To all those people that believe government should play larger parts in our lives, another splash of cold water across the face.
Britain is beset by large public sector procurement failures. Especially around IT. Whilst not a malaise unique to the UK, the latest is another shocker.
The minutiae may not be so relevant to any of us selling a solution – IT or otherwise – but these quartet of standout headline sanity checks certainly are:
Firstly, the initial business case back in 2015 foresaw a wildly attractive future cash saving delivered of £873m between 2016 and 2020. As we stand in 2019, this figure has been slashed by 75%, to £217m. Even this is severely doubted by the watchdog. They also term this “optimism bias”. Something it is perhaps wise to set your current RoI numbers alongside.
Only a fraction of the hoped for users have signed up. Given that payment is earned on the basis of the hordes scrambling to climb aboard, this is a huge flaw. “By February 2019, Verify had 3.6 million users, against a target of 25 million by 2020. The [watchdog] estimated that just 5.4 million sign-ups will be achieved by April 2020.” How can you help guarantee your wares will be enthusiastically embraced once delivered?
Perhaps the most stark, is seems that sign-up only works in a mind-boggling 48% of attempts. Over one-in-two potential clients alienated at the very start. You can imagine the impact this has. Once in, you need what you’ve sold to work right, first time, every time. Else it’s bye bye.
A final word from the watchdog suggests a “failure to set clear objectives” as another fundamental mistake. Please know that your project isn’t similarly hamstrung.