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AFP IT Project Failure – IT Contractors Culled

By Jamie Wheeler - 9 April 2008 33

The Canberra Times today ran a story about major IT contractor sackings at AFP. The debacle was attributed to “funding cuts ” and “unexpected delays”. A mate who was sacked from there recently told me a very different story. He recons AFP management rather than techos are to blame for the fiasco. Bad management, lack of planning and chronic indecisiveness brought down the project. The sacked IT contractors were just fall guys. Anybody else have any similar experience with AFP IT? I image when they hire in future they’ll have trouble locating people willing to be fall guys.


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33 Responses to
AFP IT Project Failure – IT Contractors Culled
futto 6:09 pm 09 Apr 08

It was because the project funds involved were used by management to hire staff for other projects….then this was found out and the contractors were sacked, though they did nothing wrong.

I was directly involved and i did lose my job at AFP. I was very excited to be working there as well (i didn’t view it as just another contract)

Personally, I will never apply for another job there and would recommend any other contractor do the same. Totally unprofessional behaviour on pretty much any person i dealt with there.

It’s been a few months now from my point of view so i’m not angry anymore.

Gord0 5:05 pm 09 Apr 08

By the sounds at least they had TECHNICAL staff till ‘da management’ decided to go scapegoat hunting. Our blight (govt dept X) is under the yoke of acres of contractor project managers.

The 1 rower, 12 “managers” canoe team model is alive and well !

Snahons_scv6_berlina 3:38 pm 09 Apr 08

Thats the same question the AFP Lead PM asked 🙂

Mælinar 3:13 pm 09 Apr 08

That’s what the guys on ‘the IT crowd’ do for a job Thumper.

S4anta 3:02 pm 09 Apr 08

Informative Techno-manglement Thumper.

Thumper 2:54 pm 09 Apr 08

What’s IT?

ant 2:47 pm 09 Apr 08

Yeah, the IT guys will be snapped up by eager employers. Meanwhile at the AFP, lots of paper will fly around, some middle mg’t person who wasn’t quick enough/didn’t keep sufficient diary notes/file notes/emails will find people averting their eyes in the hallways and will be stumbling on meetings which hastily break up when he appears… And the big boys will keep a low profile for the duration.


Mælinar 2:34 pm 09 Apr 08

Because of the bluff and bravado of the incumbent senior management ant. They’ve already got enough teflon around them, so unless the direction comes from higher, they’ll never have to take a long inwards look at themselves.

IT contractors will get new jobs in days. I suspect the same cannot be said for any of the management where they to pursue new career options.

ant 1:21 pm 09 Apr 08

I wonder how much money ended up being squandered on this failed project? It’s rather incredible that in this day and age, this can still happen. APS and private enterprise have been setting up big new IT systems for decades, it’s hard to understand how this sort of mess can be allowed to happen.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 1:04 pm 09 Apr 08

I wonder whether getting these ICT ‘mega-projects’ done on time and budget is even possible. That said, most project failure I see is due to senior managers having unrealistic expectations due to lack of understanding, especially in areas where requirements need to be interpreted from mandated guidance (eg government security requirements).

S4anta 12:56 pm 09 Apr 08

I’d say it might be due to fact that many people given these high risk, big budget implmentations haven’t received, nor are willing to seek the appropariate training and advice, on the fact that it would make them look a bit silly and unperpared for the job.

There never has been anything wrong with asking questions, getting skills then doing the job, right as best can be the first time.

Absent Diane 11:29 am 09 Apr 08

yep and then people wonder why things don’t work. Possibly due to unrealistic time frames, expectations and tight budgets?

S4anta 11:22 am 09 Apr 08

Indicitive of managements lack of understanding and appreciation of the scale of ICT projects throughout Government, and the importance of ICT as a whole.

wagons 11:04 am 09 Apr 08

Yep, it is usually the contractors that have it right, and the management putting unrealistic limitations to the scope of work. Heard about it at Immigration, but not AFP though.

justbands 10:26 am 09 Apr 08

An iT project failure the fault of management? Gee, that’s unusual.

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