Learning the lessons from Olympic ticketing experience

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Posted by APM on 20th Jul 2011

A leading IT project specialist has said the lessons from the London 2012 Olympic ticketing website ‘slowdown’ should help prevent further disappointment for users registering for high-profile events in future. 

Andy Jordan, a senior IT consultant from Capgemini Financial Services, said although there was much to applaud – including the implementation of a customer holding area – the scramble for tickets last Friday had highlighted plenty of opportunities for improvement.

“This is a high-profile programme and there is only a small window of operation to get it right. So double, even triple check every line of the ticketing process.”

He said to project manage this effectively all areas of capacity management should be covered and double checked to ensure there are no bottlenecks once the customer has started the process of selecting the event or providing personal bank details.

“All too often there are assumptions made that systems can handle thousands of transactions per second but people neglect to check, or keep checking, external interfaces are up to capacity.

“One of those stakeholders may discover their operating capacity cannot meet that demand unless they uncap their system limits for that period of time.

Some 2.3 million Olympics tickets went on sale with around 1.2m people, who missed out in the first round of sales, given the first opportunity to apply.

But thousands of sports fans were left frustrated as the website struggled to cope with the extra demand, with some users reporting that they had been thrown out the system at the point of requesting final payment.

A London 2012 spokeswoman said although there had been some technical difficulties, the system had “not crashed” and for those in the system it was working properly.

 

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