Category Archives: Technology

Major Projects Part 1

Some years ago I posted about the comments made by Sir Edward Leigh in regard to the conduct of major projects when he retired as Chairman of the UK Parliaments Public Accounts Committee.

It would seem that the comments made then are still pertinent today, perhaps even more so. My memory was jogged by the recent report from the Taxpayers Union of the apparent massive blowout in a new IRD computer system to handle changes to child support. Then I read the articles in The Dominion Post this morning regarding the transformation project underway at IRD.

The objectives of the changes are not unreasonable, what concerns me is the scale and potential complexity of the project.  In particular this comes at a time when IRD are looking at a massive project to replace existing and aged systems.

I intend to look at the issues around major projects in a series of posts over the next few weeks. My intent is to start with what appears at first sight to be a major blow-out, but on review may come up with a number of different questions requiring answer.

As background I have linked to Sir Edward’s letter, Edward_Leigh_Letter_28_March_2010 and to the IRD report on the child support system  Taxation Annual Rates for 201516 Research and Development and Remedial Matters Bill. In addition there is a link as well to a relevant McKinsey Quarterly article,  Delivering large-scale IT projects on time on budget and on value.

The ITx Conference – Auckland – 8-10 October 2014

Itx

This conference will soon be upon us. I have been fortunate enough to have a paper selected for presentation.

The programme is here and my offering is here.

You can register here

What is ITx?

Established in 2014, ITx is three conferences in one; combining the successful IITP and CITRENZ national conferences with the re-launch of the Computer Science Association’s conference; establishing the broadest and largest non-vendor general IT conference in New Zealand.

ITx focuses on innovation, technology and education and brings IT professionals, decision-makers, leaders and academics together under one roof. This is a conference like no other: where industry, academia and government come together to network, learn and engage.

ITx will run every second year in either Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.

About IITP, CITRENZ and CSANZ

The Institute of IT Professionals NZ (IITP) is the professional body of the IT sector and is the largest IT representative body in New Zealand. IITP has run conferences for almost 50 years, although there was a large hiatus prior to the 2010 50th Anniversary Conference. IITP2013 was held in Tauranga and attracted hundreds of IT professionals and thought leaders.

Computer and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand (CITRENZ) is the representative body for the IT departments of New Zealand’s Institute of Technology / Polytechnic sector. CITRENZ has been running successful annual conferences for 27 years.

Computer Science Association of New Zealand (CSANZ) is the forum for the University Computer Science community. CSANZ has been active for many years and 2014 will see the return of the popular CSANZ conference as part of ITx.

The IRD Transformation

Went to the IITP Breakfast at The Wellesley this morning to hear Revenue Minister Todd McClay talk about the reasons behind the IRD Transformation project.

2014-06-26 08.13.44

An informative presentation on some of the thinking behind the major programme IRD are proposing.

It will be interesting to see if the words translate into execution once the programme moves into later phases.

 

Digitization -the Services Revolution

I found this video at McKinsey & Co, it discusses how consumer experiences are impacting expectations of service delivery.

Whilst there are no jaw dropping insights it does make some interesting points and contains some interesting nuggets of information, such as that ‘services’ make up 50% of China’s economy.

Social Media and the NZ 2014 Election

This is not a political blog, but it would be foolish to ignore the fact that 2014 is a general election year. In addition it takes place at a time when the use of social media to assist parties in their campaigns is accelerating.

I have found it interesting to look at how the parties are and are not using social media in 2014. As yet I cannot discern from a lay perspective whether any one party possesses the knack, nor is it clear that some of them and/or their adherents have any idea how to get it.

However, I have found this blog site, Social Media & the 2014 General Election run by Matthew Beveridge to be helpful when considering the area.

Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce

This post is an unashamed plug for the Chamber, but I feel that they deserve it. In recent months I have been going along to their excellent series of early morning breakfasts held on the second Friday of most months at 6:30 am at The Petone Working Men’s Club.

In particular I especially enjoyed the April address by Dr John McDermott from the Reserve Bank, which was extremely insightful. Then last Friday was the address by Mayor Ray Wallace of Hutt City who spoke about what was happening in the area and how Hutt City might evolve.

HVCC_RAYW_13062014Along with his speech, Mayor Wallace left attendees with a number of copies of a booklet Fresh Thinkers – Profiling Technology Businesses in the Hutt, the link takes you to the relevant web site for viewing and download.

I am ashamed to admit that until relatively recently I had not appreciated sufficiently the scale of  business in the Hutt, nor just how many success stories we have here. It is fascinating and taking part in the varied Chamber activities has enabled me to appreciate this much more. Hutt Valley is a vital part of the NZ economy and has a major role to play in our future economic success.

 

 

The role of procurement in software project failure

The Institute of Information Technology Professionals is conducting a very brief survey of IT procurement in project failure. Please, if you have relevant experience take part in the survey. Details are below:

Gmail - The role of procurement in software project failure (2)The survey can be accessed here http://www.iitp.org.nz/spsurvey

It is very concise so please assist us in this research effort.

As many of you know I have a long held interest in the causes of project failure, so I look forward to seeing the results of this survey.

Attending IITP Conference 2013

Later this week I will be attending the 2013 IITP Conference in Tauranga. This conference is focused on Innovation as one of it’s key themes.

Sessions I am looking forward to include the keynotes and a governance presentation. I am keen to understand how others see governance supporting and enhancing innovation.
More on the conference soon.

Adventures in the cloud

I have been using Dropbox  for some considerable time, but recently have looked at the product more seriously. The app allows you a good amount of free storage, plus bonuses for referrals.

Dropbox enables me to reduce, eliminate, reliance on USB sticks and external drives. Ease of use is excellent.

I can access the app via the web, plus I have the Dropbox client installed on my iPad Mini, Smartphone, personal laptop and my backup laptop. It makes storing, accessing and handling data of all types so much easier.

Should you decide to try Dropbox, please use this code  http://db.tt/Sz0zjOD5  , as we will both get some bonus free storage.

Video

Telecommuting

A video piece by James Surowiecki, of The New Yorker,  looks at telecommuting. this is complemented by a column at the New Yorker.