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Chris M Rougier

Game Play: Why Political Data Projects Fail

Throughout Canada and other advanced democratic nations, the political world has seen a strategic shift in how political entities and parties in particular operate. Despite numerous advancements, and unlike its counterparts in the for-profit business world, the need for professionalized project management has become a gaping hole in the strategic advancement of political parties. The immediate result of this oversight is that large portions of the ever increasing number of major projects initiated by political parties fail. From the Conservatives in Canada and their ill-fated C-Vote project through the Conservatives in Great Britain with Merlin and to the Orca project for the Romney Campaign in the United States, political parties have experienced one expensive set back after another when it comes to major projects. There are a number of unique conditions and requirements that large scale projects have, some faced by all large projects while others are unique to the political world. In general, there are a number of reasons why these projects fail. Similar to the business world most of the reasons revolve around scope, leadership, and budget; but the nature of the political world puts extra strain and unique twists on these aspects. More and more the success of political parties in election years is tied to their project management success in non-election years. The parties that earn the votes are the ones that can manage their own projects to success despite some of their natural impediments. Political parties in the past were vast volunteer based organizations with a small contingent of people who were paid professionals. These paid professionals, while certainly more advanced in skill set, had essentially the same job as the armies of volunteers that they coordinated: identify support, communicate the message, promote the leader, and get out the vote. In recent times, parties have… Read More