improve efficiency in the UK’s Department of Transport ends up costing more than it saves.  By sharing hardware and software services across the department the project was intended to save the organization $114M.  A May 2008 study the the UK National Audit Office however finds the projects is in deep trouble and that the project will actually cost $160M more than it saves.

Contributing factors as reported in the press :
In the words of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Edward Leigh MP “The Department for Transport planned and implemented its shared corporate services project with stupendous incompetence. This is one of the worst cases of project management seen by this committee.”  Other contributors include; Underestimation of cost. Excessive schedule pressure resulting in inadequate procurement and testing. Poor requirements definition.  Lack of vendor management.  Poor quality implementation.

Reference links :

  1. Transport Dept plan ‘incompetent’
  2. National Audit Office Report
  3. Government shared services project slammed for “stupendous incompetence”