Report 2016-125.2 Recommendation 5 Responses

Report 2016-125.2: The University of California Office of the President: Increasing Costs and Scheduling Delays Have Hampered the UCPath Project and Originally Anticipated Savings Are Unlikely to Materialize (Release Date: August 2017)

Recommendation #5 To: University of California

To ensure that it consistently follows best practices related to project management, the Office of the President should develop and implement guidelines for IT project development by June 2018. The guidelines should apply to all IT projects undertaken by any university location with a cost estimate of at least $5 million or more and should include a means to assess schedules for reasonableness, and requirements for the creation and maintenance of an integrated schedule and resource plan for each project.

6-Month Agency Response

The Office of the President, working closely with its partners at the UC locations, has initiated the development of guidelines for IT project development - a.k.a., IT Project Handbook - all IT projects undertaken by any university location with a cost estimate of at least $5 million.

An outline has been agreed to by all parties. The chapters of the IT Project Handbook are bring written and leveraging industry best practices, guidelines published by the State of California, and leading practices from our UC locations.

Under the Chapter 3 entitled PROJECT DEVELOPMENT GUIDELINES there will be guidelines established, examples provided and starter templates for assessing schedules for reasonableness, creating an integrated project schedule, maintaining an integrated project schedule and managing a project resource plan. The material is 50% complete, and we expect to meet our June, 2018 deadline.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

The Office of the President is currently drafting this chapter of its IT Project Handbook. As it does so, we encourage the Office of the President to keep in mind two elements of our recommendation which are: specifying that the guidelines apply to all IT projects with a cost estimate of at least $5 million and requiring university locations to implement the guidelines, not merely review them. These two steps are key to the Office of the President ensuring that all significant IT projects are subject to the IT project development guidelines.


60-Day Agency Response

In consultation with the UC Regents, the University will use a threshold of $25M budget as the definition for significant IT projects for which new guidelines for IT project development will apply. We will use UCPath, campus and California State practices as guidance to develop a high-level IT project methodology for projects to follow describing the methodology, guidelines and practices.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: October 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

The Office of the President has consulted with the regents and decided on a project level threshold, but it has not developed and implemented the recommended guidelines for IT project development. In addition, we have a concern that the Office of the President is intending to apply a threshold that is too high, $25 million rather than the $5 million that we recommended, which could result in many significant IT projects not being subject to the IT project development guidelines.


All Recommendations in 2016-125.2

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.