Communications of the Association for Information Systems


This case is a follow on to "Colorado Benefits Management System: Decision Time" (McCubbrey and Fukami, 2005). It chronicles the events in the two years that followed the ill-advised conversion of the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS). CBMS was converted over the objections of the user community and after the expenditure of approximately $100 million. The results were both predictable and avoidable. The system was fraught with errors, and the fallback plan was never implemented. Clients, principally the poor and elderly, suffered as a result of the system's errors and poor performance. An audit conducted by the State of Colorado found that millions of dollars had been misspent after conversion. As of August 2006, CBMS remains a troubled system and has received a considerable amount of unfavorable publicity in the local and national media. Colorado counties are struggling to use the system and worker morale is suffering. A lawsuit against the State is pending. The case concludes by asking: Who is to blame for this mess? Why is it taking so long to fix? What could have been done differently to avoid the resulting chaos? What should be done to repair CBMS? How can progress be measured?