Foremostco Computer System Switchover
“What should Foremost do now! ” From the case, we know that Foremost use only one year to rashly finish a new computer system for their logistics and even there are several bugs exists, they still decide to forge ahead with the switchover. The result turned to be a disaster. The computer system, newly designed to handle all the logistics of the business, was not doing what It was supposed to do. Due to the buggy system, almost all the Important documents were printing out blank or not matched customer orders.
So a great number of customers felt angry since they did not receive their orders or they were to even billed at all. Also since the new language is hard to learn, the staff was further frustrated and Foremost lost several key employees. Foremost also lost a great amount of money to develop this useless and buggy computer system. Now I’ll discuss the events that led to current situation and analysis what could have been done to avoid the current crisis and what would Foremost going to do In the future to compensate.
The decision to do the development in-house The first decision was that when they agreed to build their own application software from scratch. Basically, I don’t think this is a wise decision. Actually there was a better choice for them at the beginning that is to use off the shell program. This is a cheaper way compared to in house development and also save a lot of time and efforts. Also they found out that there Is no suitable off the shell program for them to perform tasks they required, but they should not banish this option only by intuition.
On one hand, they didn’t have strong evidence to prove that the in house development would success in the end; on the other hand, they could considering changing their old business logics and find a matching point with their requirement and the off the shelf program. Foremost have been processing their data on the old system and their data structure and order Info should be upgraded as well. Plus, It Is almost Impossible to find a product that will slut perfectly with their requirement since It Is not designed specifically for Foremost. O I think they should think more deeply and find out whether they can work out with the off the shelf system. The overall project management of the effort Designing a whole new computer system is a really challenging and time-cost goal to start with. Robert did not have any IT backgrounds and she only gave a one year limit mime to developing the new software. Typically, a mature database system need years of developing and debugging by experienced programmers before It Is able to carried out. Let alone the fact that Foremost is not a company that focused on this area.
Robert didn’t have any IT background, and only gave a one year deadline for the plan. The one year time limit is too optimistic for them. So obviously this decision will inevitably come to nothing. Foremost chose to do something that they are not good at and have no prior experience. It is a dangerous decision. Because of the time limit, buggy. The changes in leadership and personnel Robert hired Ditz at the beginning and trusted him too much, after she found out that Ditz did not actually make any progress, it is too late since seven months has passes by, so she fired Ditz.
It seems the right things to do since Ditz is not qualified for this project. But Ditz has worked for this project for seven months and no one knows this project more better then he, and the personnel is familiar with Ditz. This is inefficient since the old staff know the project better and the new staff needs a lot of time to follow the rate of the progress. Also new leader and personnel may deny he previous work done by before and start the project from beginning, this is a big waste of time and effort.
Fired Ditz and hire Hart will inevitably reduced the efficiency and even worse Hart fired former personnel hired by Ditz. Thus the new leadership and personnel barely know the project and everything should almost start from beginning. What could have been done to avoid the current crisis Firstly, being realistic when making the decision and consider thoroughly, they can choose a existing off the self program to run their data and orders by adjusting their old data and order structure. Secondly, when things doesn’t come out as plan, make adjustment to compensate instead of stick to the original plans.
When Robert find out there is no any real progresses after seven months, she should find a plan B or delay the deadline since the rest task is impossible to carry out in remaining six months. Last, do not change leadership and personnel frequently. When Robert found out Ditz is not qualified, she could hire Hart but at the same time let Ditz become a assistant for Hart. And should not let Hart hire the former personnel since they are familiar with the project. What would Foremost going to do in the future to compensate.
In short term, Foremost should immediately stop using and developing the new system and reuse the old system to revive the logistics of their business. Make sure that the current orders can be finished as soon as possible. In order to make every orders finished by schedule and recover the customer’s information, maybe Foremost should stop receive requirements for one or two days. At the same time Foremost shout try to recover some missing information and make backup for the important information. In long term, in order to win the customer back, Foremost must change and revise the project management method and personnel arrangement.