48 PM NETWORK MARCH 2017 WWW.PMI.ORG
project into a high-profile success. A uniform gov-
ernance structure helped embed stakeholder man-
agement across key agencies. Third-party experts
were brought on board to boost tech know-how
and mitigate risks. And agile approaches to training
and testing allowed agencies and their workers to
quickly adapt to the new system.
“These old systems were going to fail, so we had to
get the ERP project done,” says John Hogan, project
sponsor and assistant deputy secretary, department
of administration, State of Wisconsin, Madison,
Wisconsin, USA. “We had a lot of lessons learned
from the first attempt, so the state felt comfortable
undertaking the project again and getting it right.”
When the final phase of STAR was completed in
July 2016, the project was 18 months ahead of schedule.
The STAR team didn’t start from scratch. Every-
thing that went wrong—and right—with the origi-
nal failed project guided the new project team’s
efforts. The first project—the State of Wiscon-
sin Integrated Business Information System—was
killed after a state audit revealed an abundance of
risks, including wildly generous cost-savings esti-
mates, a lack of legislative buy-in and deep skepti-
cism from taxpayers.
By reviewing what went right the first time, the
team was able to identify 6,600 project requirements and select the same software from the original project for the new system, Ms. McCauley says.
“All the work done with the original project saved
us a lot of time,” she says.
By reviewing what went wrong years earlier,
the team realized the state lacked adequate technical experience to go it alone. So the project
team hired Accenture to do the heavy lifting
on system integration during implementation—
and brought Gartner on board to help monitor Accenture’s delivery. Accenture provided
senior-level software and system implementation
knowledge, while Gartner provided quarterly risk
assessments throughout the project that served as
a validation that the project remained on track,
Ms. McCauley says. This saved the STAR team
from having to develop extensive ERP knowledge
for a one-off project, which improved quality and
“We were able to ensure a truly collaborative
effort via the contract deliverables, which included
formal review and sign-off procedures as well as
having the resources on-site and embedded within
the teams,” Ms. McCauley says.
But the team recognized that STAR had to evolve
beyond a simple technology upgrade project. The
new ERP system wouldn’t work for the entire state
government unless all agencies took an active role
in its deployment.
“Early on, we had champions on our IT committee who said, ‘We’re going to do this as one
enterprise with everyone on board,’” Mr. Hogan
project director and
STAR program office,
Experience: 25 years
1. University of
Resources System software implementation
project in Madison,
Wisconsin, USA, which
was completed 2011.
Ms. McCauley served
as development lead.
2. Installation of an
planning system for the
State of Wisconsin’s
department of corrections headquarters and
other offices, which was
completed in 2009.
Ms. McCauley served
as project manager.
“Having a governance
structure that allows
every stakeholder to
participate and have
a say leads to instant
“In the beginning, we were
this before, so how do you