E-government initiatives are struggling to succeed

The size and complexity of e-government initiatives is causing more than 60% of them to fail or fall short of expectations, says Gartner Executive Programs (GartnerEXP).

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  May 1, 2002

The size and complexity of e-government initiatives is causing more than 60% of them to fail or fall short of expectations, says Gartner Executive Programs (GartnerEXP).

According to Gartner, the average national government contains 160 different departments, which means e-initiatives often span multiple departments and government levels. These initiatives also require substantially more political capital, complex governance strategies, multilevel funding and relationship skills to implement than those of a single organisation.

“The many levels of government, each with its own laws, codes and policies, add to the complexity, resulting in large, and thus risky, e-government endeavours that try to cover too much ground,” said Judith Carr, vice president & senior program director, government research, GartnerEXP. “Its critical that governments groom a new generation of endeavour managers to head these complex, expensive and risky initiatives.”

Understanding the difference between programmes, projects and endeavours, as well as the expectations of e-initiatives is essential to their success. The length of the initiative, the number of government departments or levels involved, and the complexity of the initiative are the key differentiators between projects, programmes and endeavours, according to Gartner.

“The five imperatives that are proven key success factors in implementing major e-government initiatives are focusing on the goal, establishing leadership, finding the appropriate skills and financial resources, investing in the building blocks and continuing to keep the pressure on for ongoing progress,” added Carr.

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