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The construction phase of the data center relocation project has an aggressive schedule with several identified risk areas that could lead to delays, and some key milestone dates for the data center relocation project have shifted. For the Martin Building renovation to proceed as scheduled, the Board's data center construction project needs to be completed within a set time frame. Any changes to the proposed schedule for the construction of the new data center may affect the Martin Building renovation schedule.
Officials recognize that the construction phase of the data center relocation project has an aggressive schedule. According to the high-level timeline, the construction and space build-out phase is scheduled to be completed in a relatively short 12-month time frame, from July 2013 to June 2014. Additionally, the initial planning schedule for the Martin Building renovation project and completion of the data center project has a 6-month overlap.
The data center relocation schedule calls for construction to be completed by June 2014, with the IT Infrastructure Deployment phase scheduled from January 2014 through March 2015 and the Migration of IT Services phase from July 2014 through the project's completion date at the end of 2015. Construction work on the Martin Building is currently scheduled to begin in late June 2015, during data center migration. During this 6-month overlap period, the Board plans to limit Martin Building renovations to minor construction. Although the data center relocation project team is monitoring schedule, budget, and resource risks to the project, delays in the data center schedule could affect the Martin Building renovation project.
Some key milestone dates for the data center relocation project have shifted. Project files indicated that the award of the construction contract to the general contractor initially was planned for July 2013. As of April 2013, the general contractor award was scheduled for the end of September. In August 2013, the planned award date was rescheduled to November 1, 2013. The general contractor was issued a letter of intent on November 6, 2013, and the contract was awarded on December 4, 2013. These changes resulted from (1) the Board's delay in selecting and approving a final floor plan and (2) the Board's revision of the MOU with FRB Richmond to reflect additional leased space, which led to a later date for the completion of the construction drawings. Because the data center is currently located in the Martin Building, delays to its completed migration could affect the start of the Martin Building construction.
We observed that officials have taken actions to identify and document risks to the project's schedule. Further, officials informed us that they have initiated some tasks early to proactively manage the timeline, such as performing some demolition in advance of the general contractor award and planning to preorder long-lead-time equipment so that it will be available in time for the contractor to install.
To track risks to the schedule and other project risks, the project team is maintaining a risk register. The risk register is a document that lists risk items identified for the data center relocation project. It provides a description of the risk, assigns a probability and level of impact for the risk, and identifies a primary contact/assignee. Comments on the status of the risk and actions taken relating to each risk are also included. In particular, we noted that the risk register included FRB Richmond's award of the construction contract and the timely approval of planned electrical upgrades by the electric company and the City of Baltimore.
The construction phase of the data center relocation project has an aggressive schedule, with a six-month overlap between completion of the data center migration and commencement of the Martin Building renovation. Some key milestone dates have shifted, and program officials have tracked these dates as well as other schedule risks on the risk register. Because the Martin Building renovation project schedule depends on the timely completion of the data center migration, we believe that contingency plans should be developed in the event that delays begin to impact the Martin Building renovation schedule.
We recommend that the Director of the IT Division
The Director of the IT Division stated that she agrees with the recommendation and that action has already been taken to monitor project schedule risks and to identify possible approaches to mitigating the impact of potential delays. Extensive project governance and communication strategies involving dependent project stakeholders have been established.
In our opinion, the action described by the Director is responsive to our recommendation. We plan to follow up on the division's actions to ensure that the recommendation is fully addressed.