Project Management Institute

A Taxing Plan

The U.S. Government Is Creating a PMO To Ensure A Massive IT Overhaul Follows Form

U.S. taxpayers aren't the only ones who need help dealing with the new tax codes. The government's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched a US$291 million program earlier this year to update roughly 140 computer systems so they are aligned with new tax laws. The IRS is creating a program management office (PMO) to ensure delivery, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Project teams will span operational, legal and IT departments. Those teams will be responsible for upgrading many of the business and individual tax codes in the existing IT system that receives and analyzes returns.

The PMO's responsibilities include implementing project and program management practices, according to an internal IRS spending plan. Program management and integration services alone will account for as much as US$2.5 million of the project. One emphasis will be coordinating implementation across IT functions, developing and monitoring schedules to ensure dependencies are managed, and providing status reporting and monitoring to oversight bodies.

The program budget includes an additional estimated 542 hours of full-time work to modify the system, establish new functionality, manage programs and integrate services. Yet the program isn't only an internal initiative: The IRS also is prepping to handle an additional 4 million calls in 2019 because of the new law. To make sure that tsunami of taxpayer questions and queries doesn't overwhelm the system, the IRS estimates it will spend US$1.8 million on 40,000 hours of training so employees are equipped to deal with potential taxpayer issues.

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