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Avoiding eGov Failure 4

lesson 10 part 5


Avoiding eGov Failure: Ideas About Politics & Self-Interest

This page offers ideas about how to address one factor identified as important to the success or failure of e-government projects. Follow this link for more information about such factors (and some related case examples).

Idea 1: Attune The Project To Political Cycles

Everyone complains that e-government projects suffer from political cycles - the four years between elections, or the two-year tenure of Ministers in particular posts, or the annual funding round. But these cycles are a fact of life that must be recognised and built into the project design. They mean - whatever the ultimate ambitions of the project - that it must show some fairly quick deliverables. "Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast" was specifically matches the political realities of e-government. There are also advantages of this approach - they make unworkable leviathan projects less likely, and they encourage an incremental approach that has been shown to be more successful than "Big Bang" methods.

(From: Richard Heeks)

Idea 2: Don't Ignore Self-Interest

Everyone involved in the e-government project will be motivated to a greater or lesser extent by self-interest. Recognising this - either explicitly or implicitly - will be a key to project success. One implication is to ensure that the project meets some element of self-interest for all main stakeholders. See the "What's in it for me?" idea on Change Management.

(From: Richard Heeks & RK Dave)

Idea 3: eGovernment Is A Chess Game

Picture the e-government project as a chess game. Ask yourself - what piece am I? Are you the all-powerful queen, a middle-ranking bishop, or just a lowly pawn? If you are one of the lesser pieces in the game, you will face problems unless you can find a powerful ally: the equivalent of a rook or queen in chess. If you have trouble from middle-ranking stakeholders, ask yourself if there's a more powerful player that you can bring in - a senior official, a politician, an external agency, a donor organisation, etc.

(From: Richard Heeks)