ACC board expected to take knife to ACCtion project

Accident Compensation's multimillion-dollar ACCtion project is under review.

Accident Compensation’s multimillion-dollar ACCtion project is under review. An ACC board meeting today is expected to approve a dramatically different shape to the project, which will have its budget cut by as much as 50% and payment spread over a longer time-frame.

The first casualty appears to be business re-engineering consultant KPMG, which has gone from having around 30 people working on the project to just one while the review takes place. Its sub-contractor, Working Knowledge Group, has lost one of its four positions.

Unisys, which won the enabling technology business, is going to lose out too. The 27 Unisys contractors working on the project will be cut back, though not dramatically, says ACC IT general manager Henry Carr.

Unisys won the bid late last year but contract negotiations didn’t begin till January. A contract has still not been signed--there’s just an interim arrangement in place. “We’re slowing down the contract negotiations till we know what we’re doing,” Carr says.

The hardware and software components of the project were said last year to be worth around $15 million. Sources suggested then that the overall cost of the redesign could be as much as $40 million when consulting fees and provision for layoff of staff were taken into account.

The ACCtion project was established to design and implement a business process, supporting organisation and culture, and enabling technology systems to meet those aims. There were four components: business process re-engineering; enabling technology--including a transition strategy for legacy systems; change management; and business realisation, which included cost-benefit analysis and measurement.

“We’ve been more successful on the enabling technology than we have with some of the business processes,” Carr says.

“We’re looking at bringing change management back into the business and the ownership of the design. I want to feel we’ve got stronger control. It’s a recognition that ACC needs to make the decisions, not an external consultant.”

Carr wouldn’t comment on rumours that $4 million had so far been spent on consultancy with little apparent benefit. “We’re restructuring the project and have decided to take another look at the direction. While we’re deciding this, we’ve decided to send some of those people [consultants] back to base.

“It’s a very large project and it wasn’t delivering fast enough. I’m looking at ways to reduce the size and the cost. I’m aiming to get the cost down by 50% and spread it over time. The final shape of the project will change dramatically. We’ll look to get some different business benefits earlier.”

He says the focus will be to make case management more productive, to automate a lot of what the case managers do.

Today’s board meeting, he says, is routine, to review all projects being undertaken by the ACC. “I’m looking for provisional approval. I expect to tie down the costs in the next four to six weeks.”

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