1. Was Outsourcing the A/P Project the Right Move for Tegan Given the Other Possible Alternatives?
Outsourcing is usually an appropriate approach when the firm lacks the appropriate expertise to facilitate the process of software development. However, in the event that there are possible alternatives to outsourcing, it is not usually the right move, given the myriad of risks and project failures associated with outsourcing. The case of Tegan outsourcing the A/P project was inappropriate; it is evident from the case that Tegan had capable in-house staffs that were knowledgeable regarding the functionality of the A/P system. In addition, the A/P project was merely tactical given the enormous effort associated with the implementation of the SAP project. Instead, Tegan could have simply incorporated the A/P project into the larger SAP project instead of embarking on a rapid solution to address its increasing growth. Other considerations for Tegan prior to the outsourcing of the A/P project include the use of co-sourcing, whereby the company could have only outsourced the upgrade of the Dunnock instead of a complete overhaul of the whole system. Tegan could have embarked on the internal customization of Dunnock to meet its changing business and user requirements.
2. What are the Tradeoffs Involved in Having the Requirements Analysis for a Project Performed by One of the Firms that Would Ultimately Bid on the Project?
Hrad performed the requirements analysis for the A/P project and later bid the project. The first significant tradeoff is that the provider will have an in depth understanding of the user and business requirements associated with the project; this implies that the bidding firm that performed the requirements analysis is in a better position to develop a system that best meets the user and business requirements of the organization. This is because the bidding firm drafted the output of the advisory project, which places them in a better position to undertake the project effectively. Another tradeoff is that it places the organization in a better position to negotiate the contract terms and the project scope. However, there is a limitation because of the likelihood that the provider will specify the project scope in accordance to its technical capabilities, which increases the risk of failure of fully meeting the project requirements. For instance, in this case, Hrad had an in-depth knowledge of the system, which placed them in a better position to offer a conservative bid that would increase their chance of winning the fixed contract while eliminating the potential undue risk.
3. Given our Journeys Through the World of System Development Methods in Recent Lectures, Discuss the Choice of the Development Methodology Employed by Hrad Technika.
The initial project development methodology adopted by Hrad was the waterfall model, implying that coding begins after the completion of the lower level design documents. The waterfall model entails requirements specification, design, implementation, verification and maintenance. With the changing circumstances highlighted in the case, the waterfall model was not appropriate software development method because it was impractical for the project to continue without changes in the user and business requirements. Constant change of user requirements poses the need to deploy an iterative method instead of relying on a linear software development methodology. The waterfall model usually leads to an increased development time and cost, is rigid and high instances of project overruns. Such a software development methodology is not appropriate under a fixed price contract because there are no avenues for scope adjustments, implying that cases of scope creep increases the risk for the provider, in this case, Hrad Technika.
4. Why Did Hrad Technika, the Firm that Performed the Requirements Analysis, have Scope and Requirements Problems Once the Project Commenced?
The first reason for potential scope problems for Hrad Technika despite having performed the requirements analysis is that it used an inappropriate development method. Definition projects require iterative development methods, whereas Hrad used a linear method, the waterfall model. The second reason for the scope problems is that Tegan lacked adequate staff to review the lower level design documents, leading to a backlog in the reviews. As a result, Hrad was not able to iterate as required. In addition, Tegan lacked experts devoted to the project because there was only one individual knowledgeable in helping to define the functionality of the A/P system. Such a situation posed the need for Hrad and Tegan to make significant adjustments on the project plan if it was to stay on track. The outcome of incorporating changes in the project plan posed the need for either pushing out the timeline of the project or reducing the functionality of the A/P system.
5. The Case Writers’ State: “Sadly, Smith Knew that “Leadership” and “Commitment”, The Paucity of Which was Blamed for Untold IT Failures were not the Problems Here” Critique- Do you Agree? What do you See as the Most Important IT Management Failures Here?
It is apparent that lack of leadership and commitment from both Hrad and Tegan played an integral role in causing problems during the implementation of the A/P project. Therefore, I do not agree with the view that lack of leadership and commitment were not the problems in the case. Tegan did not show its commitment towards the project because it failed to deploy adequate expertise to facilitate the review of LLD. Hrad was extremely flexible with Tegan, although Tegan was rigid and lacked the commitment needed to see the project turn out a success. Despite the cost overrun and the willingness of Hrad to meet some of the cost, Tegan insisted on the terms of the fixed price contract. This indicates lack of commitment towards achieving the goals of the project. Another potential problem that could have jeopardized the project is the use of the same firm that carried requirements analysis for implementing the project. In addition, the use of the fixed price contract also imposed a significant challenge for the provider in addressing the changes in the course of project implementation.
5. Which of the Options for Moving Forward that Tegan Identified would you Recommend?
It is evident that the project had failed in meeting its deliverables and needed extra time and cost to ensure that the project deliverables are met. The potential reasons for project failures included the slow turn rate for the LLDs and the realization of new system features not outlined in the requirements analysis. Among the identified options, the recommendation is to push out the timeline for the project instead of significantly reducing the functionality of the project. This recommendation is because the decision will benefit both Hrad and Tegan in the sense that the project deliverables will be met and Hrad will recover its relationship with Tegan.