DENVER – Technology, data and systems project requests and requirements continue to increase significantly at the City of Denver, but there is still room for improvement in how Technology Services keeps up with the volume, according to a new follow-up report from Denver Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien, CPA.
“Technology Services is working hard to stay on top of the rapidly growing and changing use of computers, systems and software in the city,” Auditor O’Brien said. “Making changes based on our recommendations could help them manage the workload more efficiently.”
The original August 2017 audit found areas for improvement in how Technology Services handles requests for new projects and other work. The department had tried to estimate start and end dates for projects before they knew the full scope leading to unrealistic project dates. The expected process flow for project intake did not match what was actually happening.
The audit team also found missing evidence of necessary approvals and authorization documentation. Finally, the audit team identified weaknesses within Technology Services project management tools used to manage projects.
The audit team made nine recommendations to enhance the IT project intake process. The department did not implement one, partially implemented another and fully implemented the remaining seven recommendations.
The recommendation not implemented involved the retention of important documents. The use of multiple project management tools made it more challenging to ensure all project documentation was completed and approved. Our audit found missing documents and forms not completed consistently and completely. When the audit team returned for follow-up to check on this document management process, auditors found every project tested still had at least two missing required documents.
This presents a risk that vital information associated with a project could be lost over time. Agencies could also bypass compliance with required documentation to expedite their own projects.
Technology Services also still has work to do improve so there is only one project scheduling and milestone marking document based on the actual dates and times needed to complete the project. Efficient and effective scheduling is important to ensure resources are maximized and projects are handled in a timely manner.
The department did make all the recommended improvements to standardize project evaluation, ensure management signs off on documents according to requirements, and to implement functional project management tools.
“Keeping up with the city’s technology use is a big job and I’m glad to see some improvements in managing the growing to-do list,” Auditor O’Brien said. “I will continue to work with Technology Services in the future to help them grow and improve as they take on even more projects.”