BBC management failed in £100m DMI

The handling of a BBC IT project that was scrapped at a cost of £100 million (€118m) was “not effective” in dealing with its complexity, a review has found.

The Digital Media Initiative (DMI) “lacked an executive steering board” to assess its progress. The Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) study cited a “lack of clear and transparent reporting” that might have led to the project being scrapped earlier.

The BBC Trust, who commissioned the report, has welcomed its findings; “PwC has concluded that weaknesses in project management and reporting and a lack of focus on business change… meant that it took the BBC too long to realise that the project was unlikely to deliver its objectives,” it said in a statement. The 58-page report, it added, would “help to ensure that there will be no repeat of a failure on the scale of DMI”.

The DMI project was intended to transform the way TV and radio producers used and shared video and audio material. It was supposed to eradicate the use of video tapes and digitise the BBC’s archives, making them more readily available within the organisation. The contract was awarded to technology company Siemens in 2008 but its development was taken over by the BBC two years later.

The project was abandoned in May 2013, with the BBC’s new director general Tony Hall saying it had “wasted a huge amount of licence fee payers’ money”

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