Higher Education Institutions May Not Be Managing Their System Implementation Project Risk

TYSONS CORNER, Va. – Higher education institutions may be exposing themselves to unnecessarily high levels of risk and additional costs by failing to conduct risk reviews of their system implementations according to a poll taken at a recent webinar on the topic hosted by Baker Tilly.

While over 60% of the higher education and research institution participants indicated they have implemented a system during the last two years at their institution, only 14% of those institutions have conducted a project risk review.

“Institutions need an objective assessment of their system implementations, which are typically at risk of being behind schedule, over budget, or producing systems that don’t align with business requirements,” commented Mike Cullen, a senior manager in Baker Tilly’s Technology Risk practice. “Project risk reviews, conducted by independent parties, help to mitigate these risks by providing increased visibility and early detection of risks, thus improving quality, reducing overall project costs, and fueling project success.”

After newly implemented systems are deployed into production, many organizations conduct post-implementation reviews to confirm that new systems work as intended and meet business requirements. “These reviews often reveal significant deficiencies, requiring costly rework or even reimplementation,” shared Michael Wright, a manager in Baker Tilly’s Technology Risk practice. “A project risk review can help avoid these issues by providing executive management with real-time, unbiased visibility into the performance of system implementations while they are in progress, proactively identifying risks and issues across all phases of the implementation cycle, providing recommendations for resolution and mitigation, and helping ensure that the solution meets business requirements.”

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Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly) is a nationally recognized, full-service accounting and advisory firm whose specialized professionals connect with clients and their businesses through refreshing candor and clear industry insight. With approximately 2,800 employees across the United States, Baker Tilly is ranked as one of the 15 largest accounting and advisory firms in the country. Headquartered in Chicago, Baker Tilly is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 147 territories, with 33,600 professionals. The combined worldwide revenue of independent member firms is $3.4 billion.