How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation Table of Contents Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3 The implementation process ……………………………………………………………………………….. 4 1. 2. 3. Begin with a feasible IS /IT strategy which aligned with the business strategy ……… 4 Organisational fit ……………………………………………………………………………………….. Employ a Change Management process to deal with resultant organisational issues ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5 4. 5. Employ feedback and review ……………………………………………………………………….. 5 Employ an implementation framework stipulating process standards when deploying an IS/ IT strategy …………………………………………………………………………. 5 6. 7. 8. 9. Consider and address technical issues ……………………………………………………………. Employ effective communication among stakeholders ……………………………………… 6 Allocation of the necessary resources and competencies …………………………………… 6 Adopt good project management and leadership practices, and solicit multiple level organisational commitment…………………………………………………………………… 7 10. Employ adequate training after software is completed………………………………………. 7 Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9 Appendix 1 Case Studies …………………………………………………………………………………… 13 Appendix 2…………………………………………………………….. Error ! Bookmark not defined. 1 How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation 2

How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation Introduction The history of IS/IT project development and implementation is not encouraging but on analysis key lessons may be gleaned from previous failures. In contemporary organisations an IS/IT Strategy is critical to achieving business goals, and successful strategy implementation is a crucial stage. Strategy implementation brings a range of technical and organisational decisions which must be considered before an IS/IT strategy is deployed, and it is imperative that these issues are resolved in order to achieve the desired results and reap benefits.

Definitions Failure is defined as an unrealised strategy which is cancelled at the development or implementation stage. A challenged project is one that is not completed within budget, timeframe, is deficient in functionality or features stipulated by the requirement specification or any combination of the above, where all promised benefits are not realised. Success refers to qualities, of the systems itself, example timeliness, accuracy and reliability of output (Fitzgerald and Russo 2005). The Case Studies used: L-Capital, NSW, P. Net, C.

Tel, Alpha NZ and LAS. 3 How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation The implementation process Johnson and Scholes (2002) describe the implementation process as taking an intended strategy through stages while managing internally changing constraints, external forces and environmental enablers resulting in an emergent strategy (Ward and Peppard 2003). Johnson and Scholes (1993) also state that strategic implementation constitute three elements: resource planning, organisation structure and, people and systems (Robson 1997). 1.

Begin with a feasible IS /IT strategy which aligned with the business strategy The developers of the failed computerization of the London Ambulance Service (LAS) 1992 had no experience building dispatch systems and failed to address the risks associated with the development process (Fitzgerald and Russo 2005). A well formulated IS /IT strategy, produced via a methodical approach, fully cognizant of the business objectives, is an essential prerequisite for successful implementation. Additionally it is mandatory that there is an implementation plan to guide deployment.

Earl (1993) advocates collaboration among IT professionals, users and senior management (Ward and Peppard 2003). Tighe (LAS IT Director) stated user’s views were ignored and simple issues were overlooked (Meere 2006). A good IS /IT strategy must have clear realistic goals, be flexible (Cadle and Yeates 2004), viable in terms of business risks (Ward and Peppard 2003) and be driven by good leadership. It is essential to have a contingency plan in event of failure especially in critical cases. Sufficient emphasis must be placed on deliverables and having clear milestones.

The benefits of the IS/IT strategy should be unambiguous and well articulated, NSW created numerous specifications making tracking and creditable measurement laborious and time consuming (Southon et al. 1999). 2. Organisational fit This essay combines an open system perspective and normative concept of fit (Venkatraman and Camillus 1984). Gorham (LAS Chief Executive) commented that LAS needed restructuring and the current structure was an obstacle for any form of progress (Fitzgerald and Russo 2005).

Organisational structure and culture plays a crucial role in successful implementation. The misfit between strategy and structure must be avoided by conducting a detailed analysis prior to development and implementation. NSW hospitals are implementing a state-wide IS simultaneously in comparable departments, but are at differing stages of progression and IS/IT needs; the project team is encountering difficulties due to user attitudes. Due to complexity of the organisation, an evolutionary approach to development and implementation is prescribed (Southon et al. 1999).

In the NSW there was a misfit between strategy and culture, and internal tension in the organisational structure (Southon et al. 1999). There lacked clear lines of authority and coordination between the target department, implementation team and vender (Southon et al. 1999). The Mc Kinsey 7-S model attempts to explain how strategy and systems linked to organisation culture is a valuable tool to gain understanding of the organisation (Cadle and Yeates 2004). The use of tools aids in gaining a clear picture so that there can be formulation of a plan to address and synchronise complex organisational elements How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation necessary for effective implementation (Venkatraman and Camillus 1984). This guides in creating a culture for IT that represents corporate culture to facilitate development, implementation and management (Ward and Peppard 2003). 3. Employ a Change Management process to deal with resultant organisational issues Organisational issues refer to the effects of organisational culture, structure, governance, communication and conflict between stakeholder groups (Ward et al. 2005).

In LAS, management underestimated the difficulties involved in changing the deeply ingrained culture and misjudged the industrial relations climate. This resulted in alienating staff from the development and implementation process (Fitzgerald and Russo 2005). Tighe (LAS) stated that the speed and depth of the change was simply too aggressive (Fitzgerald and Russo 2005). Handy (1995) states that it is necessary to determine the organisational culture and situation to decide if to apply a staggered approach to change, especially where there is a large gap to be bridged.

The frequency, magnitude and type of change must be considered in light of these organisational issues (Burnes 2004). Resistance to change is inevitable. In NSW, staff colluded to force a greater level of product customization and so discourage cooperation in proposed sites. Project failure in L-Captial can be attributed to the fact that senior management failed to implement a change management plan (CMP). A CMP should specify activities, resources, schedules, financial requirements and project dependencies, risks and contingencies (Warren 2006).

Burnes (2004) advocates the deployment of change agents, marketing the change and giving valid reasons for and expounding the benefits of the process. 4. Employ feedback and review Effective feedback is essential (Southon et al. 1999) to guide decision making and have a current view of the project. The lack of commitment in L-Capital inhibited effective feedback and no metrics was used for goal measurement. In the NSW case study staff was not allowed to question the proposed solution. As a result key problems were not addressed in the earlier project stages escalating the magnitude of challenges as the project progressed.

Feedback enables the necessary alterations to the strategy based on new information essentially steering the direction necessary to achieve goals or even abandon if unfeasible. 5. Employ an implementation framework stipulating process standards when deploying an IS/ IT strategy How the project team manages deployment issues, extensive changes to business practices and decision making translates to their ability to realise benefits. If an outsourced vender is used a framework would aid in drafting an implementation agreement. Departments should provide guidance on standards and quality assurance (Southon et al. 999). 5 How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation 6. Consider and address technical issues Technical issues include managing the acquisition, deployment and utilization of IT (Ward and Peppard 2003). Managing the data, information and knowledge resources of the organisation are also crucial technical issues, requiring close monitoring. Technical issues include studies on appropriate technology. The division of benefits among the organisation, the individual and the time dependency effects of IT should be considered (Southon et al. 999). IT considerations such as version control, hardware and platform requirements, platform compatibility, data standardisation, the IT infrastructure must be addressed. IT changes necessitated by the strategy must be stipulated by experienced personnel. L-Capital’s CRM had ineffective system design creating difficulties in realisation (Kim and Pan 2006). Southon et al. (1999) argues that for complex organisations, the separation of technical change from organisation changes may be necessary to spread changes over time thereby reducing risks.

No great changes in skills are required and users are faced with modest-sized development decisions which can be easily managed. 7. Employ effective communication among stakeholders CTel. project team did not discuss organisational issues that were potential areas of conflict between stakeholders but focused on non- contentious technical issues (Ward et al. 2005). The free flow of communication must be ensured in both directions through designated channels where stakeholders are aware of the process and what is expected of them.

Tighe stated that there was no effective communication at LAS and this was a contributing factor in the project failure (Meere 2006). Stakeholder consultation is essential to ventilate issues prior to and during implementation. The lack of consultation at the initial stages project can be costly – when changes are made later alteration become more expensive or functionality is curtailed. The ways in which stakeholder groups reconcile their different interests have been found to affect the implementation success.

Effective communication between groups, in particular, has been identified as a significant factor in enhancing co-operation and reducing resistance to change, whilst its absence has been proposed as a risk factor in implementation (Ward et al. 2005). Truex contends that management must go beyond communication and contribute to negotiating change and mediating disagreements between interest groups. Effective negotiation is also seen as a key means of realising the business benefits of implementation (Ward et al. 2005). 8.

Allocation of the necessary resources and competencies In L-Capital and P. net, there was a lack of investment into the human resources (Kim and Pan 2006). Wilson (1998) states that a deficient skill set, low morale, inadequate training and lack of manpower contribute significantly to project failure. Larsen and Myers (1999) report that after Alpha NZ (pseudonym) redesigned their structure and work process, there was a 64% reduction in staff and financial savings, but key human resources were depleted resulting in a failure to sustain functions.

It is imperative that contentious resource issues be resolved and appropriate resource levels be established. Current core competencies need to be acknowledged. There must be 6 How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation investment in competency creation and knowledge, and the necessary tools to implement and sustain the system must be provided. Steep learning curves pose great challenges and it may be necessary to import expertise (outsource), train or hire but that in itself requires time to become functional.

Acquiring and maintaining proficient and experienced personnel capable of developing and implementing an IS/IT strategy, and verse in integration standards and IT infrastructure, aid in reducing risk inherent in IT procurement and supplier contract management. 9. Adopt good project management and leadership practices, and solicit multiple level organisational commitment In NSW, there was a lack of commitment from management and decision making was fragmented over a range of individuals with different interests, knowledge and expertise (Southon et al. 1999).

Kim and Pan (2006) present findings of L-Capital’s attempt to implement a CRM, where there was low management support, inappropriate user participation and discontinuity of change agents. Letherer and Sethi (1988) state the lack of commitment accounted for a 52 % extreme / major problems in SISP. Executive management must develop effective relationships with line managers. They must inculcate leadership skills and soft skills including motivation and experience. Continuity of project leadership, ownership, funding and the necessary project resources must be ensured.

Project management tools, techniques, and methodologies for example, PRINCE must be used. Critical Path Analysis can be used to evaluate projects in order to keep them within budgeted implementation time. Best practices must be employed and critical success factors for business must be used to audit implementation. Managing investments in IS/IT is critical to deliver maximum value (Ward and Peppard 2003). There is difficulty in obtaining top management commitment for implementing a project plan (Lederer and Sethi 1988). Southon et al. 1999) state, “Commitment must be at all levels: senior management must be committed to funding the project, the implementation team must be committed to satisfying user needs and the users must be committed to using the system. ” New processes and ways of working must be designed and implemented effectively in conjunction with new technology. 10. Employ adequate training after software is completed Training was initiated too early and irrelevant training was conducted due to the frequency of alterations (Fitzgerald and Russo 2005). Training ensures that staff has the knowledge to use the system, and are capable of deriving inherent benefits.

Training must be effective and learning must take place. Ensuring the information system is utilised to its full capacity will mean all inherent benefits can be derived. Users must feel confident about their ability to use the system. 7 How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation Conclusion Several key factors need to be considered when implementing an IS/ IT strategy; these factors are not always cumulative. Success has key indicators and while there are no guarantees, being cognizant of these factors increases the probability of reaping the desired benefits and avoiding failure. How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation Bibliography 1. Burnes D. (2004) Managing Change. Fourth Edition. Essex: Prentice Hall This book was chosen for understanding change management, the intricacies of the process, an appreciation of the human factor and the decisive role the resource plays in successful project implementation. I used it as a reference for the change process and case studies. An incredibly useful source with a wealth of information condensed for ease of assimilation. 2. Cadle, J. and Yeates, D. (2004) Project Management for Information Systems.

Fourth Edition Essex: Pearson Education This source was chosen as management is a key ingredient in strategy development and implementation, particularly with information systems due to the dynamism of the environment, its intangible nature and the intricacies of employing feedback mechanisms to facilitate proper implementation management. This text gave me a greater appreciation of the magnitude work involved in project management. It was used for understanding the target environment, culture and aspects requiring management. This book is an invaluable resource and a great reference source. 3. Earl, M.

J. , (1993) Experiences in strategic information systems planning. MIS Quarterly. Vol. 17 No. 1 1993 1-24. This source identified the different levels of maturity with respect to information system planning. It was used to give the best practised approach of a mature organisation employing an organisational led approach to IS /IT strategy development to make sure an organisation starts with well formulated IS/ IT strategy. This source was relatively useful as it gave historic experiences to strategy development which is a prerequisite for proper implementation but did not focus on implementation issues. . Fitzgerald, G. and Russo, N. (2005) The turnaround of London Ambulance Service Computer-aided despatch system (LASCAD). European Journal of Information Systems. 14 244-257. This source was selected as the London Ambulance Service was one of the most notorious IT disasters and this article described the less publicised successful implementation called the turnaround. I used this source to describe what went wrong and what was done to correct the former implementation. I found it very useful in providing solutions to previous problems. 5. Handy, C. 1995) The Gods of Management: The Changing work of organisations, Arrow. In Cadle, J. and Yeates, D. (2004) Project Management for Information Systems. Fourth Edition Essex: Pearson Education. Handy was selected as for his work in organisation culture and structure. I used it explain and understand organisation culture, Mc Kinsey 7-S model and make recommendations for change. I found quite useful in understanding organisational fit. This source was found in the text written by Cadle and Yeates (2004). 9 How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation 6.

Johnson, G. and Scholes, K. (1993) Exploring corporate strategy. Third edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. In Ward, J. and Peppard, J. (2003) Strategic Planning for Information Systems. Third Edition. Chichester: Wiley Series in Information Systems Johnson and Scholes’s model was selected for their work in describing the implementation process. I used it to explain the implementation process I found it quite useful for this purpose. This source was located in the text by Ward and Peppard (2003) 7. Johnson, G. and Scholes, K. (2002) Exploring corporate strategy.

New Jersey: Prentice Hall. In Ward, J. and Peppard, J. (2003) Strategic Planning for Information Systems. Third Edition. Chichester: Wiley Series in Information Systems Johnson and Scholes’s model was selected for their work in describing the implementation process. I used it to understand the elements involved in the implementation process. I found it quite useful for this purpose. 8. Kim, H. and Pan, S. (2006) Towards a process model of information systems implementation: The case of customer relationship management. The Database for advances in information systems. 2006 Vol. 37 No. 59-76 This source was chosen as it gave a process model showing relationships and highlighted the use of critical success factors and their role IS implementation success as well as the detractors views. I use the process model of case studies to explain success by identifying the sequence of events or states the precede it. I thought it was a moderately useful source. 9. Larsen, M. and Mayers, M. (1999) When success turns into failure: a packagedriven business process re-engineering project in the financial services industry This source was unique as it had elements of success and failure and described the relationship between them.

I used this source to show that although cost savings for resulting restructuring may imply success, on deeper analysis the value of the human resource and its competencies are critical in sustain the success. I found it edifying and quite useful in describing the emphasis on the human resource. 10. Lederer, A. L. and Sethi, V. (1988) The implementation of strategic information systems planning methodologies. MIS Quarterly. Vol. 12 No. 3 1988 444-461 This source was selected as it featured in a text by Ward and Peppard (2003) and described the problems associated with human resource in the development and implementation stages.

I used for its statistical content in analysing development issues. I thought it was useful in presenting the data clearly. 11. Meere, J. (2006) Failure of a computer system into an organisation. University of Hertfordshire. Unit 5 November 2006 1-4 This source assisted with the simplification of the case study on the computerisation of the London Ambulance Service (LAS) 1992 failure, capturing the salient points. I used it to assist in my understanding of the Fitzgerald and Russo (2005) paper on the case study of the turnaround of LAS. I found it to be a useful ource. 10 How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation 12. Robson, W. (1997) Strategic Management & Information Systems. Second Edition. Essex: Pearson Prentice Hall This source was chosen as Robson is renown author on IS and management it gave an insight of IS/IT strategy implementation and three constituent elements described according to Johnson and Scholes and it was used as a source for references and to describe the implementation structure. The information pertaining to implementation was limited. 13.

Southon, G. , Sauer, C. and Dampney (1999) Lessons from a failed information system initiative: issues for complex organisations. International Journal of Medical Informatics. Vol. 55 August 1997, 33-46 This source was chosen initially based on the title, upon further reading I found that it addressed organisational and human issues causing implementation challenges and lessons gleaned from a case study. I used it to highlight the social issues surrounding of system failure and organisational culture. This source was extremely useful. 14.

The IT Governance Institute (2007) Cobit 4. 1 Framework control objectives management guidelines maturity models URL: http://www. isaca. org/AMTemplate. cfm? Section=Downloads&Template=/Content Management/ContentDisplay. cfm&ContentID=34172 [Online] [11 November 2007] This source was selected because it is a framework for IT governance and more so a framework for implementing a strategy it describes a planned approach to change. I used it to state how a contemporary organisation would plan and implement an IS/IT strategy, and the steps involved.

It gave some very insightful understanding of delivery and was useful in most aspects of strategy implementation. 15. Venkatraman, N. and Camillus, C. (1984) Exploring the concept of fit in strategic management. Academy of Management Review. July 1984 Vol. 9 No. 3 513 – 525 This source discusses the strategic management of a strategy based on strategic fit. 16. Ward, J. and Peppard, J. (2003) Strategic Planning for Information Systems. Third Edition. Chichester: Wiley Series in Information Systems This resource was essential n providing the foundation for understanding and appreciating the role of the IS/IT strategy and its implementation. It provided information on how success may be achieved, hurdles to overcome, chapter eight, focusing on strategic management gave essential ingredients on management issues. I found this text very useful in elucidating and correcting misconceptions and providing a clear direction. 11 How it can go wrong – key lessons to learn from IS/IT Strategy implementation 17. Ward, J. Hemingway, C. , and Daniel E. (2005) A framework for addressing the organisational issues of enterprise systems implementation. Journal of Strategic Information Systems. Vol. 14 May 2005 97 -119 I chose this source initial because of Ward’s contribution. This source was used to understand the organisational issues associated with strategy implementation by considering two important dimensions: the interactions between a project team’s management approach and stakeholder modes of behaviour.

A management framework was developed to understand the types of stakeholder interaction with the management team and mode s of behaviour and approach to conflict resolution and map this path through the framework. The reading was interesting but the case studies were more relevant to the research topic therefore it was moderately useful. 18. Warren, S. (2006) Managing Change. University of Hertfordshire. Unit 5 April 2006 1-20 This source was used to provide insight into the change management process.

I used it to describe the change management process and the details of a change management plan to gain an understanding and appreciation of change management. I thought was very useful in understanding change management. 19. Wilson, S. (1998) Failed IT Projects (The Human Factor). [Online] URL http://faculty. ed. umuc. edu/~meinkej/inss690/wilson. htm [5 January 2008] This source was chosen there an internet search and the data was presented clearly with good references. I used it to state the major problems associated with project failure. I thought is was quite useful and ease to