The Office of the Legislative Auditor today released its review of the troubled Minnesota Licensing and Registration System or MNLARS. The report affirms that the system “did not adequately meet the needs of Minnesota residents and key stakeholders, despite a decade of work and significant state expenditures.” The OLA says the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Office of
Minnesota Information Technology Services (MNIT) must “share responsibility for the system’s unsatisfactory release” and many factors—rather than a single person or a single decision—contributed to the system’s rollout failure. Ultimately, the OLA concludes that leaders of the DPS, MNIT and the project did not provide the oversight and direction necessary to ensure that the system would meet user needs.
MNLARS had a troubled rollout in 2017 leaving local vehicle service branches with overtime and other unexpected costs. The OLA recommends that in the future:
* MNIT improve oversight of agency-based software application projects
* Top agency officials should serve as “project sponsors” for large, high-risk software application projects
* Leaders of large projects should include key stakeholders and independent quality assurance representatives in project governance activities
* Project management staff should ensure that there is full documentation of the
project governing body meetings
* When necessary, agencies should streamline business processes before they
build information systems based on those processes
* Agencies should strive to break large software projects into smaller pieces—or,
if this is not feasible, have contingency plans in the event that large-scale
software releases do not go as intended
You can view the report in full, here.