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Project Failures and Project Management Failures

Autor:   •  August 4, 2017  •  2,606 Words (11 Pages)  •  794 Views

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DMI is such a complex project and it involves a large number of stakeholders. Stakeholders of the DMI project include project sponsors, DMI team, wider BBC technology team and the users or ‘customers’. Project sponsors include the BBC Executive Finance Committee, the Executive Board and the Trust FC. For the DMI team, we have DMI Steering Group, DMI Project Leadership Team and DMI Delivery Teams. Wider BBC technology team includes Enterprise Architects. Users refer to all the staff across BBC who is supposed to benefit from this project.

Vendor Implementing the Project

Siemens IT Solutions and Services is BBC’s technology partner. It has been working with the Corporation to architect the solution for DMI and select the key technology vendors. Cinegy’s workflow suite of products has been selected by Siemens IT Solutions and Services as an important technology component of the DMI. Cinegy is an R&D company which develops and engineers video, broadcast and OEM solutions for international broadcasters and equipment vendors. Cinegy’s digital workflow solution will help realize the implementation of tapeless and multiplatform production areas, connecting these local repositories with a central archive and storage. By using Cinegy’s Cinegy ingest software and Cinegy media archive database, content could be captured and stored in local digital libraries. They were supposed to act as a central service for data transfer and sharing of media. In addition, Cinegy Cineweb provided internal and external web access to productions, while Cinegy Cinecoder enabled ingest in multiple qualities, in real time or faster for file-based ingest. Video production, logging and storyboarding were executed by Cinegy workflow, whilst Cinegy media desktop was responsible for editing in multiple qualities.[6][pic 15]

Programme Management Methods Used

So far there isn’t any information on the kind of Project Management Software being used on the DMI project. What we know is that the DMI project used the BBC Way as an approach to programme lifecycle management. It provides an optional set of guidance for project managers on effective programme management methods, including stage gate delivery, good practice project management guidelines and a number of document templates. It is believed that implementing a standard stage gate framework for programme lifecycle management would provide tangible benefits in programme management and delivery.

Reasons for Failure and BBC’s Efforts to Correct the Situation

Firstly, DMI was such a complex project that the current programme governance structure was not able to handle it effectively. There wasn’t a formal executive steering board which could effectively challenge the progress of DMI against agreed quality, time and cost. Figure 5 shows us the comparison between the governance structure for DMI and a typical governance model for managing major programmes. The Direction Group Finance Committee undertook some elements of the role that a formal executive steering board would have. The composition of the Direction Group Finance Committee meant that whilst it might be appropriately skilled to assess DMI from a financial cost and benefit perspective, it is not clear that they were able to challenge progress on the process improvement aspect of DMI. Although the CTO was assigned to be a member of the Direction Group Finance Committee to provide technology expertise and context, as the DMI Project Sponsor, this also meant that the Direction Group Finance Committee did not have the independent technical capabilities in challenging progress on DMI from a technology perspective. What Direction Group Finance Committee focused on are financial matters instead of those related to technology

A clear view of the status of DMI through the formal reporting of progress and management of risk was not provided to the governance bodies. Transparent reporting on progress against plan, cost to complete, or delivery of benefits to enable effective decision-making within the governance structure should be provided by DMI.[pic 16][pic 17]

Secondly, DMI has been focusing a lot on technology build instead of sufficiently enabling BBC-wide change. It was trying to change and standardize working practices across BBC based on using leading edge technology that the BBC needed to research and develop with third parties. Successful delivery of several processes and the necessary change in business operations were a pre-requisite of successful delivery of the benefits. DMI reporting emphasized a lot on technology risks and issues instead of the ability of DMI to drive operational change to business practices in the BBC. The BBC Executive’s view of progress could have been more clearly informed by taking into account reporting by projects dependent on DMI of the impacts on the business coming from delays in delivery.

Thirdly, the project lacked an integrated assurance plan, resulting in the reduced effectiveness of governance in managing risk. Originally, risk management processes that were consistent with other BBC projects were set up. Overtime independent assurance activities were provided by Internal Audit, the BBC PMO and other third parties. However, all these risk management processes and activities were far from enough to support a programme as complex as DMI where an integrated and on-going view of risk should be provided. In 2011, the BBC Executive Audit Committee noted that the planned 2011 Internal Audit review of DMI would be postponed until 2012. It also indicated that successful delivery was in doubt since major risks or issues were obvious in many key areas. If the Corporate Governance bodies had been provided with a clear view of the status of DMI, Internal Audit would be able to know that the required mitigation was not in place. However this was not the case. It was only after the 2011-2013 BBC PMO portfolio report was presented to the Direction Group Finance Committee in February 2012 that assurance activities continued with Internal Audit and BBC PMO reviews of DMI in April 2012. It was too late for BBC to realize the significance of having appropriate governance, risk management and reporting arrangements established form the outset.

To wrap up, the complexities of DMI and a number of missed milestones, together with weaknesses in DMI governance, risk management and reporting arrangements meant that it took more time than we would have anticipated for the BBC to reach Executive agreement on the future for DMI. These failure reasons are not unique in information technology


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