Success and Failure in eGovernment Projects


Assessing Your Own Project

To assess your own e-government project's success or failure, you should ideally wait at least one year after implementation, to ensure the main impacts have truly emerged.

Then, follow these steps.

Step 1: Identify the Stakeholders

Who are the main individuals and groups affected by the e-government application? Use the following stakeholder checklist if necessary:

You don't need as many stakeholders as this: the top four or so will probably do.

Step 2: Identify Each Stakeholder's Goals for the eGovernment Project

For each stakeholder (group or individual) in turn, find out what they wanted the e-government project to achieve. This may be written down, e.g. in project documents. Or it may require conversations/interviews with stakeholders. As with stakeholders, don't go overboard with numbers of goals - ten or a dozen is probably more than enough - but they should represent the range of different stakeholders.

Step 3: Measure the Achievement of Each Goal

For each goal in turn, gather evidence to find out whether or not it has been achieved. Using this evidence, you can then categorise the goals: e.g. wholly achieved; partly achieved; not achieved. This step is easy to state, much harder to do. You have to ask yourself "How can I really show whether or not this goal has been achieved?". This will often mean gathering in-depth evidence that is both quantitative and qualitative.

Step 4: Identify Other Impacts

Have there been any other impacts associated with the e-government project that were not anticipated or not covered by the goals? If so, have these impacts been desirable or undesirable for the various stakeholder groups? Again, this will require work: at the very least, talking to each stakeholder about project impacts.

Step 5: Classify the Project Outcome

You can use either one of the following classifications:


Confused? Follow this link for some basic definitions of e-government success and failure.


Page Author: Richard Heeks. Last updated on 19 October, 2008.
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