Report on the decision-making phase in government IT projects


Report no. 5/2020

The purpose of the study is to shed light on the characteristics of the decision-making phase in government IT projects and to determine whether there is a connection between the decisions made by the ministries in the decision-making phase and the performance of the IT projects in terms of price, time and benefits. The report answers the following questions:  

  • What costs have the ministries incurred, and how much time has the ministries spend on the decision-making phase?
  • What decisions have the ministries made concerning procurement of the IT systems?
  • To what extent have the ministries adjusted project budgets and time schedules in the course of the decision-making phase? 

It is Rigsrevisionen’s assessment that the issues examined by Rigsrevisionen relating to the decision-making phase of the projects do not alone explain why some projects perform well in relation to price, time and benefits, whereas others do not. The projects are all very different, and several other factors have an impact on whether the ministries achieve the objectives set for their projects. This means that the projects are not necessarily successfully implemented, because the ministries choose, for instance, an agile development approach or inhouse development, or because the ministries spend a considerable amount of money on or devote much time to the decision-making phase. The consequence of this finding is that the ministries need to assess how each individual project should be organised to achieve its objectives. 

Rigsrevisionen initiated the study in December 2019 at the request of the Danish Public Accounts Committee.

Read the introduction and conclusion (PDF)