the hardware and the benefits to be provided by the applications. To its credit, the IRS is testing prototypes of most applications, but deployment of the underlying hardware does not appear to be coordinated closely with the analysis of prototype systems.

Accordingly, the committee makes the following recommendations, in addition to the two presented above in this chapter:

Recommendation 2.3. Serious effort should be made to upgrade the IRS’s software and systems development capabilities, starting with the education of top management. The Integration Support Contract (ISC) could be used immediately to obtain people with the requisite experience to perform critical management activities in the near term and to teach IRS managers how to perform those functions in the long term.23

Recommendation 2.4. An overall technical structural description of the IRS’s systems that focuses on the infrastructure should be produced immediately, coupled with an overall, coherent, project management plan. At a minimum, the structural description must contain a concise representation of the TSM system model, data model, and framework for application development.

Recommendation 2.5. The most important TSM projects, most notably the Integrated Case Processing (ICP) project, should be conducted using modern, mature development techniques in order to focus IRS developer attention. Then, those techniques should be applied appropriately in all other TSM projects, as they are developed. Until the IRS can show process improvement in critical projects such as ICP, significant investments in the infrastructure needed to support them should be delayed. Specifically, the IRS should “hold” mainframe upgrades, building expansion, and the deployment of DPS until the development process, as spearheaded by ICP, has matured.

Recommendation 2.6. Analytic studies to be conducted by IRS of security, throughput, reliability, and other quantifiable design parameters should establish metrics to be used to support and direct overall decisions.

23  

The committee understands that the IRS has already committed to this type of approach; however, it was unable to assess actual progress in implementing the approach. Oversight organizations should view this as an important aspect of the IRS modernization.



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