To better manage costs of future IT projects, the AOC should ensure that cost estimates are accurate and include all relevant costs, including costs that superior courts will incur.
The AOC has two artifacts to ensure that all relevant costs of an effort are considered, the Business Case and the Project Assessment Form, both of which have been developed as part of the Enterprise Methodology and Process (EMP) program. A key component of the EMP program is development and implementation of a standard solution development life cycle (SDLC) that describes a phase-by-phase methodology for projects categorized as medium or large, including standards, processes, and artifacts. While no new projects in either category are currently envisioned in the current budget environment, upcoming applicable maintenance and operations (M&O) efforts and future projects will be required to adhere to the SDLC.
The Business Case and Project Assessment Form templates are embedded below.
Both the business case, development of which supports Judicial Council-approved recommendations for AOC realignment, and the project assessment form, include a comprehensive list of cost categories, including hardware, software, data center, contract services, one-time vs. ongoing costs, and others. The project assessment form includes costs likely to be incurred by entities external to the AOC, such as the superior courts, justice partners, and law enforcement agencies. For example, these may include expenses related to time required of internal staff, potential software and hardware costs, or contracting vendors for design, development or testing. Further, the SDLC calls for revisiting the business case after project inception to validate the accuracy of initial estimates. The AOC makes use of a project portfolio management (PPM) tool for weekly project reporting, one element of which includes budget health, ensuring that significant variances from initial cost estimates are identified and addressed. The SDLC also requires a post-project review, one part of which includes an analysis of the accuracy of cost estimates and the identification of any lessons learned to improve cost management on future efforts. The post-project review template is embedded below.
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.