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Reason for Failure of QH Payroll System

Describe about the Payroll System Implementation Project at Queensland Health.

The torturous accomplishment of Queensland’s Health payroll system will approximately certainly be memorized as one of the significant disastrous Information technology project in Australia’s history.  The Queensland health payroll system experienced significant problems with implementation of payroll system in year March 2010.  The Queensland project i.e. payroll system was approximately eighteen months behind the schedule and approximately above 300% over budget. Initially project was expected to complete within six months but due to some issues and complexity of system architecture, procurement issues, technical failure, system testing and data quality the project deadline was extended to another one year.

Therefore, the incoming liberal national party has accomplished an audit of Queensland’s Health payroll system to determine the reason behind failure of system and present issues that is associated with the present software system. KPMG was engaged to analyze and evaluate the system, its strategies, proposed solution as well as status.

Thereby primary purpose of this assessment is to determine and evaluate the issues associated with the Queensland’s Health payroll system and recommend effective solutions on how deficiencies determined in the system analysis cloud be controlled and overcome in further implementation.

According to the Glass (2013) Purposes of implementation of QH payroll system are given below;

Enhance opportunities with the help of enabling workforce mobility

enhanced visibility into the cost of services and products

With use of payroll system duplication related with data and information reduced

Reduction of expenditure linked with the licensing agreements

improve economics of scales

enable the Government of Australia to focus on their effective competencies thereby enhancing the service standards

consistency of finance and human resource information across government agencies

Therefore, to develop such effective and well attractive software, CorpTech present QH proposal in front of IBM, Accenture, Logica and SAP.  At, the end of 5 December 2007 the IT based organization IBM officially signed the QH payroll system contract.   

Initially project duration of competition the project was by August 2008; however in June the organization IBM was decided to perform additional planning to deliver complete solution of project in 2010.   Thereby the change of scope as well as lack of defied organization requirement finally resulted in considerable cost and time overrun and project was unsuccessful.

Complexity is primary factors associated with the QH implementation project failed. The complexities connected with the large information, system implementation project are derived from; industries complexity, system complexity, client consultant relationship complexity.  

Primary Factors Associated with Failure of QH Payroll System

Industries complexity or uniquely complexity:-

The health and social care sectors accomplishes the individuals, services and process provided by the hospitals, diagnosis agencies as well as pharmacies. It is primarily distinguish with the other sectors in spite of whether they associate with private and public organization. As per the Bloomfield, (2013), health and social care organization is notorious for being complicated and complexity; and it seems to several facts such as; health care organization caters to a board and distinguish client base; nature and diversity of individuals (patients) is unique and random. Furthermore, as per the study it has been seen that above 85000 workers are working in QH and many workers working 24*7 hours. In addition to this, the workers in QH are working in two different acts and it covers approximately twelve different sectors. Thereby this represents that QH structure is unique and complex. QH offers vast range of health services and approximately above 40000 people per day uses its services across three hundred sites in Queensland. This is clearly indicated that the payroll management systems are approximately 24000 groupings of awarded salary.  

Thus as per the discussion, it has been critically evaluated that due to improper designing, planning and implementation of IS QH payrolls system failure. However, there are inherent complications in health and social care sectors and accomplishment of poor project management and top management support are the main reason to fail the QH payroll system (Bond, 2013).

Insufficient time and inadequate documentation:-  Time is another factors to failure to QH payroll management system. As per the study it has been occurred that primary the organization IBM taken only eight month to launch project successfully; but due to complexity the organization are not be able to perform or launch proposed application program within the time limit. This would enhance price also. Furthermore, it has been seen that documentation and designing structure of project was not be organized and created in well manner and this lead the problem during implementation phase (Uhlmann, 2013). The structure of Queensland was complex; thereby software developer requires documenting the overall structure regarding development of software in effective manner. On the other hand, lack of planning during designing phase and process phase to put in the place a robust tendering procedure. Weak government structure as well as unclear responsibilities and roles also the factors to failure IS system.                        

Lack of communication and training, poorly designed team structure are another reason to not success of QH payroll system. As per the Queensland Government (2012), number of critical association readiness activities and practices were not so much effective developed prior to the implementation of QH payroll system. Furthermore, due to lack of configuration, awareness as well as ignore may lead to considerable outcomes in system failure. Moreover, organization structure changes and plan not accessible at right time and this may lead issues in front of programmer and for this reason; they not make such type of system which organization expected from them.                                 

Industries Complexity or Uniquely Complexity

Inadequate System testing:-  Testing is effective process in software development phage and system testing is statically proven that software work properly or not. Thereby it has been said that more extensive of testing software an effective success of application program. Furthermore, in situation of QH payroll system testing was not performing and only subset of workers pay were tested by Testing team prior to going live. In addition to this before launching system in online, the organization QH was not performing parallel test of system. Therefore, this may also leads problems of data integrity issues (Weeks, and Wadsworth, 2013).              

Client, consultant relahiship complexity:-  Relahiship between the consultant and clients also the major factors to success any project. As poor consultant relationship can outcome ineffective communication that leads to a negative perception of towards project outcomes and goals.  Yet in the situation of Queensland health implementation, the Quasi-multiple customer’s changes and this leads project outcomes in negative ways.     

Client, consultant relahiship complexity 

Governance complexity/project management:-   The lack of indetermination of complexity and define requirement of the Queensland health implementation project resulted in regards of pertaining to the organization’s management of project.  As per the Weeks, and Wadsworth, (2013), project management offers an association with effective tools and techniques that enhances its ability to implement, plan, manage and controls its functions in effective manner. Thereby the complexity of health and social care sectors i.e. Queensland is extremely challenging. Thereby as per the study, it has been seen that lack of integrated clear timeline, critical path and project planning leads QH payroll system in negative manner and outcomes is that project not work effective.  

Impact of failure of system

  • Increase costs associated with the project
  • performance of the company reduced
  • Reduce workers satisfaction
  • Health and social care sectors renowned for possessing difficulty due to requirements and orientation
  • The cost of implementation of project was estimated  billion AUS at the end of project

As per the above discussion, it has been seen that management issues and technical issues are the primary factors associated with the system failure. In addition to this from above discussion, it has been seen that communication issues, project management issues as well as testing issues are associated with any software application program and if any organization manage it in well-organized manner then they achieve better outcomes in most successful and effective manner. 

Recommendation to solve technical issues 

In Queensland payroll system it has been seen that project management has not, implemented better software development life cycle in its project and this leads software in negative ways. Thereby it has been suggested that the organization require implementing an effective software development life cycle during project development phase

Insufficient Time and Inadequate Documentation

Software Development Life Cycle

Use of an effective SDLC i.e. software life cycle the organization can build an effective plan and procedure to develop software project. The stages of software development life cycle illustrated below;

Requirement analysis and system analysis:- As per the study it has been seen that the organization does not analyze the system in effective manner and this leads the problem in front of developing team and for this reason they are not be able to design and develop project (Dalal, & Chhillar, 2012). Thus, use of SDLC, Requirements aids the organization to determine and understand client has needs and wants in successful manner. Furthermore, system analysis helps the company to determine the complexity and functionality of system in successful manner. Thus, it has been recommended that using this organization easily determine system requirement, structure, and plan according to them.

System design and development: - In such phase software and system is prepared from the needs and wants of the organization. System design procedure helps the company to determine the system requirement i.e. hardware as well as adding in determining the overall system architecture; thereby using this organization effectively understand functionality of Queensland. As per the study, it has been seen that the organization is not be able to determine Queensland structure effectively and due to result is that system software is failure. Thus, it has been recommended that using System design and development software developer developed effective software.

Implementation and testing:- Implementation phase contain coding on receiving system documentation where the tasks is divided as per the units. Thus as per the study it has been occurred that due to improper documentation system not functioning properly. On the other hand, The Company launch software without testing them and this lead the problem of failure of system or QH payroll system. Thereby, as per the discussion it has been said that use an effective documentation as well as testing including both system and user testing, company develop effective software (Roy et al., 2013).

Maintenance: - The last, steps includes maintenance phase where system software maintained in effective manner.

Thereby as per the discussion, it has been seen that technical issues have been resolved in most effectiecve manner through use of SDLC.  On the other hand security related with the data and information also associated with the IS; thereby to solve this the company requires to implements an effective firewall as well as SSL in its software.                                                            

To improve the management issues  it has been suggested that Queensland government requires improving their information and communication strategies policies. Furthermore, from evaluation it has been seen that due to lack of communication and technical skills developers are not develop project as per organization objective and goals (Nah, 2002). Thereby to improve better quality of software organization needs to involve and conduct better training and development program to enhance skills and program in effective manner.  On the other hand there are following recommendation has been given below;

implement an effective monitoring policies

use both top- down and bottom-up approach to improve communication

Provide an Audit in regular basis regarding performance of project

Implement an effective management approaches

Implementation of effective risks management strategies


Xu, H., Nord, J.H., Brown, N., and Nord, G.D. 2002. "Data Quality Issues in Implementing an ERP,"Industrial Managemetn & Data Systems (102:1), pp. 47-58.

Weeks, W.B., and Wadsworth, E.B. 2013. "Addressing Healthcare Complexity," Healthcare FinancialManagement (67:1), pp. 120-122.

Uhlmann, G. 2013. "Queensland Health Payroll System Commision of Inquiry: Statement of Witness."Retrieved01/08,2013,from,-Gary-signed-statement.PDF

Roy, S., Nag, S., Maitra, I. K., & Bandyopadhyay, S. K. (2013). International journal of advanced research in computer science and software engineering. International Journal, 3(6).

Queensland Government. 2013. "Queensland Government ICT Strategy." Retrieved 20/04, 2014, from

Queensland Government. 2012. "Queensland Government ICT Audit." Retrieved 20/04, 2014, from

Nah, F. (2002). Enterprise resource planning solutions and management. Hershey, PA: IRM Press.

Glass, R. (2013). The Queensland Health Payroll Debacle. Information Systems Management, 30(1), pp.89-90.

Dalal, S., & Chhillar, R. S. (2012). Case studies of most common and severe types of software system failure. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science and Software Engineering, 2(8).

Bond, D.J. 2013. "Health Payroll System Commission of Inquiry: Statement of Darrin John Bond."Retrieved1/08,2013,from,-Darrin-signed-statement.PDF

Bloomfield, L.J. 2013. "Statement of Lochlan John Bloomfield." Retrieved 19/09, 2014, from,-Lochlan-signed-statement.pdf

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