Ohio’s tax system was in serious trouble in 2012 after the state spent four years in a fixed-price contract that sought to integrate its 27 legacy tax systems into a single platform. Government Technology reports how the project was on the fast (and expensive) track to failure when stakeholders boldly decided to try once more – this time using Agile.
Project director Mark Walker, who led his teams to resounding success, explains why it’s critical for governments and vendors to remain on the same page – and often in the same room! – to avoid the government-versus-contracting pitfall that can result in finger pointing and failed projects:
“When the project started in ’08, we expected the vendor to come in here and basically do the project for us,” Walker recalled. “That’s really faulted. Yes, we’re paying them to manage the project, but … they don’t understand my business and I don’t understand the product, so we really have to be engaged in basically a partnership so that we both play very critical roles in making sure that first of all the vendor understands my business needs and that they understand the product they’re using well enough to give the most efficient way of administering whatever I need to do.”
A simplified project framework which streamlined the state’s 27 tax systems and 23 tax types, combined with the shorter Agile development cycles, led the state and vendor to collaborative success. Walker says partnership was the key to the project’s turnaround:
“It’s a little unusual, and I know contractually Dave[Montgomery] is still my vendor, is still responsible, but we really do have a partnership,” Walker said. “There is not much that happens on this project, from strategic or tactical to planning, that we don’t jointly do.”
Read the full article: How Ohio Used Agile Development to Overhaul Its Tax System | Government Technology