The FiReControl project aimed to improve the resilience, efficiency and technology of the English Fire and Rescue Service by replacing 46 local control rooms with a network of nine purpose-built regional control centres using a national computer system to handle calls, mobilise equipment and manage incidents.
The project commenced in 2004 and was expected to be complete by October 2009. In 2007, the Department for Communities and Local Government contracted European Air and Defence Systems (EADS) (now Cassidian) to design, develop and install the computer system underpinning the project. However, the project was subject to a number of delays and costs escalated over its lifetime.
The Department cancelled the project in December 2010 after concluding that it could not be delivered to an acceptable timeframe. At the point the decision was made, the Department estimated it had spent £245 million on the project and calculated that completion would take the total cost of the project to £635 million, more than five times the original estimate of £120 million.
National Audit Office (2011)
You have been asked to write a report for the Department for Communities and Local Government to ensure that the organisation learns lessons from the mistakes made on this project.
Drawing on relevant project management theory, you should critically evaluate the project, focussing your report on two of the following areas of project management, providing clear recommendations for future projects:
- How projects should be selected effectively (the business case)
- How stakeholders were and should be managed
- Effective project governance
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