The implementation of the BIS represents a revolutionary approach within the Austrian public sector as the FMSR established a state-of-the-art standard software system, which allows a transparent, consistent and efficient high quality budget planning. This was done by the integration of all relevant stakeholders (budget department, management, IT department, department for legal and budget issues of Directorate General II) into the project.
To guarantee a wise use of the public funds, the BIS implementation used PRINCE2, an international high-quality project management approach. This method supports a structured realization of the entire project.
During the implementation of the BIS the project management team put great emphasis on a resource-saving compliance. This was conveyed by the use of modern technologies and methods, e.g. MS Share Point, Remote Desktop Connections or Rapid Prototyping. Before the final implementation, a friendly user run together with the IT department took place to reduce failure costs by non-working functionalities. Immediately afterwards, a feedback-loop took place and useful tips and results were considered in the final solution. There was a second feedback-loop subsequent to a key user training session during which the users planned a budget by applying the newly implemented budgeting process.
There were several success factors for the implementation. First of all, at an early project stage, the involvement of the whole IT department as well as key users of the BIS helped to design a novel system, which totally supports the needs of the ministry. The FMSR was able to increase in-house knowledge as well as maintain and adapt the BIS for the future.
A further success factor of the project was the Proof of Concept (PoC) before the project had started. Two suppliers were invited to hand in a PoC. The covering of functionalities of planning and reporting, the availability of qualified support for the technical implementation in Austria, a positioning on the Austrian market for public sector solutions in the long run together with a long-term product strategy and existing contracts with the “Federal Procurement Agency) were responsible for the limitation of suppliers. After the PoC the project management team accepted the bid of SAP AG. In addition to the criteria catalogue, the decision was made on the basis of the following aspects: the already available SAP systems, the perfect usability and, finally, the existing knowledge about SAP handling within the ministry. Hence, a system was chosen which allows a wise use of resources with respect to dwindling budgets and uses the existent knowledge. Furthermore, a Data Warehouse (DWH) was set-up and a test and productive system was installed.
To sum up, the BIS implementation excels in its structured and systematic project execution, supported by an open communication strategy and a profound, collaborative solution deviation.