Case Study: Should it be killed or could it be saved?

The Situation:

A history of haste in planning and a poor grasp of business processes caused the forecast cost of a financial services IT system replacement to blow out the original budget many times over.

Relationship managers were promising new products and improved service to their customers however the promises were empty. The dedicated project team was focused on solving increasingly less important technical issues and had no plans for implementation. A customer service nightmare.

Our Solution:

I conducted a full health check, revealing many areas for improvement in project management and governance and a looming business imperative. The choice for the sponsor was to implement the system soon to gain competitive advantage or sell the business unit. Neither choice would be without pain.

After considering costing and risks the sponsor adopted my rescue plan to replace the technical project manager with an experienced project manager, add an implementation manager to plan and transition to business use and direct the business operations manager to lead a change process for staff.

The Result:

The redirected project achieved a successful business implementation with operational work-arounds saving a $20m+ write off and avoided disposal of the business unit which would have impacted other business units negatively.

Should it be killed or could it be saved?