$504 Million for Computer Upgrades

Updated: Apr 5, 2018

A major upgrade to the University of California system’s payroll and personnel computer system is projected to cost more than three times its original budget, and the deadline for its completion has been extended twice in the past two months.

“In February, the university pushed back its launch date at a first wave of sites to December from August; two subsequent phases of the rollout were then moved the following month, to July 2018 and December 2018, respectively,” The Sacramento Bee reported. “That would ultimately put the payroll system, UCPath, more than four years behind schedule – longer that it was originally supposed to take.”

The university has spent $327 million so far. The Bee noted that UCPath – which stands for payroll, academic personnel, timekeeping and human resources – was launched in 2011 with a 36-month timeline and $156 million budget.

With the latest revision to its schedule, the project is estimated to cost $504 million, including a $26 million contingency “to accommodate any unexpected large expenses in the final year of the project budget” that may not be used.

Michael Krigsman, an IT industry analyst at CXOTalk.com, told The Bee: “A project that is three times its original size either rests on very shaky foundation or they changed the plan along the way, which indicates a poor understanding of the problem it was trying to solve. That’s a pretty lame excuse.” (Source: The Sacramento Bee, April 17.)

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