Friday, August 25, 2006

Are iSoft exclusively to blame for NHS delays?

It has been widely reported this week that a review of the readiness of iSoft's Lorenzo programme, which is intended for 3 out of 5 of the NPfIT regions and is therefore crucial to the running of the UK's National Health Service, has concluded that there is "no believeable plan" for completion. You can read more about this at the Guardian, E-health Insider and numerous blogs including Blogzilla.

The report was compiled by Accenture and CSC who are leading the Local Service Providers that include iSoft in their teams. Naturally, iSoft are being heavily criticised for major programme management failings but the question I've not seen raised is "Why have CSC and Accenture not reacted earlier?". Afterall, the Lorenzo problems were well known up to a year ago. Accenture say they will loose around £500million as a result of the delays in their LSPs caused by iSoft. When there is so much of their money on the line, surely they should have managed their risk appropriately. Were reviews like the one just conducted, not built into the relationships between Accenture, CSC and iSoft from the beginning? iSoft is rightly taking a pounding in the press, but the NPfIT LSP structure designs the risk to be managed, and carried, by the consortium leaders. Those leaders should be looking hard at themselves right now.

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