Making PFM Technology Work: Lessons Learned July 17, 2009 Doug Hadden VP Products
 
Most Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) and custom developed financial systems fail to achieve government goals in Emerging C...
Success Rates, IFMIS in Emerging Countries 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% On Budget On Time  On Time, On Budg...
FreeBalance Success Rates, Emerging Countries 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% On Budget On Time On Time, On Bu...
Under More Stressful Conditions? World Bank Sample 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% * FreeBalance Customers...
Why is FreeBalance so much more successful?
Low success rates in developed countries! <ul><li>40%  of enterprises exceed time and budget estimates  > 50% </li></ul><u...
The traditional model for software development  that works (sometimes) in the West does not work for Emerging Countries.
Agenda <ul><li>What difficulties need to be overcome? </li></ul><ul><li>Where is the software development model broken? </...
1. IFMIS Software takes too long to implement.
2. IFMIS Software does not adapt well to reform.
3. IFMIS Software cannot be sustained by the government.
What Happens When Things Go Wrong? <ul><li>Blame the victim </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer didn’t articulate business proc...
Typical Product Management Sales & Marketing User Trainer Consultant Customer Support Product Development
Typical Product Management Sales & Marketing User Trainer Consultant Customer Support Product Development Product often de...
The FreeBalance Solution
Company Summary <ul><li>FreeBalance is a global provider of software solutions for public financial management ( PFM ).   ...
Customer Headquarters FreeBalance Development FreeBalance Support Centres FreeBalance Offices
FreeBalance Consultant Product Management Sales & Marketing User Trainer Customer Support Product Development Product desi...
Customer Centric Approach Product Management Customer Support Product Development Consultant User All problems & feature r...
1. IFMIS Software takes too long to implement <ul><li>Vendor should  understand  the government domain. </li></ul><ul><li>...
2. IFMIS Software does not adapt well to reform.  <ul><li>All governments are  reforming . </li></ul><ul><li>Product shoul...
3. IFMIS Software cannot be sustained by the government. <ul><li>Product should not place a significant  burden  on the go...
Lessons Learned <ul><li>Software design, implementation and support methodology  critical  to ensuring success </li></ul><...
Lessons Learned <ul><li>Customer didn’t articulate business processes properly </li></ul><ul><li>Customer had unrealistic ...
help governments across the world leverage  robust government financial management  technology to accelerate   country gro...
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Making PFM (Public Financial Management) Technology Work: Lessons Learned

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Presentation made to the Cambodia Finance Conference on July 18, 2009

Addresses: issues and solutions in implementing government financial management systems in emerging countries

Doug Hadden, VP Products FreeBalance

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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  • Copyright FreeBalance. Content can be reproduced with permission. dhadden@freebalance.com
  • We often characterize countries like Cambodia as ‘developing nations’ – yet your rich culture developed centuries ago. It reminds me that ancient wisdom can be used to solve today’s problems. Let’s start with today’s problems.
  • Fact: traditional software, whether commercial off-the-shelf or custom developed, is rarely fully successful for Public Financial Management in emerging countries.
  • In 2003, the World Bank found that ½ of the government integrated financial management implementations delivered in emerging countries were on budget, less than ½ on time, 20% on time and on budget and only 6% were sustainable by the government. Experts tell me that results have improved but remain disappointing. Many implementations remain unsustainable by emerging country governments.
  • Yet, FreeBalance has been extraordinarily successful.
  • Under more stressful circumstances: lower average human development index and higher ratio of post-conflict countries compared to the World Bank sample.
  • Why?
  • To be clear: large software projects often fail in very developed high capacity countries in the private and public sectors. Public Financial Management technology is high reward but high risk. But, it shouldn’t be a gamble – like the casino at the Nagaworld Hotel. Gartner Group Peerstone BearingPoint BearingPoint IDC Yankee Group
  • The way in which software is developed and implemented in the west does not work for emerging countries.
  • I hope to answer these 3 questions: What problems are encountered in Emerging Country Public Financial Management software implementations? Where should the software model change? How can governments overcome these problems?
  • Software often takes too long to implement. (On-time and on-budget).
  • Once implemented, the software cannot adapt easily to government reform and modernization. (Sustainability)
  • The software is often too difficult and too expensive to maintain. (Sustainability).
  • What happens when things go wrong? Software vendors and consultants blame the government For not explaining all processes (business process management) For having unrealistic expectations For having changed requirements (change management) For not having enough dedicated staff Or training enough people (capacity building) Governments should lead reform. Governments should not be expected to lead technology – technology must follow reform.
  • This is how Software Companies typically operate Product managers create specifications Product development creates the product That is marketing and sold The implementation is typically done by a consulting company That provides training to users Who call the vendor customer support for assistance
  • There are many points of failure that hinders success in government Product managers often create specifications for many markets – government is just one of those markets In fact, the most attractive market is often large corporations Developers have no expertise in government Salespeople are willing to sell to any market, including Emerging Markets Consultants get more revenue from customization. Projects often focus on technology, not the process. Technology should follow process. And many do not have government expertise Some consulting firms do not want systems to be sustained by the government, they want to keep consultants in the government for as long as possible Emerging Country government requirements may not be important to the software vendor. We have found that there are many unique needs in emerging countries that differ from requirements in G8 countries.
  • FreeBalance solutions support government modernization, fiscal decentralization, and public finance reform .
  • FreeBalance specializes in government with over 25 years of successful implementations of public financial management software around the world. This specialization enables FreeBalance to deliver rapidly, on-time and on-budget.
  • The FreeBalance Integrated Financial Management Information System, the FreeBalance Accountability Suite, is operating in Emerging Country governments in every World Bank region. At the National Government level, FreeBalance is operating in Antigua, Guyana, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Timor-Leste. Departmental and sub-national implementations in Panama, Jamaica, Southern Sudan, West Bank and Pakistan.
  • Our model is different. We focus on government only. Government financial management is different from the private sector. (Example: budget and commitment controls.) And specifically design to meet Emerging Country requirements Our developers only build government financial applications And our salespeople focus on government Unlike other software companies, we participate directly in all implementations to ensure success And focus on sustainability. In fact, we have a sustainability Blog And government requirements always go into upgrades.
  • This different approach makes FreeBalance software the low risk solution. Our consultants to not drop the software off, we help mentor Civil Servants and build capacity. These consultants are former public servants with experience implementing in governments around the world. This helps countries to achieve desired outcomes. All customers are visited at least once a year to identify problems and understand new requirements. Our steering committee, made up of Emerging Country governments approves our product roadmap and owns 20% of our product budget. Customers interact with us and other customers on our Customer Exchange. We hire local people and provide support in country even after the contract is completed. We track all problems and enhancements on a dashboard. I receive a copy of the dashboard every Monday and can view this dashboard in real time. This is the most important report that I receive, as an executive in the company. Any serious customer problem results in the creation of team from every part of the company dedicated to fixing this problem. We have had 5 such teams in the past 3 years – project lasting from 3 hours to 3 weeks. I can tell you that because I’m in charge of the Product and I am on every SWAT Team.
  • How can governments improve the change for success? Select vendors who understand government. It is not enough to know the software. Select products that are designed for rapid implementation. And proven in countries with more stressful conditions than in your country.
  • All governments are modernizing. The sequence of modernization depends on the country context. Therefore, software should easily adapt to changing needs. Through configuration – to make it easier for the government to make changes – without requiring expensive consultants.
  • The discussion about sustainability often focuses on financing costs – long term costs. Equally important is the need to sustain the system with civil servants rather than require high-priced foreign consultants. The software should not require significant effort to keep running and to handle upgrades. The vendor should have proven ability to build technical and financial capacity. The underlying technology and method of customization should not be overly complex.
  • What have we learned? We changed our processes to meet the Emerging Nation market – receiving ISO-9001/2000 certification for customer-centric development and support. Let me be very clear – this transformation from a traditional software company was not easy and we continue to improve our processes to support our customers better. Some governments can afford to implement expensive solutions originally designed for the private sector. Many governments share similar reform challenges. So, it is important to reference government implementation under stressful conditions in other countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe.
  • Let us revisit typical problems blamed on governments. Vendors who understand government do not ask irrelevant questions and share good practices. Vendors commit to implementation schedules – so the software should implement quickly. Don’t be fooled, vendors are not naïve, they understand the risk. Change is inevitable – so the software should be easy to adapt. The software should be easy to maintain so that governments do not need as much dedicated staff. The vendor should be responsible to build capacity.
  • Since arriving in Cambodia, I have had the opportunity to visit numerous cultural treasures. I was struck by the different posses of the Buddha – and how this applies to implementing public financial management systems. The “ Teaching Buddha” speaks of the need to build capacity. The “Calling the Earth to Witness Buddha” speaks about the need for sustainable solutions. This is the kind of ancient wisdom that we can use today. Thank you.
  • Making PFM (Public Financial Management) Technology Work: Lessons Learned

    1. 1. Making PFM Technology Work: Lessons Learned July 17, 2009 Doug Hadden VP Products
    2. 3. Most Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) and custom developed financial systems fail to achieve government goals in Emerging Countries.
    3. 4. Success Rates, IFMIS in Emerging Countries 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% On Budget On Time On Time, On Budget Sustainable
    4. 5. FreeBalance Success Rates, Emerging Countries 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% On Budget On Time On Time, On Budget Sustainable
    5. 6. Under More Stressful Conditions? World Bank Sample 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% * FreeBalance Customers 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00% * Human Development Index Low Medium High Post Conflict Low Medium High Post Conflict
    6. 7. Why is FreeBalance so much more successful?
    7. 8. Low success rates in developed countries! <ul><li>40% of enterprises exceed time and budget estimates > 50% </li></ul><ul><li>ERP technology to business benefits rated D+ </li></ul><ul><li>15% large implementations failed </li></ul><ul><li>51% were over budget , over schedule or under delivered . </li></ul><ul><li>Half of all respondents incur additional costs after implementing financial applications </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer than a third of enterprise decision makers would recommend their ERP vendor to another company </li></ul>
    8. 9. The traditional model for software development that works (sometimes) in the West does not work for Emerging Countries.
    9. 10. Agenda <ul><li>What difficulties need to be overcome? </li></ul><ul><li>Where is the software development model broken? </li></ul><ul><li>How can governments increase the chance for success? </li></ul>
    10. 11. 1. IFMIS Software takes too long to implement.
    11. 12. 2. IFMIS Software does not adapt well to reform.
    12. 13. 3. IFMIS Software cannot be sustained by the government.
    13. 14. What Happens When Things Go Wrong? <ul><li>Blame the victim </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer didn’t articulate business processes properly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer had unrealistic expectations for delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer changed requirements after the first phase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer did not dedicate enough staff to manage project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer did not train enough staff </li></ul></ul>
    14. 15. Typical Product Management Sales & Marketing User Trainer Consultant Customer Support Product Development
    15. 16. Typical Product Management Sales & Marketing User Trainer Consultant Customer Support Product Development Product often designed with different customers in mind Product developers have no expertise in government financials Salespeople want to sell to every possible market. Consulting firms often do not have government expertise. Consulting firms may not want system to be sustained by government. Government needs may not go into upgrades Consulting firms generate revenue from customization. Government is one of many “verticals”
    16. 17. The FreeBalance Solution
    17. 18. Company Summary <ul><li>FreeBalance is a global provider of software solutions for public financial management ( PFM ). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Canadian software company ISO-9001/2000 certified </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong domain expertise in government financial management, 100% focus on government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated technology for budget formulation and public expenditure management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Founded in 1984 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>De facto standard for fast implementations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global presence, implemented in every World Bank region </li></ul></ul>
    18. 19. Customer Headquarters FreeBalance Development FreeBalance Support Centres FreeBalance Offices
    19. 20. FreeBalance Consultant Product Management Sales & Marketing User Trainer Customer Support Product Development Product designed with Emerging Country requirements. Product developers understand government financials Salespeople focused in government. At FreeBalance, “success” is defined as sustainability. FreeBalance provides consulting services – works as a member of all implementation teams 100% Focus on Government Government needs ALWAYS go into upgrades
    20. 21. Customer Centric Approach Product Management Customer Support Product Development Consultant User All problems & feature requests are tracked – management dashboard FreeBalance consultants mentor customers to build capacity. Developers visit customers and are part of “SWAT” teams. International Steering Committee sets product direction. Customers interact with FreeBalance staff and other customers on Customer Exchange Customers visited at least once every year. Local in-country support.
    21. 22. 1. IFMIS Software takes too long to implement <ul><li>Vendor should understand the government domain. </li></ul><ul><li>Product should be designed for rapid implementation – configured, not customized. </li></ul><ul><li>Products should be proven to implement quickly in countries with more stressful conditions. </li></ul>quickest implementation 26 days Average first phase 8 months
    22. 23. 2. IFMIS Software does not adapt well to reform. <ul><li>All governments are reforming . </li></ul><ul><li>Product should be designed for progressive activation . </li></ul><ul><li>Progressive activation should be configured not customized. </li></ul>
    23. 24. 3. IFMIS Software cannot be sustained by the government. <ul><li>Product should not place a significant burden on the government. </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor should know how to build capacity. </li></ul><ul><li>Government should not be maintaining custom code and complex technology. </li></ul>
    24. 25. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Software design, implementation and support methodology critical to ensuring success </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced country governments have the luxury to buy expensive solutions with “ nice to have ” features </li></ul><ul><li>Governments around the world share your challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Some governments have more challenges </li></ul>
    25. 26. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Customer didn’t articulate business processes properly </li></ul><ul><li>Customer had unrealistic expectations for delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Customer changed requirements after the first phase </li></ul><ul><li>Customer did not dedicate enough staff to manage project </li></ul><ul><li>Customer did not train enough staff </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor should understand the government domain. </li></ul><ul><li>Product should be designed for rapid implementation. </li></ul><ul><li>Product should be designed for progressive activation. </li></ul><ul><li>Product should not place a significant burden on the government. </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor should know how to build capacity </li></ul>
    26. 27. help governments across the world leverage robust government financial management technology to accelerate country growth. Our mission

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