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Advanced Education

IT Governance, Strategic Planning and Project Management at Athabasca University Follow-up

 

SUMMARY

In 2010 we reported the results of our audit of Athabasca University’s information technology governance, strategic planning and project management systems that support business and technology objectives. We recommended that the university:

  • improve governance of information technology
  • improve IT portfolio and project management processes
  • formalize IT project performance monitoring and reporting
  • resolve inefficiencies in financial, human resources and payroll systems

Our follow-up audit confirmed the university implemented these four recommendations.

Overall conclusion

The university has effective IT governance policies, processes, standards and project management systems. Management is able to demonstrate that it is implementing its IT strategic plans cost effectively, and that they are achieving expected results and benefits.

What we found

The university has implemented our recommendations by:

  • developing and implementing an IT governance framework that outlines the oversight processes for IT strategic planning and project implementation, and an integrated IT delivery plan that sets out its planned IT initiatives and projects
  • strengthening portfolio and project management standards and ensuring all IT projects consistently follow the standards
  • completing plans to implement the financial and HR/payroll modules of its new integrated administration system, for improved efficiencies

These changes improved the university’s processes and systems to achieve its business and technology objectives. The university now has a corporate view of strategic IT priorities, and the necessary tools and techniques to manage its resources appropriately.

Why this is important to Albertans

Athabasca University depends on technology to deliver its student programs and services. IT projects require the university’s governance and project management processes to provide clear oversight and accountability for results. Without clear and efficient governance and project management processes, IT projects can overwhelm the university’s resources and may not meet its needs, or be delivered cost effectively and on time.

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