A reader Stuart Roebuck makes the following important point on the blog entry: why governments are persuaded to invest in big high-risk projects – one theory
“One problem with the way government tends to do IT projects is the approach of trying to fix everything in one go, rather than a little at a time. It’s the old waterfall development mentality that says that changes later in a project become prohibitively expensive, so everything has to be designed up front and at the very end you hand it over to the customer.
“The volatility of public sector policy demands that any realistic approach has to be one that acknowledges the need to change, and the need to be able to change at any time and at minimum cost. It’s the whole ‘lean manufacturing’ issue for software… agile development and all that. Involve the customer throughout: deploy early and deploy often.
“One problem with long term agile development of course, is how you fit that into the current public sector procurement models.”