December 22, 2008Doug Hadden
The conference speaker presented PFM credentials – a list of successful IFMIS implementations in Emerging Countries. Yet many of the examples are case studies – for unsuccessful implementations.
In 2003, Bill Dorotisky and his colleagues at the World Bank produced a landmark study about bank funded Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS). The statistics at the time showed that only 43% of the projects were delivered as specified, 50% on budget and 21% delivered on time. The assumption at the time was that implementations should take between three and five years—the finding was that they took an average of seven.
Speakers from International Financial Institutions are the December 2007 ICGFM conference described seven successful IFMIS implementations. Five of these implementations were FreeBalance.
Why? At FreeBalance, we derive the value of any IFMIS implementation from its sustainability. In other words, while it is a self-evident prerequisite to deliver what was specified, when it was specified, and for how much it was specified, ‘success’ lies in the ability of our customers to extend these initial accomplishments and comfortably adapt them to evolving government processes.
We recognize that goals can expand during an IFMIS implementation—it is legitimate to revise the scope of a project and take a little more time at a higher cost than was anticipated. But not twice the time; not even 20% more time.
An IFMIS is not successful just because the vendor’s marketing department said so. Or, because an obliging government spokesperson said so.
We believe it’s successful when unbiased independent third parties confirm it’s successful.