Monday, August 3, 2015

UC PATH Might Potentially Come In At Over $750 Million?!- but the campuses will pay for it - Not Just About "Procurement".

that was a shocking number floated by a UC Regent ...let's delve into some of the video and some of the limited coverage on this important UC Regent agenda item.

First, see Sac Bee:
UC Estimates Budget For Long-Delayed Payroll Upgrade Will More Than Double

UCPath computer project tentatively scheduled for completion in 2017 at cost of $375 million

Launched in 2011 with 36-month timeline, $156 million budget

The UC Regents discussed the UC Path Project at various points in the UC Regents meeting

Listen to this important section:
Lt. Gov. Newsom raised questions about cost savings at Regents meeting of July 22, 2015
(and check out other posts there on other agenda items and other stuff that 'went down' so to speak at July UC Regents meeting, too.)

You can watch the video here at the 03:11:00 mark where Newsom also says $2 billion of taxpayer $ has been wasted on other state large scale projects similar to UC Path and then he floats the possibility of final costs of UC Path as potentially three quarters of a billion dollars

Newsom also gets into talking about how no one should be surprised b/c 94% of such IT gov projects are messed up, and then he talks about the wasteful rollout of IT projects by CA. e.g. three projects abandoned after paying out $900 million. "Folks we continue to do business with and no accountability" discussed.
So, now see this Fast Company interview w/ POTUS: In an exclusive and wide-ranging conversation, the President explains his take on Washington's technology problems—and his solutions.
"Part of the problem with was not that we didn’t have a lot of hardworking people paying attention to it, but traditionally the way you purchase IT services, software, and programs is by using the same procurement rules and specification rules that were created in the 1930s . . . What we know is, the best designs and best programs are iterative: You start out with, "What do you want to accomplish?" The team starts to brainstorm and think about it, and ultimately you come up with something and you test it. And that’s not how we did

It’s something, by the way, I should have caught, I should have anticipated: That you couldn’t use traditional procurement mechanisms in order to build something that had never been built before and was pretty complicated. So part of what we’re going to have to do is just change culture, change administrative habits, and get everybody thinking in a different way."

Now back to CA and UC,
"The economic costs being borne by the campuses"

See the video section of UC regents meeting: scroll to 03:14:30 time mark-- UCOP talks about going up to Sacramento to discuss it with Controller and Lt Gov gives another interesting story.
UCOP leadership and the Chair of the Regents with comments like:
'we didn't think business systems, we thought it was just an IT project, we thought we could just pull something off the shelf and fix our payroll etc.' Those excuses are lame- when one considers that UC is already well-versed in over a decade of practices of buying the 'vanilla' followed by failed 'wonderful rollout' fairytales that end as nightmares... Why were they (the campuses, UCOP, UC 'leadership') surprised at all?

You also might recall, some months ago, Napolitano getting ruffled feathers when she spoke before the CA joint leg. budget subcommittee in Sacto during budget negotiations in March 2015 -- they raised the UC costs of UC PATH as an area of concern and she immediately shot back w/ her own comments on the shortcomings of similar state CA IT projects. (That video is not in this post but in mid section of the home page if you wanna see it.)

But here is a more important Sacto meeting on the subject to watch, especially if you still don't quite understand what is at stake:
See this May 2015 CA Director of Consumer Affairs confirmation at CA Senate Rules Committee Meeting where the State Senate Majority Leader mentions at the 01:03:00 time mark in video below "Some people understand this quite well and are gaming the system" on the rollout of state IT projects and vendors and he also mentions his musings on vendor cartels possibilities, in jest -or not.
(See also at the 00:44:00 time mark in this video)

Why don't they (Sacto CA and UC) collaborate on leveraging as a team against vendors when negotiating or setting deliverables etc. rather than just jibes at each other at the senior leadership level? Why aren't DC and the faculty expertise helping them to do so?

Also, it isn't just about throwing around the term procurement as a catch phrase
other terms like failed business ethics and failed performance management have to be raised in doing the reviews on failed roll outs. Don't just use procurement as a catch all.

It also goes back to those complaints of a failure to be "nimble".

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