Fog of confusion still surrounds “biggest agile project ever”

The DWP’s Universal Credit scheme is widely acknowledged to be the biggest and most ambitious “agile” software development, ever.

English: Iain Duncan Smith-London March 2010
English: Iain Duncan Smith-London March 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is meant to go live in October 2013 yet reports differ as to whether it is all on track on the verge of total collapse.


Of course, agile projects are meant to be ones that deliver product for testing all the time, but nobody seems to have seen any Universal Credit code operating in the wild – nor are there any visible signs that any “stakeholders” (sorry, but that word does as well as any other) outside the DWP have been involved in testing the code and giving feedback to the development team.


In the last week two leading figures in the project were shifted off the team – but one of them, the DWP’s corporate director of major IT projects, Steve Dover, has insisted all is going to plan.


As the project gets closer to October 2013 the political stakes get ever higher – the Cabinet minister in charge, Iain Duncan-Smith (pictured), a former Conservative Party leader who still has much support on the ever more confident right of that party, remains fully committed despite persistent reports that the Treasury are worried that the whole thing is tottering on the brink of collapse.


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