The Victorian government is confident an increasingly mature approach to risk management and governance will be enough to keep its ambitious Project Rosetta on time and on target.
The government wants to establish an authoritative, integrated and automated directory service capable of providing accurate information on people, resources, assets and services in a secure manner across the Whole-of-Victorian Government (WoVG)
The multimillion dollar project is designed to unlock the capability of the government's directories, extend their functionality and help deliver valuable connections between government, business and citizens. The government says if it can significantly enhance the security, efficiency and effectiveness of current directory infrastructure and provide platform for other e-government initiatives over the next three to five years it will greatly improve its ability to deliver a real capability for "e- government" in order to extend and streamline access to its services. Project Rosetta is also designed to ease the burden departments and agencies have faced in light of a strong growth in the number of directories and the data they hold, across government over the past few years.
The government last month announced Novell had triumphed over competitors such as IBM to win the Project Rosetta tender, worth $9.5m. David Hart, Project Rosetta's Project Director in Multimedia Victoria, in the Victorian Government's Department of Infrastructure (DOI), says Novel has already hit the ground running and the first stage of a three stage infrastructure implementation program is well underway.
Meanwhile Hart says he is looking to best practices on governance and risk management to keep the project from going off the rails.
"We have a fairly extensive risk management plan in place, a risk and issue management database, we have a governance structure which we're putting in place which is across whole-of-Victorian government, so a governance structure within each of the departments, and also at the overarching program management level," Hart says. "That program management will continue to operate even after the project has concluded, so in other words there's the concept of operational governance, and moreover the governance plan is being set up so that extended functionality can be rolled out over the infrastructure."
Hart says with Project Rosetta promising huge business benefit and gain, the governance structure centres on inclusion of the business at senior levels, while the risk structures are those which have been identified both within DOI and Victoria's Chief Technology Office. "They are fairly Australian standard and are applied across whole of government," he says.
Hart says there is also an emerging maturity within the Victorian Government on the cultural aspects of risk management, with much less tendency to shoot the bearer of bad news, and a willingness to accept that all projects face problems.
"Nothing ever runs completely according to clockwork, because we're all subject to the human condition, and there is an encouragement now to raise those issues far earlier," Hart says. "So whenever there's risks or issues identified, there's real or active encouragement to raise those and get them on the table as early as possible, and that's what I'm seeing as a real direction by the Victorian government, and in fact in most large organizations.
"In large organizations there's a growing realization and maturity particularly on the governance side, to encourage people to talk about the potential bad news, or the risk or the issue that's coming up, because only by doing that at the earliest possible time and raising that profile earlier is the maximum amount of time given to the remediation," Hart says.
Rosetta aims to install new infrastructure to integrate existing directories with functionally effective, cleansed data, initially from ten Victorian Government departments. Rollout to the ten departments is forecast to commence by early 2005. The vision is for this infrastructure to be rolled out to government agencies and extended to significant service sectors such as hospitals and schools.
Rosetta is an initiative of Victorian Government's Connecting Victoria policy, which aims to deliver the benefits of technology with all Victorians.
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