Providian Trust

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Providian Trust Case Study

Executive Summary:

Providian Trust is a company which is rich in tradition, experience, and a high level of customer service, but was void of technology, information management, and therefore also void of an IT competitive advantage. Providian Trust was in major need of reengineering and simply implementing a new software system (Access Plus) was not going to give the company a competitive advantage. The company was going to need a dramatic redesign of business processes and intense “reprogramming” of most of the employees as well as the implementation of leading edge software and information technology solutions if it was to again be profitable and become a competitive player. With the implementation of the Access Plus system, came the reduction of 180 jobs within the company. This put a tremendous strain on the Human Resources Department, causing the department to resist the implementation of the project. CEO Stephen Walsh faced much scrutiny over the decision to convert from Providian’s outdated information system. After much reflection, Walsh decided to move ahead with the conversion process. His decision would play a role in redesigning the Providian image.


Providian Trust was a major trust company that provided financial and fiduciary services. Its principal source of revenue came from residential and commercial mortgages, and consumer and corporate loans. Michael LeBlanc, the Senior Vice President of Trust, Investment and Treasury, led the project aimed at reengineering Providian Trust's business processes by implementing a major software system called Access Plus- an asset management system developed by Select One. In 2004, Providian Trust was slowly slipping away from profitability and was allowing competitors to become more attractive to new and existing clients. The problems that Providian were facing were not going to be resolved by only implementing new technology, but rather a new environment and culture needed to be reborn. The company needed to be reengineered.


1. Poor Planning and Implementation of the Access Plus software system 2. Dictating Unrealistic Project Deadlines
3. Lack of Proper Testing which couldn’t gauge future problems 4. Lack of Attention to the Human and Organizational Aspects of IT 5. Communication and Culture

From the beginning, the project was plagued with problems which stemmed from poor planning and implementation methods. Projects often fail due to unrealistic deadlines. This occurs when the project manager does not effectively break down the project into manageable sections with reasonable milestone dates. It also occurs when too much change is expected in too short a time frame. In the case, Providian was under pressure to match the technical level of its competitors within a year. However, the scope of the project involved changing the processes of a network that involved over 216 branches and was budgeted at $18 million. While a skilled project manager would have been able to do this, the head of the project had no prior experience with undertaking a project of this scope, thus making the time frame unrealistic. Also, as time passed, the pressure to maintain the initial deadline increased resulting in the project committee's decision to drive the project through with little user feedback. The acceleration in the implementation process also resulted in little to no testing taking place to determine whether or not the current employees could work and/or learn the new system. This may have presumably caused problems in the long run as most of the Trust employees who worked with customers knew little about computers.

The Simulation Work Environment (SWE) was initially planned to be a live user test (using trust officers) to gauge the effectiveness of the new tool and its corresponding changes in the business processes. The test was also supposed to provide data on the system and its key...
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