Report 2016-125.2 Recommendation 6 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 #6 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 requirements for rigorous change management processes that establish a means of assessing the implications of changes to a project's scope, cost, and schedule.

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, and specifically in Section 3.7, there will be guidelines established, examples provided and starter templates for should include requirements for managing the requirements of a project, establishing rigorous change management processes for assessing and managing the implications of changes to a project's scope, cost, and schedule. The material is 75% 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 to require 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. The University will develop change management process guidelines using internal best practices and review of the State's IT manual. Once finalized we will publish as part of the new guidelines for IT project development to be distributed to locations, centrally posted on our UC-IT portal and referenced in UC-IT staff and manager meetings.

  • 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 are concerned 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.