1) Management issues on the part of Fancy Consultants & Company a. Sent an intern alone on his first assignment
b. Assignment was only slated for 1 week (Piccoli 53)
c. Pulled intern from job before it was completed
2) Blake jumped right to an IT solution without understanding the as-is system fully. He “Put the cart before the horse” (Piccoli 49). 3) Only topical analysis was done causing failure in the design and implementation stages a. Interviewed GM, and FM’s
b. Did not interview end users
c. Could have used a different methodology
4) Blake left the job before it was completed
a. did not provide proper training and support after implementation b. did not communicate with his replacement one he was gone
c. had no follow up with the GM or functional managers of Royal Hotel
1) FC&C made a number of mistakes at the management level that contributed to the failure of this system. First, it sent an intern, by himself, on his first project. It is unreasonable to think that Blake, after only two weeks of orientation, had the skill set necessary to get the job done by himself. They should have sent in some kind of support team for Blake to fall back on. Second, they originally only slated one week for this assignment. It make sense that FC&C would want to provide the Royal Hotel with a timetable for completion, but they did so before the project even started and set expectations unreasonably high. It would have been a better plan to tell Royal Hotel that they would have a better timeline available one the analysis phase was completed. Third, FC&C pulled their intern before the project was completed and replaced him with a different intern. It seems that if this firm wanted any kind of continuity it may have been better suited leaving Blake in to close out the job.
2) Blake should have taken a few days, if not weeks, to analyze the current preventative maintenance system in place. He should have followed the maintenance team, and housekeeping staff around at least one rotation to fully understand why the PM system worked for them. He only took the GM’s interpretation of the problem into consideration without fully understanding the systemic effects this new system would have on the structure, people, process, and technology of the Royal Hotel.
3) After the new system was implemented, Blake should have provided support to the functional managers, and staff of the Royal Hotel. This would helped the hotel employees more effectively and efficiently transition to the new system. Additionally, if the managers of the Royal Hotel acted as champions for Espresso! the rest of the staff would have been more likely to follow suit.
4) Blake could have also taken a slightly different approach to the implementation of this new system. He could have used a prototype based methodology (Dennis, Wixom, and Tegarden 13). He could have then focused on changing the system, one floor at a time, starting with the floors that hosted entry level or lower level guests. The end goal would be to implement the system in the executive level suites after the staff have mastered the process. This process, although longer, would have resulted in a staff that better understood the new preventative maintenance system.
Responses to Case Questions
1) Despite having relatively little specific information about why the system failed, what do you think are the main reason s for such failure? A major reason for the failure is that Blake skipped the analysis phase of the project and put the “cart before the horse” (Piccoli 49). He jumped to an IT solution for a problem he did not fully understand. Blake was not present for the design or implementation phase of the project. “The director of IT, who mentioned that the installation and training session had been smooth sailing. Employees had been very eager to learn about the system but seemed to lose interest rapidly afterward.” (Piccoli 54). It seems as though the staff saw great potential in Esspresso!, but due to the lack of ongoing training and support for the new system after implementation they could not sacrifice any more time to troubleshoot the issues. 2) How could you fix these problems?
If I were Blake, I would have requested to stay on the project through completion. This would have allowed for continuity between the original design and final product. Also, if I had been reassigned, I would have made it a point to schedule biweekly teleconferences with Jack, and Royal Hotel’s director of IT, and ALL other functional managers affected by the implementation of a new IS (i.e. Housekeeping, maintenance) If I were Fancy Consulting Inc. I would have sent a “team” on this project. Even having one additional member would have allowed for more in-depth analysis, and greater continuity if one consultant was reallocated to a different project. 3) Reflecting on this experience, what do you think were the main mistakes, if any, that Blake made in handling the engagement?
As I touched on before, the main mistake Blake made was deciding on an IT solution, Esspresso!, without fully understanding the scope of the as-is system and its relationship with the Royal Hotel and its employees. The analysis phase was performed from a “top-only” perspective. He listened to the GM, and FM’s, but disregarded the employees (end users) who would be using the system. Blake also did not provide adequate training and support after implementation resulting in a system that was obsolete. If training had been a higher priority, then employees would have been more likely to understand the benefits of the new system.
Dennis, Alan, Barbara Haley Wixom, and David Tegarden. System Analysis Design UML Version 2.0. 4th. Hoboken: John Wiley, 2009. Print.
Piccoli, Gabriele. Information Systems for Managers Text & Cases. 2nd. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley, 2012. Print.