My blogging colleague Philip Virgo has pointed out the differences in thoroughness between two gateway reviews on the ID Cards scheme. Last month the Office of Government Commerce published the two Gateway reviews – as an “exception” it said.
The first gateway zero review was carried out in June 2003; the second Gateway zero in January 2004.
Philip Virgo says the first review was a strategic assessment and quite a good one. The second review was not so thorough.
By the time of the second review “the strategic decisions had been taken, ignoring the findings from the first review”. Virgo says the project was already doomed because most of the factors raised in the first review had not been addressed and never were.
“Instead it was a classical: we are running late, therefore let’s narrow the focus and address the real problems later when we have time.
“The OGC paper is quite good on this: the focus should be time to delivery, not time to procurement. Therefore the difficult issues should be taken up front when they can be resolved – not later, when it is too late and past decisions have to be defended.
“In military parlance: time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted.”
Philip Virgo’s blog post on the Gateway reviews and ID Cards
June 2003 Gateway Review on ID Cards – OGC website
Jan 2004 Gateway Review on ID Cards – OGC website