Project Team Staffing

Once a project has risen to the top of the priority list, the appropriate manager of systems development appoints a project manager from his or her staff of analysts. The project manager has a short time to review the project proposal created by systems research before developing a project plan. The project plan must be approved by the general manager of systems and programming and the user sponsor before the project can be funded and work started on the user requirements subphase.

The project manager is "free" to spend as much time as required in reviewing the project proposal and creating the project plan; however, this time is "charged" to the project at a rate of $26 per hour. The project manager must negotiate with a "supervisor," the manager of systems development, to obtain the required systems analysts for the project, starting with the user requirements subphase. The project manager must obtain programming resources from the manager of systems support. Schedule delays caused by a lack of systems or programming resources are to be communicated to the general manager by the project manager. All ISD personnel working on a project charge their time at a rate of $26 per hour. All computer time is billed at a rate of $64 per hour.

There are no user personnel on the project team; all team members are from ISD. Corporate Database

John Hart had for several years seen the need to use the computer to support the corporate marketing effort of the bank. Despite the fact that the majority of the bank's profits were from corporate customers, most information systems effort was directed at speeding up transactions handling for small unprofitable accounts.

Mr. Hart had extensive experience in the Corporate Banking Division of the bank. He realized the need to consolidate information about corporate customers from many areas of the bank into one corporate database. From this information corporate banking services could be developed not only to better serve the corporate customers, but also to contribute heavily to the profit structure of the bank through repricing of services.

The absence of a corporate database meant that no one individual knew what total banking services a corporate customer was using, because corporate services were provided by many banking departments. It was also impossible to determine how profitable a corporate customer was to the bank. Contact officers did not have regularly scheduled calls. They serviced corporate customers almost on a hit-or-miss basis. Unfortunately, many customers were "sold" on a service because they walked in the door and requested it. Mr. Hart felt that there was a vast market of untapped corporate customers in Ohio who would purchase services from the bank if they were contacted and "sold" in a professional manner. A corporate database could be used to develop corporate profiles to help contact officers sell likely services to corporations.

Mr. Hart knew that data about corporate customers was being processed in many departments of the bank, but mainly in the following divisions:

• Corporate Banking

• Corporate Trust

• Consumer banking

He also realized that much of the information was processed in manual systems, some was processed by time-sharing at various vendors, and other information was computerized in many internal information systems.

The upper management of FNB must have agreed with Mr. Hart because in December of 1986 the Corporate Marketing Division was formed with John Hart as its executive vice president. Mr. Hart was due to retire within the year but was honored to be selected for the new position. He agreed to stay with the bank until "his" new system was "off the ground." He immediately composed a problem statement and sent it to the ISD. Systems Research compiled a preliminary impact statement. At the next Priorities Committee meeting, a project proposal was authorized to be done by Systems Research.

The project proposal was completed by Systems Research in record time. Most information was obtained from Mr. Hart. He had been thinking about the systems requirements for years and possessed vast experience in almost all areas of the bank. Other user divisions and departments were often "too busy" when approached for information. A common reply to a request for information was, "That project is John's baby; he knows what we need."

The project proposal as prepared by Systems Research recommended the following:

• Interfaces should be designed to extract information from existing computerized systems for the corporate database (CDB).

• Time-sharing systems should be brought in-house to be interfaced with the CDB.

• Information should be collected from manual systems to be integrated into the CDB on a temporary basis.

• Manual systems should be consolidated and computerized, potentially causing a reorganization of some departments.

• Information analysis and flow for all departments and divisions having contact with corporate customers should be coordinated by the Corporate Marketing Division.

• All corporate database analysis should be done by the Corporate Marketing Division staff, using either a user-controlled report writer or interactive inquiry.

The project proposal was presented at the next Priorities Committee meeting where it was approved and rated as the highest priority MIS development project in the bank. Mr. Hart became the user sponsor for the CDB project.

The project proposal was sent to the manager of corporate development, who appointed Jim Gunn as project manager from the staff of analysts in corporate development. Jim Gunn was the most experienced project manager available. His prior experience consisted of successful projects in the Financial Division of the bank.

Jim reviewed the project proposal and started to work on his project plan. He was aware that the corporate analyst group was presently understaffed but was assured by his manager, the manager of corporate development, that resources would be available for the user requirements subphase. He had many questions concerning the scope of the project and the interrelationship between the Corporate Marketing Division and the other users of corporate marketing data. But each meeting with Mr. Hart ended with the same comment: "This is a waste of time. I've already been over this with Systems Research. Let's get moving." Jim also was receiving pressure from the general manager to "hurry up" with the project plan. Jim therefore quickly prepared his project plan, which included a general milestone schedule for subphase completion, a general cost estimate, and a request for funding. The project plan was reviewed by the general manager and signed by Mr. Hart.

Jim Gunn anticipated the need to have four analysts assigned to the project and went to his manager to see who was available. He was told that two junior analysts were available now and another analyst should be free next week. No senior analysts were available. Jim notified the general manager that the CDB schedule would probably be delayed because of a lack of resources, but received no response.

Jim assigned tasks to the members of the team and explained the assignments and the schedule. Since the project was understaffed, Jim assigned a heavy load of tasks to himself.

During the next two weeks the majority of the meetings set up to document user requirements were canceled by the user departments. Jim notified Mr. Hart of the problem and was assured that steps would be taken to correct the problem. Future meetings with the users in the Consumer Banking and Corporate Banking Divisions became very hostile. Jim soon discovered that many individuals in these divisions did not see the need for the corporate database. They resented spending their time in meetings documenting the CDB requirements. They were afraid that the CDB project would lead to a shift of many of their responsibilities and functions to the Corporate Marketing Division.

Mr. Hart was also unhappy. The CDB team was spending more time than was budgeted in documenting user requirements. If this trend continued, a revised budget would have to be submitted to the Priorities Committee for approval. He was also growing tired of ordering individuals in the user departments to keep appointments with the CDB team. Mr. Hart could not understand the resistance to his project.

Jim Gunn kept trying to obtain analysts for his project but was told by his manager that none were available. Jim explained that the quality of work done by the junior analysts was not "up to par" because of lack of experience. Jim complained that he could not adequately supervise the work quality because he was forced to complete many of the analysis tasks himself. He also noted that the quality review of the user requirements subphase was scheduled for next month, making it extremely critical that experienced analysts be assigned to the project. No new personnel were assigned to the project. Jim thought about contacting the general manager again to explain his need for more experienced analysts, but did not. He was due for a semiyearly evaluation from his manager in two weeks.

Even though he knew the quality of the work was below standards, Jim was determined to get the project done on schedule with the resources available to him. He drove both himself and the team very hard during the next few weeks. The quality review of the user requirement subphase was held on schedule. Over 90 percent of the assigned tasks had to be redone before the Quality Review Board would sign-off on the review. Jim Gunn was removed as project manager.

Three senior analysts and a new project manager were assigned to the CDB project. The project received additional funding from the Priorities Committee. The user requirements subphase was completely redone despite vigorous protests from the Consumer Banking and Corporate Banking divisions.

Within the next three months the following events happened:

• The new project manager resigned to accept a position with another firm.

• John Hart took early retirement.

• The CDB project was tabled.

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