Monday, 27 June 2011

Trams: What went wrong

Many things have gone wrong and whichever way you add it up it amounts to a shambles.   Here is my estimate at this stage of key things which went wrong.
  1. Skills gap:  Those commissioning the project did not have the necessary skills.  Neither the councillors, the key council officers who supported the original decision, nor those who have managed the Council's side of the project.
  2. Advice gap:  The solution to a lack of skill for a project is to go out and secure the necessary expertise.  The tram project has been notable in its failure so to do effectively.  That might apply to efforts to get the right contract, reliable legal advice, reasonable risk advice, independent directors. For example, we were told that extra money had been spent at the stage of letting the contract which transferred 95% of the risk to away from the Council.   There were repeated assurances that tie was on the right side of the majority of the contractual disputes.  The evidence on both these points suggests such expert assurances were wide of the mark.  Nor has expensive legal advice racked up a reputation for reliability.
  3. Governance gap: The delivery model -  the arms length company tie ltd is now being downsized to a skeleton.  That reflects its failure to successfully manage the delivery of the project.   There seems little room for doubt that it was not the right way to govern the project.
The next post will look at what could and should have been done to give effective political leadership of the project.

Previous posts in this series here and here.

3 comments:

Alan D Rudland said...

Councillor Rose

This is an accurate synopsis of the issues which have brought us to the current parlous state.

Following on from your previous post inviting comments, I have published an open letter to all Councillors expressing my own concerns regarding the Tram Update Report and raising a number of issues and questions.

The text of this has also been published at tramvote.co.uk

Your comments are invited.

Alan D Rudland
Chairman, Leith Business Association

Anonymous said...

"1.Skills gap: Those commissioning the project did not have the necessary skills. Neither the councillors, the key council officers who supported the original decision, nor those who have managed the Council's side of the project."

But now they definitely do and are capable of making tomorrow's decision?

Cameron Rose said...

Anonymous,

Not sure what your point is. Whatever happens they are responsible for taking the decision.

Best wishes

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