Timeline: Anchorage’s increasingly expensive software project drags on

The Anchorage Assembly last week approved more money for the city's beleaguered update to its business software. The budget now surpasses $81 million — more than 10 times as much as the administration of former Mayor Dan Sullivan initially estimated.

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz briefly halted the project after taking office. After a review, his administration decided to try to salvage it.

The city's SAP saga dates back to 2011. It's been marked by cost overruns, poor leadership and project management, staffing shortages and missed deadlines.

Here's some of the history, told through Alaska Dispatch News archives.


The SAP project launches with a $10.6 million budget and a 2012 "go-live" date.



In April, signs of trouble: Software to automate city government behind schedule; costs are rising

August: City pushes back software project launch date

October: City plans $7.5 million in additional spending on software project 


In the next year, Anchorage Assembly members started to raise alarm bells.

August: Municipality of Anchorage again delays launch of software system

September: Task of fixing troubled software project falls to new Anchorage CFO Kate Giard

October: Assembly members press for external audit of SAP

Later that month: Anchorage Assembly approves an external audit of the SAP project 


In February: Reviews conclude Anchorage's troubled software upgrade should move ahead

In March: Anchorage IT director and mayoral candidate critical of city data system revamp

May: City's troubled SAP project plans move to Sunshine Plaza building downtown

July: Mayor Ethan Berkowitz takes office, replacing Sullivan.

August: With tens of millions spent so far, Berkowitz to press 'pause' on troubled software project

October: Anchorage's troubled SAP project to continue under Berkowitz



March: Anchorage hires former IBM executive as SAP project manager


March: $40 million spent so far on city software project has had 'no measurable benefit,' mayor says

July: Anchorage Assembly reluctantly gives more money to $81 million software project

Devin Kelly

Devin Kelly was an ADN staff reporter.