Meeting Date:

July 19, 2004

Budgeted:  Yes


Staff Contact:

Stephanie Pintar,

Inder-Mohan Osahan

Program/Line Item No.:  4-1-2, Revisions to the Water Permit Process



Cost Estimate:  $68,750


General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on July 12, 2004 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  Staff is requesting Board approval of funds not-to-exceed $68,750 to amend the contract with PM Connect for project management assistance with the Water Demand Division (WDD) database project. Funds for this contract amendment are currently in the fiscal year 2004-2005 budget. WDD staff and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) have been working with PM Connect since February 2004 to gather requirements for a new relational database system. From the tasks originally outlined many have been completed on time. However, PM Connect spent much of the time budgeted in the current contract to 1) address more areas than originally anticipated; 2) do extra work required to create forms for the new system and have legal reviews with district counsel; 3) create a mock-up system that illustrates the business processes, screens and reports that will be used in the new system; and 4) meet with the Land Systems Group for process reviews. Due to these factors, the current contract with PM Connect needs to be extended to complete the expanded project. The database being designed will create one database allowing staff to provide customer service in an efficient manner.


PM Connect has prepared a proposal which is included as Exhibit 3-A. The proposal encompasses the ongoing tasks of reviewing and revising the business processes for the new database, revising remaining forms, creating a mock-up system to finalize a top level user interface, developing input screens and logic, developing reports, developing a technical specification and developing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to select a firm to code and test the new system.


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff recommends that the General Manager be authorized to amend the contract with PM Connect as the Project Manager to: (a) Finalize the technical and user interface specifications for the new database application to be written, (b) Write the RFQ to assist with the selection of a firm to build the new database system. Funding is included in the 2004-2005 budget for this project. The Administrative Committee reviewed this item at its July 12, 2004 meeting and voted 2 to 0 to recommend approval.  If approved with the Consent Calendar, the General Manager will enter into contract with PM Connect for a not-to-exceed amount of $68,750.


BACKGROUND:  In February 2004, a contract in the amount of $38,000 was executed with PM Connect to create technical specifications for a new database system to be used in the Water Demand Division (WDD).  In the past few months, much progress has been made including the development of the business workflow process charts, new forms for applications, new graphical user interface (GUI) for the main menu and an initial mock-up system. On June 29, 2004 WDD staff and the General Manager participated in the demonstration of the initial mock-up system. The feedback was very positive and staff was encouraged to continue working with PM Connect to complete the technical specifications for the new database system.


Additional funds are now required to complete the project in fiscal year 2004-2005.  The main contributing factors for the increased costs and re-scheduled completion date are:


1)      The project timeline was originally based upon the assumption that forms being used for the current system would require only minor changes to make the forms compatible with the new system. Upon business workflow process review by staff and legal review by the district counsel, it became apparent that all the forms required significant changes. This required re-allocation of time and funds from the original tasks. This additional time that was required to modify and revise the forms and get legal approval had a significant impact on the previous budget.


2)      After having gone through detailed business workflow process, it was apparent that the system would need to address more areas than originally anticipated.  Additional areas that needed to be addressed included water use credits, consumption, applicant correspondence, appeals, daily processes and office automation.


3)      During the development process it was determined that the technical specification would be incomplete without a mock-up system that illustrates the business processes, screens and reports that will be used in the new system. WDD staff has now gained experience as to the effort required to develop such a graphical user interface and the number of individual pages and links necessary for a robust mock-up system. Therefore, many man-hours were expended for the development of the mock-up system.  While the robust mock-up system was not originally anticipated, its availability will save time and money during the software development phase of the new database system.


4)      It has been requested by Land Systems Group (LSG) that the business work process flow diagrams be synchronized with the Policies and Procedures Manual being developed for the WDD and District management requested that staff and PM Connect work with LSG to refine the business work process flow diagrams. Hence, more time and budget has been allocated to meet with LSG to revise the already approved workflow processes.


While the remaining tasks are being accomplished, PM Connect will schedule meetings every few weeks to review progress, ensure checkpoints for feedback and correct any assumptions made during the creation of the technical specifications.



3-A      July 6, 2004 Proposal from PM Connect