Ian Watmore has a candid and relaxed chat to the Public Accounts Committee (you can read the uncorrected evidence; a lovely phrase). He can, because he´s leaving his post as a Permanent Secretary to join the Football Association (one suspects it is his dream job). Some very useful insight into failing project and programmes, as well as why too many projects fail. The thinking on succession planning frankly does not exist at a project and / or programme level in government. I´d also push for Gateway reviews to be published: the additional level of open scrutiny of projects would be very powerful, despite the chilling effects of not wanting to show ones dirty linen in public. Just look at the Capability Reviews programme (also before the PAC) as an example of the positive benefits of public assessment.
[Update: some good thoughts on why IT projects fail.]