DII Unmitigated Disaster - Channel 4

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by meridian, Nov 16, 2007.

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  1. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Its that old 'not fit for purpose' chestnut again

    A Channel 4 News / Computer Weekly exclusive reveals serious problems at the heart of a multi-billion pound Ministry of Defence computer system.

    First there was the NHS computer system. Then the Child Support Agency, the tax credit system and the Passport Office. Now Channel 4 News can reveal another government IT project has hit major problems.

    Over £4bn is being spent on a huge new defence computer system designed to help Britain's troops operate more effectively in Iraq, Afghanistan and across the globe.

    But a joint investigation by Channel 4 News and Computer Weekly magazine has uncovered internal emails from civil servants describing parts of the system as "an unmitigated disaster" and "not fit for purpose".

    Channel 4 Report on DII
  2. Tell us about it! Biggest hinderance I have ever experienced in my job!
  3. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    I wish I could decide whether it works or not. Unfortunately, however, the terminal, installed two months later than planned, has since sat on my desk for another two months, unable to be used.
  4. Look on the bright side, if it wasn't for DII they'd only have frittered the money away on troops, helicopters, body armour, ammunition, that sort of thing.
  5. mysteron

    mysteron LE Book Reviewer

  6. It's a bloody nightmare trying to get the other IT systems to talk to DII and vica versa.
  7. wait until DMICP (computerised medical files) comes in, its based on the toss NHS computer system, so thats going to work isn it!
  8. Its always fun trying to get different systems to talk to each other..........
  9. That would be 'its based on the most popular and feature rich NHS GP system, not the famoulsy delayed inferior systems being purchased by the shambolic NHS NPfIT programme.

    The DMICP project has nearly completed for the Army, yes some sites have been delayed but why was that????? You've guessed it it DII, these sites have stoneage networks that can't cope with a 'modern' IT appplication. Its slow but why is that?????? DII

    The project started just over a year ago and the DMS now has centralised health records does the NHS after years of development of its NPfIT spine project ???? No
  10. DMICP is brilliant, apart from not being able to transfer electronic records from the old EMIS LV system, the screen freezing, being locked out for daring to use screen messages, lack of training, lack of super users, lack of help desk, frequent crashes (resulting in locking out of the account) slow performance resulting in (you guessed it) crashes and locking of accounts, missing data, few sites have lablink, searches not working, templates missing data/being out of date[/size], printers 'droppin off', diary entries and recall schedules giving false info, security issues.......................................................................................

    if anyone is still awake, I'd like to point out that DMICP is great if you can ignore all of the above.

    I may have missed a few points off
  11. Sadly there is nothing new here: Large corporations used to think that huge IT solutions were the way forward. They found out that they are all too often money pits that never deliver what they promise and require constant effort to keep running

    Unfortunately BIG Government still seems to think that BIG IT solutions are required and are somehow "better".

    Ministers and senior bods (many of whom are not IT literate enough to be making the decisions anyway) get sold a good story by those inside and outside their organisation all of whom have a vested interest in seeing, yes, BIG IT solutions. Best thing since sliced bread, reduce manpower costs, increase efficiency, improve delivery, management oversight, transparency etc etc. All the usual BS. Wonderful! Minister make public announcements. It is A Good Thing

    So then an over egged and difficult to impliment system it gets dropped into the hands of a PMO for delivery, perhaps outsourced, whose sole imperative is to meet delivery objectives set and, in general, are instinctively going to only want to report happy thing up the chain to the Project Owners who are their bosses or paymasters.

    The Project Owners themselves tend not to want to tell their senior beings anything other than good things.

    But down at grunt level, contract workers are instructing other contract workers. External consultants & suppliers struggle with each other. Things slip. Things do not meet in the middle. All the while the PMO tends report only happy things because they are not told otherwise. The not so happy things have been massaged, polished, refined and rationalised into bland statements and messages that nobody can really interpret correctly.

    The solution is to resort to Management by Interrogation, which many people simply cannot or will not do because driving the truth out is a draining and resource intensive process. And one that win no friends.

    So Milestones have been met. All the traffic lights are green and the Heat Maps show only mild worries. User acceptance testing is all signed off. the rollout begins.

    Yet the system does not work or only partly, might limp along, have serious operating flaws or connectivity problems. Modules are late and lack of functionality is crippling the organisation that is relying on the IT. The users become the beta development site.

    And the sorry truth starts to emerge. Slowly at first but when the lid looks like blowing off everbody suddenly wants to disclose all the skeletons rattling in the cupboard and blame someone else

    Senior beings cry "How can this be??"

    The answer to that is found in the words of the Sage of Omaha, Warren Buffett:

    "Of one thing be certain: if a CEO is enthused about a particularly foolish acquisition, both his internal staff and his outside advisors will come up with whatever projections are needed to justify his stance. Only in fairy tales are emperors told that they are naked."
  12. Polar,

    you mentioned DMICP was failing because it was based on DII... Funny that I thought it ran off the UNICOM infrastructure which was installed even before the word bandwidth had been invented and therefore was causing it to go tits up on a regular basis...
  13. DII is great, no really. I love the fact I can always open the forms I need, I love how fast it is, I love telling everyone that they've just wasted their time putting all their work on that little memory stick, I love the fact the ridiculously expensive printers just randomly stop working, I love everything about DII infact
  14. Yes it is running on non DII networks, anything thats running on RLI (like the laptop I'm running on, which like DMICP uses a remote desktop conection - the speed like is a real problem). The use of RDP gets around many of EDS's networking regulations