The success of a project is highly dependent on the project implementation process. Proper project implementation should discover red flags in the project and formulate methods of overcoming the problems, before the IT project goes live (Crum, 2002).
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Incorporating the ultimate users of the project in the design and implementation of an IT project is one of the key factors that determine the success of the project. Failure to follow the right procedure in project initiation and implementation would make an IT project face many problems. This is the major issue that faces the Technical Underwriting Financial System (TUFS) of Northern Insurance.
Northern Insurance implemented Technical Underwriting Financial System (TUFS) to increase the efficiency of the underwriting process. However, the software was unable to solve the problem. Northern Insurance spends vast sums of money fixing errors in TUFS. This necessitates the company to determine the source of the problem to prevent continued spending on an inefficient system.
One of the major factors that led to TUFS’ current problem is failure to incorporate employees who would use the system in the design and implementation of the system. Failure to incorporate relevant employees increased employee resistance to the system.
Therefore, it is vital for the company to incorporate the ultimate users of the software in the design and implementation of TUFS. In addition, the company should ensure that it trains employees on how to use the system (Kerzner, 2003).
Testing is one the critical phases of an IT project implementation. A company should ensure that there is ample time for testing the IT project. Testing helps in detecting red flags in the system. Northern Insurance did not undertake sufficient tests on TUFS prior to its implementation.
This led to the discovery of various problems when the company had already implemented the system. Undertaking alterations to a system when it is up and running is usually more expensive than doing the alterations during the testing phase (Martin, 2011).
Northern Insurance needs to undertake an overhaul of TUFS to realize its real benefits. Doing minor changes to the system would not solve all the problems. It is evident that most of the problems arose during the project initiation phase. The project implementation team did not seek the views of the users of the system. In addition, the project implementation team implemented the project in a hurry to beat the deadline.
This led to the abandonment of various critical aspects of the system. In making the necessary changes to the system, the IT department should incorporate the views of employees of the underwriting department. Employees of the underwriting department should form an integral part of the project implementation team. In addition, the company should train employees of the department on how to make maximum use of TUFS.
Proper implementation of TUFS would make the company reap maximum benefits from the system. The company should measure its benefits by determining the man-hours that it would save due to use of the system (Waller, 2005). TUFS would enable underwriting managers receive underwriting reports with a click of the mouse.
For Northern Insurance to reap the full benefits of TUFS, employees in the underwriting department should embrace the system. They should use the system in their daily operations (Ewusi-Mensah, 2003). Therefore, it is vital for the company to determine the level of employee acceptance of the system.
Crum, J. (2002). Using Oracle 11i. Indianapolis, IN: Que Publishing.
Ewusi-Mensah, K. (2003). Software development failures: Anatomy of abandoned projects. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Kerzner, H. (2003). Advanced project management: Best practices on implementation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
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Martin, J.W. 2011. Unexpected consequences: Why the things we trust fail. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Waller, A. (2005). IT for property people. London: Taylor & Francis.