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Child Support: Page 7 of 15

Ronald Goldberg, the BearingPoint managing director who supervised the Andersen team, says it was never his job to determine hardware sizing. "We gave some advice but not a recommendation," he says.

In all, Children's has experienced a "normal level of trouble," Goldberg says. "Every implementation has its share of troubles and quirks." The most important measure of success, he says, is that Children's never missed payroll and never missed payments to vendors.

Children's also deferred to outsiders in generating a return-on-investment analysis of the project. This was because the hospital had never tracked the ROI of technology projects before. The hospital paid Cap Gemini Ernst & Young $50,000 for an 80-page document that presented the business case, vendor evaluation and detailed ROI analysis.

Children's executives didn't drill down into the ROI figures until well after the go-live date. Hancox blames the tight deadline schedule. Only when she began asking departments to track how well they were accomplishing their ROI goals did she begin to question the validity of the numbers.

For instance, the ROI worksheet for HR called for eliminating "a tenth of an employee here, a tenth of an employee there," she says. "I go back to my HR director and say, 'You've got to start meeting your ROI,' and he says, 'I don't even have enough people to meet this ROI.' "