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Customer Billing and Relationship Management System

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1. Introduction

I have used the Fishbone diagram to analyze the performance problems clouding Long Water's CBRS project.

Bill Watson's (CIO) report to the board should include the following:

2. Summary of Project Problems

1. The project is over-budget, overrun and off-spec: Project has gone over the allocated budget of $50 million. The first two phases were delivered months behind the original schedule. The third phase continues to have unresolved technical issues. The original release date of December 2009 has been deferred, close to $100 million has been spent with more funds still required to fix bugs with no guaranteed resolution or determinist project end date. Red flags identified during POC were overlooked by the project steering committee.

2. The current project is no longer viable with escalating project cost resulting in negative NPV

3. What Went Wrong?

The following reasons contributed to the above problems:

3.1. Intrinsic Project Complexity

Even though the project has to be delivered in 3 phases, it is still very complex and cumbersome. The end-system has to interface 10 major business systems and over 50 third-party systems.

3.2. Platform Limitations

A technical POC that was delivered identified a number of issues that warranted project stoppage and corrective actions needed to be taken. The prototyping process was flawed as it missed many of the bugs that afflicted Longview Water's operations.

3.3. Project Management Shortcomings

The Project Board ignored early warning signs and exposed the company to this risk. Key decision makers seem unfamiliar with project specifications. The CIO made unilateral decision to allow project to continue with no intervention from the board. The board's response to every problem was to issue more funds, this clearly did not work. Poor decision making, ineffective risk management and project controls led to this crisis.

3.4. Limited Vendor Experience

Despite JIT's good market reputation to deliver projects on time, their experience to handle a project of this magnitude with such complexity fell short.

4. Business Options

I recommend Bill Watson (CIO) to table the following options to the board:

4.1. Re-scope Project - best option

Bill must advise the board to redefine this project as a program with 60 sub-projects with incremental funding upon each stage approval.



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