Yesterday I issued this press release about the National Audit Office’s recent report (18 May) on the NHS Connecting for Health project, formally known as the National Programme for IT.

�2.7 billion of our cash spent is not good value for money according to the National Audit Office and there is another �4.3 billion to follow.� Dr Mike Clayton, author of Risk Happens! comments.

A recent* National Audit Office (NAO) report on the National Programme for IT in the NHS (NPfIT) provides a damning condemnation of another large scale publicly funded project going wrong.� The head of the NAO was quoted as saying: �This is another example of a department fundamentally underestimating the scale and complexity of a major IT-enabled change programme.�

With another �4.3 billion left to be spent, the NAO has �no grounds for confidence� that this will be used any better.

�It is time for a greater focus on risk management in public and private sector projects� says Dr Mike Clayton.� Mike is author of the forthcoming �Risk Happens! Managing Risk and Avoiding Failure in Business Projects�, which sets out processes, tools and advice for people tasked with leading projects of all kinds.

In Risk Happens! Mike correctly anticipates two of the fundamental failings of the NPfIT:

  1. People resist the changes that the project brings or resist participating in the process, often because their role in the project�s success is under-valued by the team
  2. Project management, change management, stakeholder management and risk management skills are lacking � in this case, change, stakeholder and risk management are clearly flawed.

Risk Happens! is aimed at managers in business, the public sector, the voluntary sector, local communities and in the home, from novices and students to experienced project managers.� This book provides a simple, powerful process for managing risk, a big basket of tools to help you, and some thought-provoking insights into the context of project risk and how we respond to it.� Readers will learn:

  1. How to plan out risk from Day 1
  2. How to apply a simple yet robust risk management process
  3. How to build risk resilience into their project
  4. How to involve stakeholder (seemingly a systemic concern with NHS projects)
  5. How humans respond to risk psychologically
  6. How to build a risk management culture

Risk Happens! will be published on 15 July by Marshall Cavendish.� It will be Dr Mike Clayton�s fifth book and will be followed in the autumn by Brilliant Project Leader, about the human side of leading projects.� It is available for advance order from the Business Bookshop, Amazon and other good bookshops.

Learn More

Learn more about my book, Risk Happens!, at

I wrote a blog about this on my Shift Happens! blog, here.

If you want to contact me for comment, editorial and speaking:

* The NAO Press release is at:
and the report was published on 18 May 2011 – you can download it here.


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