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Driver And Vehicle Licensing Societys DVLS Project Failure Case Solution

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DVLS case is regarding an attempt of driver vehicle licensing society to replace their outdated database system with a modern information system that has the capability of not only addressing new requirements of the organization, but also to prepare itself for the future challenges. The top management of the driver and vehicle licensing society made an extended effort for six years and invested more than £49 million to complete the project. In addition to this, during the lifeline of the project, the top management signed multiple agreements with third parties like EY for service of consultancy, WIPRO for technical management, TIES for project evaluation etc. Despite these efforts, the DVLS had to terminate the project before its completion primarily because of cost overruns, multiple budget and time extensions, limited evident benefits of the system, and continuous deterioration of management’s image in front of the general public. 

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Overview of DVLS

  2. Analysis of the Escalation Process at DVLS

  3. Recommendations

Case Analysis for Driver And Vehicle Licensing Societys DVLS Project Failure Case Solution

2. Analysis of the Escalation Process at DVLS

Usually, in any project management failure case, there are various distinctively apparent issues. In this section, a brief analysis of the escalation process at DVLS will be carried out to evaluate problems, challenges, and the decisions of the top management.  

i. Drifting

Since the beginning, DVLS information system encountered ambiguities of various kinds. First of all, the top management viewed the project as a mere technical upgrade; hence, it showed little direct involvement in the project. The IT team, which was delegated the task of managing the project took it as a technology project and excluded the strategic perspective behind it. As a result, conflicts regarding the project’s direction started emerging, and the top management decided to seek external support for the resolution of the problem.

ii. Treating Symptoms

The biggest issue with the project management case was that the top management took the problem lightly. Instead of treating symptoms, the top management saw problems emerging relating to the project as isolated number of incidents for which there was no need of changing the direction, or the goal of the project. Classifying project problems as a one of isolated issue is a classic project management blunder. The top management also discontinued its agreement EY consultancy service and entered into an agreement with another project management firm, WIPRO. Despite these efforts, problems associated with the project increased considerably and the top management started outsourcing much of its activities to third parties. During this time, the cost of the project kept increasing, and the timeline had to be extended, as well.

iii. Rationalizing Continuation

The third stage in any project that is encountering some difficulties is of rationalizing whether it is in the interest of the company to continue with the project, or not. DVLS’ top management faced a similar scenario when it was told to extend the budget as well as the timeline of the project. Initially, the project was estimated at £39 million, but later the cost doubled and the expert estimated an extension of additional three and half years. The top management agreed with the alternative plan, in an attempt to save the project and in hopes that it would deliver the promised benefits to the organization and its stakeholders. However, there was a serious threat on the continuation of the project. 

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