Yes, sure. There is a lot of stuff there.
The large integration projects are the most complex. They are actually the ones that are at the most risk with the current approach. I agree that you can break them down into smaller pieces, but the issue is the latency from the beginning of the project. In government, if we spend three years collecting requirements, and the first time we actually validate requirements, design, or architecture is after contract award, then it's the most risky approach that you can take. If you have a huge government project, you can still implement it in small pieces. IBM could still get a big contract, or some big integrator could get a contract. There's no problem about that. But what I'm going to do in my procurement is that instead of spending a year writing requirements for it, I'm going to say that the outcome I want is this, and I'm going to invite vendors to come to the table, and we're going to start. Give us a plan in the next three months, not the next three years, as to how you're going to do it, and then at the end of that three months we're going to start to implement it.
Vendors are spending millions of dollars on the procurement process and they know that it's wrong. If you go to the IBMs of the world, they'll know that it's wrong.
Speaking of a large telco, I implemented a telecommunications service for Public Works. It took about six months to get the service together and put it out. We went directly to clients and asked them, “What do you want?” What's really interesting is that they will tell you. If you ask them directly, they'll tell you. First, they asked me, “Where are you guys from? You can't be from government, because you're actually asking me what I want.” Then we said, “No, we're with Public Works. I'm a contractor, but these guys aren't, and we want to know what you want in this service.” They told us and we went back and figured it out. We bought our own infrastructure and everything else and we put together the service. It was a service; it wasn't technology, per se. It was to give them the connectivity or whatever.
So it's doable, but I didn't go and implement across 350,000 users. We implemented with Public Works first, because that was the home department, and we validated all our assumptions. We had a business case; it was indicative. We did the architecture and it was indicative. We had requirements, and the requirements were what the customer said they wanted. Those are indicative, because most customers in technology don't really know what they want until they start using it. Then they go, “Gee, now that I see it, I don't want this, I want that”, or “Can you put the knob over here instead of over there?” Yes, we can do that. Those things you have to go through, the user has to learn too. When you bring a user in like that in the engagement, which is part of this process, you're bringing in a reference customer. They love you just because you're asking and then you're delivering it for them, so they go, “Wow. I can't believe it.” So there's a whole other piece to that, which is important.
Large telcos in Canada are still coming around to that. Telus is probably the lead telecommunications company with respect to implementing agile. I'm sure Bell has some going as well, and maybe the smaller ones too, but I don't know because I haven't done a study. I know Telus has a VP and everything focused on it.
It's out there, and everybody is adopting this now and are using it. This methodology is the reason Elon Musk is disrupting the automotive industry and disrupting the space industry. Amazon is not a mistake. Uber and Airbnb aren't mistakes. Those companies are disrupting industries, not the next company, and they're industries that have been around for a long time. Blockchain is going to disrupt the financial industry.
I believe the government has to become adaptive, and I believe this is the approach to do it. There needs to be an education on this, and then, of course, when you implement it, you're implementing it in small pieces. It's a method for risk mitigation. The government is a sensitive organization, so this is a much better fit.