U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform Ambassador Joseph M.Torsella said the Umoja Project is a foundational building block for management reform in the United Nations.
In his remarks on the Fifth Committee Information and Communication Technology and Umoja, Mr. Torsella stressed that the United States firmly believe in the importance of Umoja.
“We find it disconcerting that that the third progress report on the enterprise resource planning project (A/66/381) is defined by corrective reactions to events and issues that should have been avoided with better project planning and effective leadership.” -Mr. Torsella
He said with Umoja now two years behind schedule, his delegation is extremely concerned about the timeline, the cost and scope of the product that will be delivered. He added that the United States is concerned that the final product will be considerably less capable and considerably more costly than what Member States were told to expect.
“Industry statistics show that more than 60% of ERP implementation fails. And According to McKinsey Consulting only five percent of ERP projects are a complete success. The three major reasons most consistently cited as to why projects do not succeed are: 1) lack of top management commitment; 2) poor project design and management; and3) miscalculation of the time and effort required.” -Mr. Torsella
He noted that in reading the Secretary General’s report and ACABQ reports, those factors sound all too familiar, raising the question of whether Umoja is exhibiting warning signs.
“First, the commitment by senior management to Umoja has thus far been inadequate. While we welcome the DSG as Chair of the Steering Committee and indeed her presence has produced a stabilizing effect. It is an ad interim appointment.” -Mr. Torsella
He emphasized that Umoja needs a strong executive sponsor who is personally responsible for ensuring the success of the project.