Is agile the answer? the case of UK Universal Credit

Rosa Michaelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


In 2010 the UK government responded to a catalogue of failing large-scale IT projects by cancelling most of them. In 2011 they announced the Universal Credit (UC) project, described as “the biggest single change to the system of benefits and tax credits since 1945, affecting some 6 million households and 19 million people”. UC will integrate a number of legacy databases with the Real Time Information (RTI) system, administered by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and due to complete by October 2013. The coupling of these two large-scale IT projects will affect millions of UK citizens; it is crucial that both complete successfully and on time. Government has responded to criticisms by stating that the use of Agile methods will solve the failures of the past. This paper critically assesses the adoption of Agile methods for software development, project management and procurement in the case of Universal Credit.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGrand Successes and Failures in IT. Private and Public Sectors
Subtitle of host publicationIFIP WG 8.6 International Working Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT, TDIT 2013, Bangalore, India, June 27-29, 2013. Proceedings
EditorsYogesh K. Dwivedi, Helle Zinner Henriksen, David Wastell, Rahul De
Place of PublicationBerlin
ISBN (Electronic)9783642388620
ISBN (Print)9783642388613
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology


  • failure analysis
  • sociotechnical framework
  • Agile methods
  • largescale systems


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