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14. They also discussed the differences between theirs and public sector ideas around innovation:

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    “ . . . certainly if you look at the government website on innovation, the DTI [Department for Trade and Industry] in particular, it doesn’t really gel with my definition of innovation, so yes it is possible that they don’t really understand what innovation is anyway.” (IT Practitioners group)

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      “Clearly this particular group of organisations felt that innovation was a new system or a programme, which is not what mature innovators in the commercial sector think of innovation. They concentrate on the output.” (IT Practitioners group)

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      “Well, one example I found very amusing. I won’t say which company it was . . .They made a big fuss when we took over some of their IT systems, that we weren’t providing enough innovation. So we interviewed them very deeply about innovation and we found that the way they defined it was ‘having a special lab’. That is so different to the way innovation pervades an innovative company, that it immediately indicates that they’re not going to innovate anything.” (IT Practitioners group)

Costs and timescales

15. We then moved on to discuss the costs and timescales of the innovations that had been submitted to us. The civil servants groups admitted that it can be difficult to cost projects, or innovations, as the practice of providing business cases or full economic costing of projects is not widespread. However, they felt that the wide spread of costs seemed right across such a wide range of bodies as central government. The area of costs was one that the comparative focus groups felt was very different in their own organisations:

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      “I am absolutely blown away by the costs of some these. I can only assume that this is the function of the number of people who have become involved and therefore the number of opinions that you have to incorporate into your final contract and the number of revisions.” (Business group)

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        “ . . . almost anything involved with IT in the public sector is not budgeted properly.” (Business group)

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        “ . . . try and get them [the Treasury] to acknowledge that if you don’t start by budgeting properly then you are never going to get to a viable outcome. So for example, people and process change probably should take at least 65% of the budget whereas typically it might have 5%.” (Business group)

  • 16.

    One person from the Business group felt strongly that, as a citizen, s/he

had not seen results from the money that had been spent on these innovations:

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    “Let’s just say this is a true sample, that what they are doing is absolutely spot on and they have been honest, then this is just a slice of an enormous amount of money that as a service user, member of

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