Another thing that was pointed out is the
fact that there was no real risk management done on this project. It doesn’t
seem as though they even created a beginning threat level assessment. According
to the book the first step in managing project risk involves identifying the
nature and level of risk that the project will be facing (Laudon & Laudon,
2015, p. 560). A detailed initial risk assessment may have caused enough red
flags to stop the project before it started. In the end the idea was sound, but
the execution, planning, and handling of the project was beyond reproach.
Information systems often do better when
the end users can communicate their thoughts and address issues with the
designers. Designers often come from different backgrounds from the end users
and this can cause issues throughout. However, a good manager, which City Time,
was lacking would be able to bring these two parties together to create a solid
Our evaluation of the City Time project is
that it was a disaster. The biggest disaster seemed to be the fact that they
had no qualified oversight as stated in question two. This played a huge role
in the end project and throughout its entire process. The book brings up the
fact that for a system implementation to be successful it generally benefits
from high levels of user involvement and management support (Laudon &
Laudon, 2015, p. 558).
The first step that should have been taken to
prevent a negative outcome in the project should have been to hire an
experienced project manager. Mark Page did not have a background in information
systems. Page’s lack of knowledge and experience did not allow him to properly
manage the project. In turn, SAIC subcontracted most of the work out, which
transferred much of the project management responsibility to SAIC. This responsibility
left confusion of who was in charge. Without conducting a bid, other qualified
companies were not able to share what services they could offer and at what
price and for what timeframe. With proper management, there would have been
strategy with milestones and timing controls and assessments of costs.
There were many steps that were not taken
to prevent such a negative outcome of the project, such as: hiring a qualified
project manager, creating a plan, conducting a bid, and managing. A project
management tool would have been a great asset to assist in preventing such a
negative outcome. A project management tool would have helped the manager to
stay organized with a plan and assistance in the costs.
the steps that should have been taken to prevent a negative outcome in the
According to the text, the project transferred
to SAIC in 2000 was not fully operational until 2011 (Laudon & Laudon,
2015). Mark Page, the budget director did not have experience or the required
knowledge of information systems to manage the time to get the system up and
running. Since SAIC delegated much of the work out to subcontractors, the chain
of command in the project was not clear, which can slow down time.
The business impact of CityTime’s botched
implementation was mostly cost. However, time, performance, and benefits of the
system were also impacted.
The first mistake with costs was
the lack of taking bids for the job. The city passed the job to Science
Applications International Corporation (SAIC), instead of conducting
competitive bidding. There may have been other companies that could have
completed the job for a cheaper price. Dramatically inflated costs that were
covered up from switching over to hourly billing rather than the fixed price
were not caught until much later because William C. Thompson, the comptroller
did not audit the project after receiving numerous complaints. Although SAIC
repaid over $500 million in restitution in penalties, the costs were still well
over the projected $63 million from the estimation.
was the business impact of CityTime’s botched implementation?
were a few risk factors that send the project out-of-control, time, expenses,
project output were decreased, inflated costs, consultants were over billing
and extending the completion date. There was one big reason for the project to
fail that was lack of qualified oversight. By having few government workers,
overseeing the project performed by SAIC was a big risk, this created a problem
on progress of the project.
3. Classify and describe the problems
encountered the CityTime system was being implemented. What management,
organization, and technology factors were responsible for these problems?
Management: Qualified and professional quality control, experienced
management staff, and knowledgeable leadership were some of the factors that
led to the failure of the projects. Another weak factor was that CityTime
project was managed by a director who did not have the experience to manage
this type of projects.
Organizational: The City Comptroller never audited the project despite
numerous warnings about the project from staffers. There were some concerns
brought up to the Mayor, however, nothing was done to address the issue. Work
on the project was switched from a fixed-cost contract to an hourly billing.
The terms of contracts were also constantly changing.
Technology: Technology requirements for the system were sound, for
example: automate manual systems, provide ways to audit input and output,
reduce cheating and fraud through better technology, and replace outdated
systems with newer technology.
CityTime was an important project for New York that was
created to systematize payroll, it provided timekeeping for eighty government
staff members and other city agencies. By using this system, it helped curb unjustifiable
overtime payments to city workers that would help improve accountability
throughout the governmental agency. Unfortunately, the CityTime project instead
became infused with fraud at every level. Based on the textbook information the
original estimated project cost was about US $63 million, but CityTime ended up
costing $720 million by the time it became fully operational in 2011(Laudon
& Laudon, 2015, p. 545).
2. Evaluate the key risk factors in
How important was the CityTime project for New
York City? What were its objectives and anticipated business benefits?
New York City government’s budget is the largest municipal budget in the United
States. The city government will spend about $78.3 billion in 2016 (Hevesi,
2006). It employs 250,000 people, spends $23.5 billion to educate more than 1.1
million children, levies $27 billion in taxes, and receives $14 billion from
federal and state governments (Hevesi, 2006). New York State has more than
4,200 local governments in the form of counties, cities, towns, and villages.
About 52% of all revenue raised by local governments in the state is raised
solely by the government of New York City.
city government of New York City controls a budget of about $78.3 billion a
year, as of 2016. Officials receive municipal funding for their campaigns, and
are elected for a maximum of two terms. City government is dominated by the
Democratic Party, which also normally attracts majority support within the city
in State, Congressional, and Presidential elections (City of New York, 2017).
de Blasio is an American politician who is the 109th and current mayor of New
York City. From 2010 to 2013, he was New York City’s public advocate. He formerly
was a New York City Council member, representing the 39th district in Brooklyn,
which contains Borough Park, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Kensington,
Park Slope, and Windsor Terrace. De Blasio, the Democratic Party nominee for
mayor of New York City in the 2013 election, defeated Republican Joe Lhota with
more than 73 percent of the vote (City of New York, 2017). On November 7, 2017,
he won reelection, with 66.5 percent of the vote against Republican Nicole
Malliotakis. Current law limits the mayor to two four-year terms, but eligible
for another term after a break of four years. De Blasio is the first Democratic
mayor of the city since David Dinkins, from 1990 to 1993 (Barbaro & Chen,
Rubens Bloomberg, served as the 108th Mayor of New York City, holding office
for three consecutive terms, beginning with his first election in 2001
(Bloomberg, 2017). A Democrat before seeking elective office, Bloomberg
switched his party registration in 2001 to run for mayor as a Republican. He
defeated opponent Mark Green in a close election held just weeks after the
September 11 terrorist attacks. He won a second term in 2005, and left the
Republican Party two years later. Bloomberg campaigned to change the city’s
term limits law, and was elected to his third term in 2009 as an Independent
candidate on the Republican ballot line (Bloomberg, 2017).
York City government employs 325,000 people, more than any other city in the
United States and more than any U.S. state but three: California, Texas, and
New York (City of New York, 2017). The city government is responsible for
public education, correctional institutions, public safety, recreational
facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services (City of New York,
2017). New York City’s political geography is unique, consisting of five
boroughs, each coterminous with one of five counties of New York State:
Brooklyn is Kings County, the Bronx is Bronx County, Manhattan is New York County,
Queens is Queens County, and Staten Island is Richmond County. When New York
City was consolidated into its present form in 1898, all previous town and
county governments within it were abolished in favor of the present five
boroughs and a unified, centralized city government. However, each county
retains its own district attorney to prosecute crimes, and most of the court
system is organized around the counties (City of New York, 2017).
government of New York City, headquartered at New York City Hall in Lower
Manhattan, is organized under the New York City Charter and provides for a
“strong” mayor-council system. The mayor is elected to a four-year term and
is responsible for the administration of city government (City of New York,
2017). The New York City Council is a
unicameral body consisting of 51 members, each elected from a geographic
district, normally for four-year terms. All elected officials are limited to a two
consecutive-term limit. The court system consists of two city courts and three
state courts (City of New York, 2017).
As a result of the disastrous unfolding of the
CityTime project, Mayor Bloomberg said they would review the manner in which
large-scale technology projects are managed, that they would research solutions
already in existence before attempting to build their own, that they would
better manage contractors pay negotiations, to avoid partnering with companies
that put their interests over those of taxpayers, and to ensure that technology
projects are overseen by technology experts (Laudon & Laudon, 2015, p. 546).
As we will discuss throughout this paper, this
project was grossly mismanaged and ended up taking 13 years to complete, and
costing $720 million (Laudon & Laudon, 2015, p. 546). A few of the reasons for the explosion in
costs were lack of qualified oversight, failure to audit the project
appropriately, failure to address concerns about skyrocketing costs and the
likelihood of project success, implementation of hourly contracts in place of
fixed-price contracts, outsourcing parts of the project that could have been
handled in-house, and fraud (Laudon & Laudon, 2015, p. 546). Aside from the return on investment the city
set out to achieve through payroll and pension control, it also wanted to sell
its new software to other cities upon completion (Laudon & Laudon,
2015, p. 546). Interestingly, New
York state already had a technology solution in place that New York City could
have adopted and used, essentially eliminating the need for the project in the
first place (Laudon
& Laudon, 2015, p. 546).
In 1998, New York City began work on the
CityTime project (Charette, 2011). This
Information Systems project, initially budgeted to take 5 years and cost $63
million, was designed with the objective of curbing undeserved overtime pay to
city workers, simplifying the process of payroll management, leaves of absence,
and attendance for city workers, and ultimately reducing inflated pension
& Laudon, 2015, p. 546). The
idea was that the $63 million would be an initial investment that would save
the city much more in payroll long term (Laudon & Laudon, 2015, p. 546). Lawyer Mark Page, budget director for
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, led the project, instead of
an expert in information systems (Laudon & Laudon, 2015, p. 546).