Gershon made the assurance when quizzed by MPs on the Commons Public Accounts Committee at the end of October. "If projects fail in the future they will do so for novel reasons and not the old familiar reasons," he said.
The committee members suggested to Gershon that the NHS IT programme risked failing to achieve its aims because it had ignored advice from the National Audit Office and others on how to manage large IT projects.
"There are shelf-loads of advice that very big projects should be cut into smaller chunks," said committee member Richard Bacon.
Gershon said the NHS IT programme would be broken down into smaller projects, adding that the electronic patient record system would not introduced in a "big bang" implementation.
He admitted that the NHS IT programme was challenging but added that procedures such as the government's Gateway review process - designed to prevent project failures - would help keep it on track.