Providian Trust: Tradition and Technology (A)
Principles of Information Systems GIST 500
Providian Trust was a major trust company that provided financial and fiduciary services. Its principal source of revenue came from which include 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. . LeBlanc believed that the implementation of access plus would give management the power to control client's accounts and improve the operations in both the front and back offices. The project was to last for 20 months and cost $18 million. Several committees were set up to implement and plan the project. LeBlanc had a keen knowledge in the trust market but lacked any IT project management experience, so he asked Todd Benari - the Vice President of Trust operations to head the project team. Even though Providian trust had two IT departments with a team of 270 IT personnel, only the 10 of the 30 personnel in the Trust Operations department were included in the project team. While the project was fraught with good intentions and planning like the revision of the business processes to use technology as an enabling mechanism, centralization and consolidation of administration of trust information, other areas did not go so well. ANALYSIS OF THE CASE
Based on the facts presented in the case, it may be assumed that while LeBlanc wanted to convert the trust division's information system into a more an efficient one the ultimate result of this project would have been a reengineering of the division's business processes. While the old system allowed agents to be personally involved in customer accounts the proposed new system operations people would be assuming the duties of the trusts officers. According to some studies, on average approximately 70% of reengineering projects fail. This high failure rate is often due to poor planning and the lack of preparation for negative employee reactions. It is therefore likely that Providian Trust will also fall within that 70% bracket based on the poor planning and implementation of the project, the lack of proper leadership and the negative responses displayed by the employees. Poor Planning and Implementation
From the beginning the project was plagued with problems which stemmed from poor planning and implementation methods. Dictating Unrealistic Project Deadlines - According to some experts projects often fail due to unrealistic deadlines. This is 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. Failing to Break Projects Into Chunks As stated before, poor timeline planning is often the result of...
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