The Idaho Transportation Department is about to begin a well-conceived,
15-month transition to a new Integrated Financial Management
System (IFMS) and its accompanying software suite from American
Management Systems (AMS) called Advantage 3.
The new system will provide all the functionality of the
present system with the addition of many other features, including
a web interface, on-line time sheets, interface to FHWA, proven
integration, fantastic reporting capability, grants management
and job orders.
"These are exciting times for the Department and this
is a major initiative," says Susan Simmons, ITD Administrative
Services Division Administrator. "There has been a lot
of hard work to get the project this far. Many people have
worked hard at putting together the requirements and evaluating
vendors. We also have the support of the Board, the Director,
the Governor and State Controller behind this project."
The AMS project team will meet with ITDs core project
and process teams in Boise on April 5. This initial session
will focus on forming the integrated AMS/ITD teams and to
define expectations for the first phase of the project.
The project teams will be organized into six process
teams that will focus on budget, costing, Human Resources/payroll,
receivables, procurement/payables/assets and reporting.
Three fundamental principles will guide the transition process:
1) There will be no customizations of the new system
2) Employees who will use the system will be extensively involved
in the transition
3) The emphasis will be on a system perspective, rather than
What the latter means, in practical terms, is that ITD will
be challenged to look for alternative ways to accomplish a
desired function (including changing the process, if necessary),
rather than trying to customize the system.
We recognize that the system will not work unless it
meets the needs of the department. And in order to know how
we are doing, we need continuous feedback and must provide
frequent project status reports, explains Ken Stewart,
the departments IFMS automated systems manager.
He said ITD is committed to installing a complete system,
not a series of add-on modules.
That approach is consistent with the AMS strategy, which
requires a holistic view. Processes will be adapted to the
system instead of altering the system to fit the department,
The system will function properly first, and then security
rules will determine how it will be deployed throughout the
The AMS project will be completed in three high-level phases:
After approximately 15 months of intense work,
the new financial system should be ready for operation on July