Operate across departmental silos

It is vital that ministers and department heads show strong leadership, maintain continuity and ensure everyone is on-board and...

It is vital that ministers and department heads show strong leadership, maintain continuity and ensure everyone is on-board and buys into strategic objectives.

Changes in leadership and to reporting, responsibility or accountability structures not only bring about shifts in priorities, but can result in a drop in confidence, or a stalling in momentum across project teams.

External comment and discussion can further exacerbate this and influence public perception and inevitably, end-user awareness.

The government would do well to emulate the lessons learnt from local government modernisation - of which there have been some excellent examples - to combat the silo mentality existing in current departmental initiatives and which affects most businesses to some degree.

When embarking on enterprise-wide projects, large corporations dedicate substantial energies and resources into programme management to review and assess the progress of projects against individual milestones and in terms of the programme as a whole.

This good practice should be applied to the e-government strategy to ensure that not only are all targets reached by 2005, but that departments really can interoperate as a "joined-up" entity.

David Roberts is chief executive of The Corporate IT Forum

This was last published in June 2004

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