New BBC digital project will learn lessons from DMI

December 19, 2013 09.07 Europe/London By Julian Clover

BBC Broadcasting House: new newsroomThe BBC has led has accepted the findings of a BBC Trust commissioned PwC report into the governance of the Digital Media Initiative.

The failure £100 million project to digitize its production systems led to the suspension of chief technology officer John Linwood.

The Digital Media Initiative (DMI), which would have enabled all BBC production staff to effectively create programmes from their desktops, had been suspended last year. Established in 2008, it had been viewed as a key plank in the way digital video was shared around the corporation in the light of the move of programmes such as Breakfast and Blue Peter to the new facility in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Director of Operations Dominic Coles said the new executive leadership team was already addressing its recommendations.

“A new ‘End to End Digital’ project will fully reflect the lessons of DMI. For example, the digital production challenge will be split up into separate, independent “bite size” steps, each of which will have benefits in their own right and will not be part of a single, “all or nothing” integrated technology solution – albeit with programme oversight ensuring consistency and compatibility across all areas of activity. This project, although only at the planning stage is, like all our others, subject to a new stringent project management control, including the setting of clear objectives that are directly linked to tangible business need.”

Coles said the BBC has a strong record of delivering complex technology-enabled transformation projects such as the BBC iPlayer, High Definition on Freeview, the digital Olympics, BBC North, and the migration to New Broadcasting House.