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CS350– Software Project Management
Fall Quarter 2012
Case Study #1 – Cisco Systems

Read the “Cisco Systems, Inc.: Implementing ERP” case study and work with your team to develop a presentation for the senior management of Cisco. They have hired you as an independent consultant to provide feedback about the ERP project through a 20 minute presentation. After the talk, there will be some time for questions by senior management (your peers and myself).

Consider addressing some (clearly, you do not have time for all) of the following questions in your presentation:

1. Was the project a success? How did the project team measure the success of the project? Was the ERP team smart or just plain lucky?

2. What factors made the difference between success and failure of the Cisco ERP project? a. List the success factors and whether the factors are replicable. b. List the sources of difficulty and how those sources might have been prevented and overcome more successfully.

3. Was enough analysis, planning or project justification performed prior to project startup? Should they have moved a little more deliberately? Under what conditions is it more damaging to delay than to make a bold and possibly disastrous decision to move forward with a project?

4. Did Cisco spend enough time to configure the ERP system? Did the compressed configuration phase negatively impact the quality of the system?

5. Cisco decided to change its existing business processes to match the functionality of the ERP system package. Was that the correct decision? Should they have customized the package to match business processes?

6. Cisco went live with ERP in a big-bang fashion, which is inherently risky. Was this the correct approach? How did Cisco mitigate the risks associated with this approach?

7. Did Cisco do enough during the project to mitigate the risk of performance problems they encountered in production?
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