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Providian Trust Tradition and Technology (A) Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1230 1165 Words (4 Pages) F. Warren McFarlan, Melissa Dailey Harvard Business School : 398008
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

This case is based on the challenges that come up in a change implementation process. It also highlights the requirements of a change process and the critical success factors in a change process. At the trust, the employees were technology averse. The management also did not do anything significant for changing this factor that was crucial to the implementation of a technologically advanced system in the organization. The main strength of the program was the realization that change was needed within the organization because the old system was inefficient, making the company less competitive. The organization also lacked an efficient communication system in the change teams.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What key issues and challenges led to the initiation of the Access project?

  2. What organizational changes that the company should have made (but failed to do) before and during the project to ensure the success of the Access + project?

  3. What were the strengths and weaknesses of Providian’s approach to managing the project?

  4. How would you evaluate the roles (good or bad) that the internal auditor Peter Storey played throughout the project? Do you agree with him, why and why not (if you were in his role, what would you have done differently)? Should he be fired, why and why not?

  5. If you were in charge of the project, what would you do differently? What have been your experiences and observations of IS projects in your organizations? If you were in charge of the healthcare IS implementation project in your organization, what would be the top three things/issue on your agenda list?

Case Analysis for Providian Trust Tradition and Technology (A) Case Solution

1. What key issues and challenges led to the initiation of the Access project?

The board of directors assessed that the company’s information system was outmoded. The activities were taking longer than the time consumed in a new system. Also, these activities required greater resources. For example, creating a financial report for a customer took the efforts of operators belonging to the front as well as the back office; this meant additional human resources. It also took three months to generate this report. This increased time requirement made the trust seem less competent against the competition. These competitors were doing the same activities in lesser time and lesser resources. The Access Project presented a huge challenge. The reason is that the employees did not know how to operate a technologically advanced system. This can be seen by their technology adverse nature in the usage of computers as well. Therefore, the challenge presented was resource utilization. The trust did not want to waste their investment because of handling mistakes that might occur because of the employees being less knowledgeable in technology. Also, the company was giving wages to full-time employees who were inefficient in the work. They exceeded deadlines at times and gave incorrect statements.

2. What organizational changes that the company should have made (but failed to do) before and during the project to ensure the success of the Access + project?

There are two changes that the company should have done to ensure the success of the Access Project. Firstly, the employee structure should have been changed. There were 204 IT employees in retail banking support. The operations department only had 30 IT employees. If there were more employees in the operation department, managing the huge inflow of data would have been easier. The company should have increased the number of employees in the operations IT department.

The other thing that the trust would have changed is training the front and back-office workers to use the new technology. Their technology averse nature made it difficult for them to operate it despite the level of investment made in the project. Also, the working conditions were such that the workers worked from the official office timings and ended at the official ending times. They were not concerned about the deadlines. This shows that they were not dedicated to their work. They were not motivated enough to put in extra effort in completing a task.

3. What were the strengths and weaknesses of Providian’s approach to managing the project?

The only major strength identified was the availability of investment for the Access Project. One other strength was having the leadership convinced about the need for the change. Even though this was the first part of the change process and the others failed, this can be regarded as a strength.

The weakness was with the next steps of the change process. The change leader should have created urgency for the change process that he did not do. This did not convince the employees that a change was required. They kept resisting it which led the Access project to failure. The second weakness was the deficiency of communication between the change teams. The other major weakness is the low computer knowledge and the technology adverse nature of the employees including the trust employees. IT also did not play a proper role in installing computers. One other factor that caused a stress factor among the employees was the announcement that some employees will be laid off after the change process. This made it difficult for the initiative to be successful.

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