Wednesday, 7 January 2015

6 Points to Consider for Effective Management of e-Governance Projects in Indian States

It has been observedthat most of the e-Governance projects fail. To fully understand the associated problems could be a topic of research. This blog-post is an attempt to highlight some of the points, which may be useful for e-Governance project planners.

1.      Efforts put-up by different Government Departments towards e-Governance initiatives could be streamlined towards presenting a Single View of the Government to Citizens through a Central Program Management Office (for all e-Governance Initiatives).

2.      Identification and Monitoring of critical success factors could be done through practice of standard IT (Information Technology) practices - for example

a)      matrices driven project management
b)      putting appropriate checks and balances in project management processes
c)      defined control mechanism rooted in project management process
d)     adequate administrative controls to the project managers
e)      developing practice of data driven decision making throughout project
f)       risks and mitigation planning for the project. 

3.      Information Technology could be at the best an enabler to intent of various government departments to improve services, analytics and governance at large by making use of electronic means. Therefore, the onus of implementing departmental e-Governance projects may be with the concerned department.

Different departments are at different maturity level in terms of Information Technology Management. Projects also differ in terms of implementation dynamics. It is difficult to consistently drive the projects towards intended objectives and to manage different stakeholders with different perceptions (about the on-going projects).

At times, some of the stakeholders (or some of the interest groups) may have ability to influence the project to much greater extent than they may have been initially thought-out.

Therefore, a domain expert (a senior subject matter expert from department) could be given responsibility to lead the e-Governance projects and she/he could be empowered to independently take decisions in the interest of project.

4.      Central tracking of project metrics using excel-sheet (or other project management tool) with wider visibility to all the concerned employees (or if possible to general public at large) may be helpful in bridging information asymmetry to different stakeholders and also to consultants to suggest best practices for decision making.

5.      Implementation of fully functional IT enabled environment (installed applications and other required IT infrastructure) to support electronic automation aspect of project could be separated from the job of putting to use the IT environment by the department (implementing project) to deliver services to the beneficiaries.

6.      Precise mapping of objectives and results (outcome of each milestone) through a quantified method could be put in place. And strict evaluation of progress at each milestone with respect to the mapping may be scheduled, so that, re-assessment of project plan at (the end of) each milestone could be done to better understand the progress of the project.

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