Please read carefully the following text¹ which describes concisely some of the major factors contributing to the failure of a Queensland Government ISD project. You then need to answer the questions that immediately follow the text. Your answers should be concise and address the major points given in this specification.
Queensland's Health Payroll System
The implementation of Queensland Health's Payroll system will almost certainly be remembered as one of the most disastrous IT projects in our country's history. What began as a $6.19 million contract between the State of Queensland and IBM Australia to replace Queensland Health's aging payroll system eventually produced many thousands of payroll anomalies (underpayments, overpayments, non- payments), and an estimated cost to Queensland taxpayers of $1.25 billion. The implementation was delivered by a 'Waterfall' project methodology. Please read the overview information below, and then answer the questions that follow the overview description.
The Queensland Treasury had attempted unsuccessfully to implement a standardised SAP-based HR system across the whole of Queensland government operations during 2005/2006. A former program director of CorpTech (the specialised business unit of the Queensland Treasury) had noted that the departments within the state "were still debating and arguing about what they would or would not get and what they would and would not accept". The delays suffered during the wider state rollout of the SAP-based system had already highlighted that the various government departments within the state,
including Queensland Health, could not agree upon the internal requirements for a government-wide system.
The problems encountered by this government-wide project impacted very heavily upon Queensland
Health. This department was originally scheduled to receive the new SAP-based HR system in 2006 and was still using a decade-old LATTICE payroll system for its HR processing. With the supplier ending support for the LATTICE payroll system in July 2008, a decision was made in late 2007 by Queensland Health and CorpTech to commence the design and implementation of a new Queensland Health payroll system. The Queensland Health payroll project was awarded to IBM in December of 2007, with CorpTech entrusted with overall project management. The contract price negotiated for the design and implementation of the new payroll system was $6.19 million. The system was to be delivered in July of 2008 - the same month that the support for the existing LATTICE payroll system was scheduled to expire.
This meant that Queensland Health, CorpTech and IBM had agreed to a seven month timeframe to deliver a payroll system with complex award structures that spanned 13 awards and multiple industrial agreements, and contained in excess of 24,000 different combinations of pay for 80,000 employees.
According to the original project documentation, a timeframe of only two weeks was allocated to determine the business requirements and solution scope of the complex payroll project. It should be noted that a similar payroll project took 12 months to scope and three years to rollout at the privately run Mater hospital. The Mater project had finished on time and on budget.
The Queensland Health project soon started to struggle under the weight of changing requirements (or scope creep), with a recorded 47 submitted change requests signed off by CorpTech in a space of just two months after the contracts were signed. As a result of the poorly-defined business requirements, uncertainty quickly developed as to what exactly the project was required to deliver. The project scope remained open-ended throughout the life of the project. The designed system then failed critical user acceptance testing (UAT) but instead of correcting all identified problems, the testing standards were lowered and less rigorous guidelines adopted in an effort to get the system delivered to users as soon as possible.
The system finally went live in March of 2010, 20 months after the original start date, and the project bill had already ballooned to $101 million. The project documentation also reveals that prior to the payroll system going live the project underwent four revised 'go live' dates and four separate stages of change requests', often done at the last minute. The delayed establishment of a mutually agreed baseline scope impacted every aspect of the project including the implementation and testing phases. The net result was that a flawed system went live. The system left thousands of Queensland Health employees underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all. As at 2013, the system had produced more than 35,000 payroll anomalies and had cost the state in excess of $400 million in extraordinary operational costs. An international accounting firm estimated in 2013 that the cost of making the system function for the next five years would be another $836 million.
Questions for students
Your answers should be concise and not exceed 600 words.
Q1. There are three fundamental problems that occurred during the development project? Concisely explain each of these problems. Please ensure you discuss only three problems.
Q2. We have considered the flow of a Waterfall project as linear and sequential. Explain concisely what this means. Explain how the project description above clearly confirms that the Health Department project flow did not remain linear and sequential.
Q3. We have considered the control of a Waterfall project. Explain concisely what this means. Explain why the description above suggests that project control in this example clearly broke down at the system design, requirements analysis, and component design stages. That is, explain how the specific project controls (or approval (gates') did not work at these three stages.
Q4. Assume that instead of Waterfall, the project had adopted SCRUM. It is reasonable to suggest that significant concerns from Health Department staff/employees (not the project team) may have been raised much earlier. Explain why this could have been the case.
Q5. Assume that as well as SCRUM, the project had used Extreme Programming (XP). Concisely explain how/why this choice would have had an impact (if any) on the project.
These solutions may offer step-by-step problem-solving explanations or good writing examples that include modern styles of formatting and construction of bibliographies out of text citations and references. Students may use these solutions for personal skill-building and practice. Unethical use is strictly forbidden.Error 1. Lanes presentation
Lanes inside the pool are not properly presented. E.g. “Feline specialist” should be inside the lane “Feline section”. As presented it is not clear what feline specialist stands for and why is that text there. It should be Feline section - Feline specialist or just Feline specialist.
Error 2. Message flow not in good direction
For activity “Record detail into database”, the message flow arrow is not in the right direction. As indicated currently, it is describing that information is used (or fetched) from the database, but instead, the information should be stored in the database. Also, the name of the database is missing.
Error 3. Not proper type of event used
After activity “Consult for suitable pet type”, the wrong event type was used. Since the suitable pet type was identified, for this process, this is the end, so End event notation should be used.
Error 4. Not adequate gateway type
For the activity “Decide about pet type”, a Parallel gateway was used indicating two parallel paths, which is not possible in this situation. Pet type is either possible to be determined or not. Thus, an Exclusive gateway should be used.
Error 5. Not proper type of event used
After activity “Adopt a suitable dog” next event is dog/puppy adopted which is the ending event and should be marked with the End event notation.
Error 6. Pet information sheet
Pet information sheet as document object is missing. It should be added after the activity “Provide pet information sheet” and with the message flow arrow should be connected with the applicant pool.
Error 7. No connection to continue the process
Proper notation should be used before “Assess questionnaire results”. Instead of a start event, there should be a Catching message Start event when an applicant fills in and provides a pet information sheet back. Also, the information/message flow arrow is missing.
Error 8. Gateways not needed
After activity “Assess questionnaire results”, Exclusive gateway is not needed. It should proceed to the activity “Inspect applicant environment”. Also, after the first Exclusive gateway, there is no need for the second Exclusive gateway.
Error 9. Activity missing
After it is determined that Environment fits (Exclusive gateway - yes), a parallel gateway is given. This indicates that two or more parallel activities should be conducted. One is related to the update of the applicant database, but the second activity is missing and the sequence flow arrow...
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