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Government IT Acquisition Reform

  • February 17, 2021
  • Updated on: February 10, 2023 has been in the news and analyzed many times by Galorath and others. Galorath’s Conclusions encompassing and IT failures, in general, were consistent with others.

The Air Force scrapped a system that was supposed to improve supply management after seven years and more than $1 billion. Afterward, a review team found s major issue was “simply an underestimation of the sophistication needed in tackling the enormous and complex effort.”

Estimation.. that word many people don’t want to think about is the basis for viable plans and successful programs.

Gov exec did an excellent summary of IT acquisition reform, The Big Fix.


Congress surprised many in the federal information technology community last December when it put its stamp of approval on the biggest legislative overhaul in nearly 20 years to the way the federal government procures, budgets and manages IT.

The bipartisan Federal Information Technology Reform Act which aims to upgrade the government’s creaky process for purchasing and building IT systems made it past intense House-Senate negotiations to be included in a compromise version of Fiscal 2015.”

National Defense Authorization Act.” The Big Fix 2015  This will give CIOS much more say so in budgets, risk, and other items.

Unfortunately, complex systems suffer from a high rate of failure. The success rate for all IT projects is only 39 percent, according to the Standish Group, and just 10 percent for projects with budgets over $10 million.

In a 2012 report McKinsey found half of IT projects, bot government and commercial with budgets of over $15 million run 45 percent over budget, are 7 percent behind schedule and deliver 56 percent less functionality than expected.

This can and must change.  Estimation is a key component of such change.

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