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First Project Completes Department of Technology's New Approval Process

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing recently started work on the requirements validation for a new case management system, after moving through the four-step Project Approval Lifecycle that the Department of Technology formally introduced in mid-2015.

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A system replacement underway at the Department of Fair Employment and Housing is the first IT project statewide to complete the California Department of Technology's revamped approval process.

Fair Employment and Housing recently started work on the requirements validation for a new case management system, after moving through the four-step Project Approval Lifecycle that the Department of Technology formally introduced in mid-2015.

The Project Approval Lifecycle (PAL) includes a business analysis (Stage 1), alternatives analysis (Stage 2), solution development phase (Stage 3), and project readiness and approval (Stage 4). At the conclusion of each stage, project managers and oversight staff reach a go/no-go decision point where a project can be halted if more work is needed. Requirements for Stage 4 were finished and published just two months ago.

PAL is replacing the old Feasibility Study Report (FSR) approval process that had been in place for decades. State officials hope PAL will help reduce risk of project failures, result in more realistic estimates of project costs, and bring forward technology that's better aligned with users' needs.

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing uses its case management system to manage thousands of discrimination complaints each year. Its current system, called "HoudiniEsq," was manufactured by North Carolina-based company Logic Bit Software LLC. The vendor has notified California it will end support of the system in December 2017. Houdini went live in 2012.

The replacement system will cost approximately $6.5 million, according to a state estimate in March.

Matt Williams was Managing Editor of Techwire from June 2014 through May 2017.