Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Error Message for CA

The Columbia Association has been working on a new customer service software program for over four years. It’s not anywhere close to being finished.

According to this story by Jennifer Broadwater in The Columbia Flier, “this week announced another setback in the launch of its long-awaited Customer Service System — software that’s been under development since 2006 and is intended to vastly modernize the way members sign up and pay for CA programs.”


Four years can be a lifetime for information technologies. To put that into perspective, four years ago nobody ever heard of an app or an iPhone.

So far the homeowners association has spent almost $3 million for a program that’s buggier than an Arkansas summer. I seem to recall that some CA senior staff even traveled to India at one point to assist in the programs development. Now they are going to spend even more money to see if someone can salvage this mess.

“The CA board of directors has approved Nelson’s recommendations to hire the outside firm to evaluate the software and also to hire an outside project manager to launch the system.”

You can’t really pin this screw up on Phil Nelson, the association president. He has only been on the job for a little more than a year. Perhaps the finger is better pointed towards certain CA board members who have been around since this project was initiated, such as the current chair, Cynthia Coyle.
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