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Coordinated state-local information systems offer the hope of integrated services to citizens and streamlined operations within government. Many government and professional organizations are searching for ways to make these essential systems more successful. But there is very little reliable information about what makes state-local projects succeed or fail. This study, sponsored by the New York State Governor's Task Force on Information Resource Management (now the NYS Office for Technology), was one of the first attempts in the US to analyze and document practices that lead to success.

The objective of this project was to identify and document the practices associated with successful state-local information systems by studying the experiences of eleven existing initiatives in New York State

The main result of the project is a handbook of best practices called Tying a Sensible Knot: A Practical Guide to State-Local Information Systems. It presents a variety of practices that project managers and participants can use to develop successful state-local information systems. The project also uncovered issues that constrain success, but that cannot be addressed by single project teams acting on their own. These constraints are the result of environmental factors that reduce the effectiveness and increase the cost of all state-local systems. The final project report discusses these systemic constraints on effective systems and offers recommendations for mitigating them.