There are various IT projects that have failed in the past, nevertheless the project that would be discussed in this report would be the U.K. National Health Service system. This system would be discussed in this report and the reasons for its failure. This particular IT project failure is being considered for study as it may be on the top of the list for IT project failures with the most loss of revenue till date and this money belonged to the UK taxpayer’s money (Connolly, 2018). The purpose of this report is to analyze the Chaos report of the aforesaid IT project failure.
The U.K. National Health Service system was aimed at connecting the health data of all the citizens across UK into one system (Guest et al., 2015). This was a top-down project as the project was initiated for political reasons (Kerzner & Kerzner, 2017). This was indeed a project that was highly influenced by the political parties and therefore by probability such a project is bound to fail. The abandoned project was estimated to have costed around ten billion pounds of the tax payers money. This project was therefore at the pinnacle of IT project failure as it involved such high losses. The aim of implementing such a system definitely deserved high praise. However, the plan was more theoretical in nature and practical consideration and ideas were not implemented before rolling out the plan for developing such a massive system (Meredith et al., 2016). A successful ICT project must involve the views and opinions of its key stakeholders especially the people who are going to use the system. The future users of the healthcare system had raised their concerns about the accessibility criteria of the system and the reasons that would not prove beneficial for the system. However, the political parties and the project planners did not take those opinions into consideration and instead went ahead with their planning as usual. The procurement process was very hasty and that time it was termed as efficient. Future contracts awarding procedures were supposed to be awarded using the same procurement technique as a reference model. However, such a fast and efficient technique was not appropriate for the procurement purposes. The contract terms that seemed viable were accepted up front without any investigation into the matter as to the requirement of the terms. Lack of negotiation has hasted the procurement process nevertheless at the cost of bad procurement strategies. This resulted in extremely poor contract generating process. The service providers did not get paid until they delivered the items. This had in turn created a lot of disarray among the vendors. The project demanded a lot of last minute changes to procurement and even addition to existing purchase orders. Large scale service providers can absorb such risks and mitigate them by making a good margin in the process. However, the small service providers could not always handle the enormous risks that entailed the project and would therefore in a matter of time would just get removed from the process eventually. Different regional service providers were thus appointed for the same reason. Contracts got terminated in the course of the project and the remaining service providers had to compensate for the empty slot. Finally, it was about the accountability decision of the project director that led to the dismissal of the system that showed the excellent predicative skills that an ICT manager must possess to determine the success and failure of a project even before it is completed (Saad?, Dong & Wan, 2015).
The findings suggest that the project failed primarily because it was a large-scale project. Every project consists of some particular steps that must be completed to ensure its success. This project was no exception. The opinions of the users were not taken into consideration as a top-down approach was used. Therefore, the system was not approached with usability and accessibility of the system. The procurement method was hasty and it instead had adverse effect on the whole in the long term as the terms of procurement were harshly implemented. The rapid changes to the project requirement also contributed to cost overrun and therefore project failure.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the U.K. National Health Service system was a failure due to not one but several reasons. The huge size of the project with lack of realistic approach to it were the primary reasons behind the failure. The project faced cost overrun due to unregulated technical changes and that in turn resulted in the dismissal of the project. The fundamental structure of every ICT project remains the same and must be handled accordingly
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Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Mantel Jr, S. J., & Sutton, M. M. (2016). Project management in practice. Wiley Global Education.
Saad?, R. G., Dong, H., & Wan, H. (2015). Factors of project manager success. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, 10, 63-80.
Syal, R. (2018). Abandoned NHS IT system has cost ?10bn so far. www.theguardian.com. Retrieved 30 March 2018, from