More JPA woes

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by msr, May 9, 2006.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    RAF personnel have spent the last six weeks pulling their hair out over problems with pay and benefits brought about by the bodged implementation of an EDS computer system. Since it went live at the end of March, thousands have been on the receiving end of processing errors in the payroll system.

  2. ..and into the public domain it goes. See how fast the mainstream media picks it up now, they quite often grab info from The Register. Wouldn't be surprised to see the Scum pick this up as an "our boys" story.....
  3. Another IT system cock up. Why do we keep using EDS as a contractor when they constantly make mistakes? Can anyone remember a new IT system introduced in MOD which have been introduced on time and on budget? Hopefully, when JPA is rolled out in the Army in March next year it will have improved. Don't hold your breath though!
  4. I produced an Access database, but I don't think that qualifies. More frightening is that EDS control our pay, movements, promotions, domination is next on their list, perhaps?

    David Blaine was holding his breath until someone whispered that EDS were taking over his accounts.....
  5. Someone must be bribing someone, or EDS has been clever and holds the keys to another part of the system that the Govt relies on... they cant be the only contractor capable of doing the work.
  6. Can't comment on the bribing comment - but am assured that that sort of thing only goes on in places like Iraq / Afghanistan, so couldn't possibly happen here.

    And, to some extent companies such as EDS are the only players that are big enough to scope / deliver and support such a complex requirement. The last ten years has seen massive consolidation within the Defence IT marketplace, with fewer larger players coming to the fore. Coincidentally, the last ten years has also seen a move away from separated systems to enterprise infrastructures, which have the effect technically of putting all of your eggs in one basket. In my own experience, HMG's scoping of requirements is rarely carried out correctly, and often without a solid understanding of what they are trying to achieve. Inevitably, HMG wants the best price in the marketplace, and therefore such areas as documentation / controlled deployment / Beta testing and UAT gets trimmed accordingly. Add in the usual scope creep and the procurement by committee approach, and you end up with systems' that do not meet the stated scope, and ultimately, perform more poorly than the systems they were planned to replace.

    What amazes me is that if the system has performed as badly as the article would have readers believe; How is it that the RAF signed acceptance for it? If this were a commercial business, the contractor would have to prove the working system before going live. No doubt the system was implemented using PRINCE2 / ITIL as best practice frameworks, so at least when the Audit Office is asked to calculate the actual cost, at least all of the required information will be there!
  7. EDS project lifecycle goes like this.......

    EDS are the only people with enough experience to do the job
    They F it up
    Contract is worded that they get paid forever to support/fix it
    EDS are the only people with enough experience to do the job
  8. I'm starting to sound like EDS's PR department - but I'm not!

    But consider it this way:

    "EDS are the only people with enough experience to do the job" - If you were buying any complex system from a contracting supplier, would you (the buyer) not validate that your chosen partner is up to the job. You know the kind of thing; case studies / referrals / proof of concept / test and release plans, et al. It appears that HMG doesn't, tie this up with the R & D side of the seller wanting to use HMG's money to test new functionality, and you have a recipe for wasted money, inefficient systems, and even more distrust all round.

    "Contract is worded that they get paid forever to support/fix it
    NEXT CONTRACT...." - Do you as the customer review the proposed solution, support as well, then consider the contract from a Risk perspective? And assuming that you do, sign it?

    I agree Rabid, it stinks, but it stinks because HMG buys technology as if it were buying bricks and mortar. What's needed is for HMG to employ truly experienced staff who's career then depends on the successful implementation - there again, why be a poorly paid civil servant, when with the same skills you could go and work for an organisation such as EDS?!
  9. Got to admit I agree. The trouble is that the EDS guys I've meet don't get an awful lot more than a civil servant, they also have the none disclosure of pay clause in thier contract. That makes discussing pay an instant dismissal offence! WTF is that all about! Moral on the coal face of EDS is low and now Atlas has opened up points of contact, it's supprising the number of EDS staff bailing out to Fujitsu and EADS, not to mention the traditional escape route of CSC.
    From what I've seen HMG has already got the staff to impliment JPA, DII and most other things, they are just hell bent on outsourcing to keep the goverments promise of fewer civil servants. Yet again the ones who suffer will be the Tom on the ground.