Lack of Good Project Management has Led to the Failure of The Universal Credit Program

Pages: 10 (2025 words) Published: December 5, 2013

344SAM Project Management

This report is addressed to the Universal Credit Project Board. Number of words: 1582

Executive Summary

The Universal Credit Programme has failed in many eyes because of a lack of good project management. I researched the reasons of the lack of good project management and come to some good conclusions on the following subjects:

1. Project Initiation
The programme was underestimated and the goals where to optimistic, the effects of the project initiation are clearly linked back of the complications which appeared later on the project.

For example the project has changed project manager 5 times because of a lack of transparency. The lack of transparency can be linked back to setting to many goals in the project initiation.

The project should have research the details better on making an IT programme this big.

2. Project organisation and structure
The programme has been approached with an agile method, a lot like scrum-method. The biggest mistake that was made is the lack of use of an agile project framework.

It is logical that a programme from this size always includes ‘waterfall project management’. But in the Universal Credit programme the waterfall-managing method was counterworking the agile approach that was used.

The project also lacks of a good stakeholders communication department, the communication with the stakeholders has been a big problem with the Universal Credit programme. More details about these conclusions can be found in the rest of the report.

Introduction to the report

For the course Project Management (344SAM) I am asked to write an report addressed to the Universal Credit Project Board. This is regarding the bad publicity the project has gotten lately from the press.

The case study consists of an article form Brian Wernham where he claims that the Universal Credit Program has suffered from bad Project Management and a “lack of transparency”.

In my research I will only use the information available till 5 September 2013, because this is the date when the report was published.

In my research I will be focussing on the following 2 subjects:

1. Project initiation

2. Project organisation and structure

Brief background on project

For this project I will be do research on the project management of the Universal Credit Programme. This program is developed to make a single monthly payment instead of all sorts separately benefits and tax credit top-ups payments. This program includes a ‘subsidy to work’, people will be encouraged to work this way.

To establish this project there must be a solid and reliable IT system. A lot of calculations have to been made and a lot of external influences must be taken in account.

I’m going to research:

1. Project initiation
What where the project goals, scope, organisation, business case, constraints?

2. Project organisation and structure
Which organisation and structure has been used?

At the end of the report I will write my conclusions and recommendations.

Project Initiation

When the project was initiated at the end of 2012, there was a lot criticism on the project. This was mainly because of a lack of transparency; people didn’t really know what the programme meant. 1 1(The Ethical Deficit of the Proposed Universal Credit, Harley Dean, 2012, The Political Quarterly, Vol. 83, No. 2)

The project initiation can be divided in 5 segments, which I will describe separately.

Project Goals
They are a lot of project goals for the universal credits programme: Good outcomes for claimants,
Improved health (mental health especially),
Increase the overall level of competencies and qualifications. Get more people from welfare into work.
Reduce the amount of people getting homeless.

And there are a lot of smaller goals stated in the report.

They want to aim to process 95% of new housing benefits within 15...
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