State of Wisconsin

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world.


State of Wisconsin
Project name :
EnABLES (Enhanced Automated Benefits Legal Enterprise Services)
Project type : Unemployment claims tracking
Date : Feb 2007 Cost :$23M USD

Synopsis :
Replacement for a 1970’s system used for tracking unemployment claims cancelled after only 1 of 7 phases is successfully completed.  Project plan called for an existing packaged software product to be purchased and customized to meet the needs of the State of Wisconsin.  Customization proves to be more complex than anticipated and project is cancelled after the $10M spent on phase 2 fails to deliver a working system.

Contributing factors as reported in the press :
Underestimation of complexity, cost and schedule (at point of cancellation projected budget had more than doubled).  Failure to review business process prior to starting the project and an unwillingness to adapt business processes to match functionality available in the packaged system.  Lack of planning.

Reference links :

  1. State scraps computer project
  2. Unemployment Insurance – Funding for unemployment Information Technology systems – see section 9 onwards.

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