back to article Infosys CEO hauled in to tell minister why India's tax portal is still a glitchy mess

India's government has summoned the CEO of Infosys to explain why a tax portal built by the services giant remains a glitchy mess ten weeks after launch. The portal went live on June 8th but immediately proved so unreliable that the government was forced to revert to paper-based tax filing processes and to extend filing …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grab the boss by the nose...

    Drag him in before the authorities & offer him the options of either: 1, fixing the portal immediately; 2, being locked in a room & forced to listen to Mrs. Brown singing; or 3, The Comfy Chair! That'll get the issue fixed faster than a CMOT's mystery meat pie will cause you to run for the privy.

    1. UCAP Silver badge

      Re: Grab the boss by the nose...

      Option (4): The Kittens!

  2. FozzyBear

    What's the bet the top management from Infosys now have a notation against their name, that indicates their tax returns get such an invasive audit it would make a colonoscopy look tame.

    And to be honest Infosys have screwed plenty of customers and projects in the past, seems only right they get the same treatment

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      no such luck

      too much to ask. A great idea to motivate manglement to not lie about what can be delivered at what cost.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      What's the bet that the complete opposite is the case, given that Infosys wrote the software that would record such notations against their name?

  3. Denarius Silver badge

    full marks

    A government tackling the boss instead of offering more work. Astonishing and long overdue. Well done India

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: full marks

      This time the CEO can't deflect blame to some outsourcing company...

    2. Phil Kingston

      Re: full marks

      All will be forgotten when the next tender goes out

  4. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Don't mess with taxes.

    You can screw whatever governmental IT project and get free with it, but not the one related to tax, ever.

    Politicians are paid from taxes, you know. They are very attentive everything goes smoothly when they are directly involved.

  5. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao is personally overseeing the work

    CEO personally overseeing? I bet that's really helping the poor bloody workers. Whenever I've worked on projects that had someone like the CEO personally overseeing the work it simply added two or three pointless meetings to the day, usually outside work time just, you know, to show how hard we were working.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao is personally overseeing the work

      CEO personally overseeing?

      I've seen a CEO spending a day looking over a shoulder of developers. Then few hours in he asked one of devs "Can I drive? That seems easy". They changed seats and CEO was staring at the code for good 10 minutes and said "Okay, what do I type?" and increasingly dead inside developer was telling him what to do as if the CEO was a voice controlled keyboard. CEO shouted "This is fun!" and then "Where is X, can you get him? I need a photo". He posted the photo on a company internal blog and probably copy and pasted linkedin style story how coding is not as difficult as everyone thinks and that a company will be doing "hackathons" and training for all staff, so that "everyone in the office can code".

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Infosys also had trouble on a previous project"

    Well, it would seem India has its very own Capita.

    Progress !

  7. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Infosys has over 750 staffers working on the project

    Something tells me he's never read "The Mythical Man Month".

    1. Martin Gregorie

      Re: Infosys has over 750 staffers working on the project

      With 750 staffers yanked in to fix it, something tells me that the project is irretrievably stuffed and is unlikely to be fixed any time soon, if ever, simply because the team is far too large.

      Back in the mid 70s I was one of the 80 freelancers pulled in the fix the Naval Dockyard Project, which was a several million over budget and 3 years late at the time, mainly because its development methodology was straight out of "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines". You know it: "There is nothing a German Officer cannot do" except in this case the 'German Officers' were a group of civil servants who had mostly never seen a computer before they were sent on systems design and COBOL programming courses.

      We turned the Naval Dockyard Project round and had it working in 18 months thanks largely to the first class group of project managers from Dataskill who wholly replaced the MOD management team, but, including the best of the MOD programmers, who were retained, I doubt there were ever more than 120 analysts and programmers in the team. Any more and the project would have collapsed from sheer unwieldiness.

      The only other project I've been on that approached the MOD job in staff size ran for a similar time before having its plug pulled without producing anything useful.

    2. David Roberts

      Re: Infosys has over 750 staffers working on the project

      Deploy more staff.

      You have 3 weeks to fix it.

      Oh, here are some umbrellas, the flying pigs are a bit incontinent

  8. ColinPa

    You don't need people trying to fix it - you need people to find the problems.

    A friend was telling me of his company's experiences being drafted in to help fix a major project after it went live

    His boss had an excellent reputation for not panicking.

    There was a big meeting - sorry a meeting with lots of decision makers making decisions.

    The conversation went a bit like

    Him: "what is the perceived problem and what evidence is there for the root cause"

    DMs: It is slow - we are rewriting the programs

    Him: What evidence do you have?

    DMs; We are rewriting the problems.

    Him:What makes you think it is the programs and not the database.

    DMs: We have lot of coders.

    Him: Can we get evidence on 1) database 2) CPU hot spots 3) locking... I'll send my team home until tomorrow morning

    Next morning:

    Him:It looks like evidence there is a database problem.

    DMs: Great - we'll change the database

    Him: Can we get evidence on where in the database it is slow. Is it slow disks, or a bad index?

    DM: We'll change the programs to work round it.

    Next day:

    Him:It looks like the indexes have been badly designed and we are missing some...

    If you want to use your coders, they can fix the application logic and implement field validation.


    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: You don't need people trying to fix it - you need people to find the problems.

      Dont blame the database.

      If your architects & developers dont have a physical design and a design for the indexes and tests to ensure every sql hits the expected index you have a badly designed _application_ and no amount of db mágic can dig you out of the hole for longer than it takes for the next table to hit critical mass.

      IMHO It wasn't a db problem just because the dba fixed it for you.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ironic outsourcing

    Indians hiring Indians and getting the same shit code they provide to the rest of the world.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This would never have happened if they'd used the contractors the UK gov uses for it's projects. They always produce high quality solutions on time and under budget. You get so bored of hearing yet another successful-rollout this and high-user-satisfaction that

  11. rjed

    F squared

    Infosys is fucking up it's already fucked up image.

    These tweets, headlines will be paraded for years to come, if at all they survive till then.

    At least, the government is not holding back and treating them like any other vendor. Good to see that and better would be to see some actions taken.

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