I have recently been involved in preparing the response of the BCS to the Home Office consultation paper on entitlement cards and identity fraud. The consultation paper proposed a solution which broke just about every one of the golden project rules as I see them.
Keep it simple. Complex objectives lead to complex systems. Clear, simple and easily understood project objectives lead to simple and cheap systems
Keep the team small. Big teams make communications and peer review difficult
Implement change frequently in small increments. One enormous implementation after a multi-year development process is indigestible for the user
Manage user expectations. If these are allowed to grow beyond what can be achieved within the project budget, the project is doomed
Manage suppliers. This does not mean obtaining the lowest possible cost - it is about forming partnerships based on mutual respect and governed by fair agreements.
Use a standard development methodology. If each project team member uses a different process the users will quickly retreat
Try walkthroughs. The earlier errors are caught, the cheaper they are to resolve
Use proven technology and a component-based development process. Let someone else debug the latest release. Modules are now called components, but they perform the same purposes of cost reduction and quality improvement
Ban the "not invented here" syndrome. Using other people's ideas and learning from their mistakes are some of the biggest cost-savers.
David Rippon is visiting professor of IT at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College