InfoSENTRY Quality Assurance Review
of a Statewide SAP® Implementation
InfoSENTRY received a request in early 2001 to conduct an independent quality assurance (QA) review of a statewide SAP® implementation project. The request came from a State Legislature’s Joint Advanced Technology Committee that had received comments suggesting that the SAP® project, which planned to rollout the Enterprise Resource Planning system throughout state agencies, was at risk of failing to meet its objectives and deadline. InfoSENTRY formed a team of certified information technology specialists to conduct the quality assurance review of the project following industry-standard guidelines for such independent analyses.
InfoSENTRY prepared a request for documentation that typically accompanies such a large information technology project, sending it to the State’s Department of Administration. This Department had responsibility for both the State’s IT operation and implementation of SAP®. InfoSENTRY’s team interviewed over 60 state agency business and IT stakeholders, including elected officials and department heads.
The quality assurance review found that the SAP® implementation firms had allowed a very significant expansion of the ERP project’s scope. The implementation firms had failed to follow basic steps of project management, issue management, risk management, and detailed project planning. InfoSENTRY presented detailed research results indicating that planning and funding for the project’s organizational change and training components fell far short of typical industry expectations in successful implementations. InfoSENTRY found that the implementation project had exceeded its original $30 million dollars by approximately 50% and still had many months to go before reaching even a minimal rollout capability. InfoSENTRY presented its findings to various legislative committees during the 2001 session. The Legislature developed a set of recommendations and laws based on InfoSENTRY’s recommendations.
The Governor vetoed the legislation and proceeded with the implementation, resulting in multiple missed and inaccurate payrolls, incorrect and late payments to vendors, and a host of other accounting problems. Various state departments have since pulled out of the statewide system and the state has paid significant fines for errors and late performance, further increasing the cost of the system to the state. The State has implemented several components of the system, but others remain unused.
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