All capital investment projects require an investment appraisal and feasibility study. These two were not carried out in the case of the Technical Underwriting Financial System (TUFS). The two reviews are critical evaluations that enable a business to evaluate the risks, costs, and benefits of a project before investing in it. As mentioned in the case, the e-business system was not working as expected after two years since it was implemented. Besides, the company continued to incur additional money on the project instead of realizing the supposed benefits. This can be an indication of IT failure. Further, it can be noted that the expected benefits are not clearly defined at the inception of the project.
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Problems and ways of preventing them
In this case, it can be noted that there are a number of factors that contributed to the failure of the project. The first problem is that the system did not meet the required basic underwriting needs. This can be attributed to the fact the technical team did not obtain the necessary support from the underwriting department. Thus, the concerned departments were not on the same page on the capability of the project. Secondly, there was a time constraint.
The technical team had to work with a limited amount of time. This led to a deliberate omission of critical parts of the system. Thirdly, there was a lack of proper consultation and communication between the IT and finance departments. This led to a lack of clearly defined benefits. Also, there was no contingency fund set aside for unexpected costs that may arise. The fourth problem is that there was no proper change management plan in place. In the case study, it can be noted that the IT department did not come up with a program for training and help desk. Implementation of a new system requires adequate training. Finally, it can be observed that the project was poorly aligned with the company’s strategies.
What can be done to prevent the problems in the future?
A number of measures can be put in place to ensure that the problems will not recur in the future. First, the company should have buy-in from stakeholders before executing IT projects (McKeen & Smith, 2012). This improves the development and transition process of the project. Secondly, there is a need to carry out proper research & development of the IT projects before implementation. Feedback received when making sales and strategies of the company should be integrated during the research and development phase of the project to ensure that the system suits the needs of the company. Further, proper requirement planning for a project should be carried out. Finally, there is a need to avoid a narrow view of the functions to be performed by an IT project (McKeen & Smith, 2012). This will encourage collaboration with other concerned departments.
What can be done to realize the benefits?
All is not in the project. The management needs to take a holistic review of the entire project. The best action that the company should take is to stop the project and go back to a discussion with the participants for better alignment of the project with the functions of the organization. This will entail evaluating the cost and benefits of the project and incorporating the underwriting team in the development of the project. Specifically, the IT team needs to come up with a training program, support, and feedback mechanism (McKeen & Smith, 2012).
Ways of measuring benefits
Measurement of project benefits needs to be carried during the planning stage. In this case, the benefits can be measured by quantifying the savings that arise from the use of the TUFS (McKeen & Smith, 2012).
McKeen, J. D., & Smith, H. A. (2012). IT strategy issues and practices. USA: Pearson.