Project Management Institute

Rebuffering

Canadian Government Decides To Reel In Scope Of Major IT Project

Well, that didn't go so well. After a few years of ballooning costs and missed deadlines, the Canadian government in July decided to reel in the scope of a major IT project to bring 1,500 separate federal websites within the Canada.ca domain. The initiative will now prioritize migrating and integrating sites only for Canadians’ most-used departments: health, environment, Canada Revenue Agency and immigration.

The plan “under-delivered from the beginning in part due to poor project management, planning and underfunding from the outset.”

—Jean-Luc Ferland, Canadian government spokesman

The plan “under-delivered from the beginning in part due to poor project management, planning and underfunding from the outset,” government spokesman Jean-Luc Ferland said earlier this year. According to Mr. Ferland, despite its smaller scope, the new website will still account for 70 percent of the government's web traffic. “We are refocusing project funds where they can make the biggest impact to improve Canadians’ online experiences.”

The initial plan stalled when the Treasury Board of Canada, the project's sponsor, acknowledged in June that only 230,542 of more than 17 million webpages had been migrated to the new portal. This came after news in December 2016, the project's initial deadline, that the project was already a year behind schedule and nearly CA$8 million over budget. Adobe, which is executing the project, signed the initial contract in 2015 for CA$1.5 million. Two years later, the contract has swelled to more than CA$14.9 million—and it could keep rising.

“This is going to be probably hundreds of millions if not a billion dollars or more to complete this project,” Mike Gifford, the founder and president of Ottawa, Ontario-based OpenConcept Consulting, said on SiriusXM radio. —Lauren Cover

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