When the new CTO joined, he found his technology teams some way into a-flight project to develop a new, mission critical Funds Assessment platform. The project had significant challenges:
- It had been running for two years and had massively overrun on cost and time.
- The development of the platform had been outsourced to a 3rd party in Asia and had been handed over to the business for acceptance testing. However, testing had revealed lots of technical errors, alongside gaps in and missing functionality.
The new CTO advised bringing in an independent consultancy to review the code and provide an assessment of what required fixing.
However, within 3 weeks, the consultancy’s lead partner reported that they could not fix the code, as the more they fixed the more new issues they uncovered. He suggested that they throw away all of the code and start again – after significant investment to date this was clearly not going to go down well.
Jora Gill, Orbbis Partner, was the new CTO.
After a number of sleepless nights, Jora plucked up the courage to tell the CIO, who was hugely supportive, and together they decided to inform the CEO – clearly a career threatening opportunity at just six weeks into the job!
The CEO listened, clarified, and thanked Jora for having the courage to be honest and open. She then tasked Jora to reset the project and rebuild the platform, as it was essential to their business goals. However, it would need to be done within 6 months and for 20% of the overrun budget.
Jora reviewed the original requirements (over 300 pages) and the revisions / scope changes (another 200 changes). It was clear that the business were unsure of what they wanted so had scoped every eventuality – and there was no formal change management processes in place.
It was also apparent that the Steering Board was not steering, rather functioning as a progress reporting tool without any real decision-making processes.
Jora made some changes including:
- Agreeing on a clear new business case.
- Establishing one combined business and technology team under his sole direction.
- Implementing success metrics to help make trade-off decisions.
- Bringing development onsite for faster decision-making, given the shortened time.
- Introducing agile ways of working and creating an MVP focus, with other features to be added post go-live as required.
As a result:
- Team morale and performance improved dramatically, with everyone bought into shared success.
- Decision-making processes were more effective and trade-offs made regularly.
- The platform was developed and implemented in record time and was so successful that it was subsequently sold to a competitor.
Importantly, a legacy was left – a best-in-class framework for the approach, governance and execution of future projects that would support the ongoing business and digital strategy.
Orbbis deliver management consultancy through industry experts. Using the expertise and insights that our Orbbis Partners have built up, we create high-value, cost effective solutions to drive sustainable change and transformation across all business lines.
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