IDB-9: Integrated Business Solution: Program Optima

Mar 2013
During 2008 and 2009, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB, or Bank) assessed and documented shortcomings and constraints in its information technology (IT) capabilities, and in 2008 it created the IT Roadmap project (later Program Optima) to address these issues. As part of the IDB-9 Report, the Bank committed to the implementation of Program Optima to improve its efficiency in delivering services through IT. The program evolved over time, with its focus changing from information systems to business process reengineering. Also during 2010, the scope of the program was expanded to include areas that were originally left out of the program. Consequently, the budget assigned to the program increased from the original US$37 million to US$55.5 million. Program Optima suffered two major setbacks and changes in direction, the first in early 2009, when irregularities in the contracting of the consulting firm stopped the project for eight months; and the second in late 2010, when concerns were raised by senior Bank Management about the direction of the program. The team was moved to the Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness and a new Manager was hired, a process that again delayed the work for about eight months. Since the end of 2011 a new Optima team has been in charge of the program. The Bank has not yet implemented the necessary changes on its internal processes and IT systems to fulfill the requirements set out in the IDB-9 Report. However, the new Optima team has put in place the necessary mechanisms to make this program work, and it is now moving forward at a steady pace.