Uncomfortable growth brings challenges
During growth that would see it enter the FTSE100 the need for a larger, robust and stable financials platform became an essential. Now the world's biggest in their financial services field, the company had already committed to the City of London to deliver a new financials system and processes by a deadline. But after nine months of BAU alongside project delivery, almost no progress had been made.
A business case that matters
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It would have been easy to walk away from the challenge - similar projects typically take at least 9 months and there were just 80 working days remaining. Even the global software supplier indicated little or no hope irrespective of how many people were thrown at it. But the cost of failure was the entire business, let alone the reduced headcount savings identified in the business case.
A team and a plan to deliver
The desire to be seen to be doing something was considerable but we did not. There is never time not to plan, and for almost three weeks putting together the right plan, to define in detail sufficient and appropriate products and processes with the right team was the priority. Producing a PID that contained all the detail was viewed as unnecessary in some parts, but the clarity it provided and the time saved in not revisiting defined and agreed deliverables proved essential. Agreeing these in a weekly steering group of just four was a critical success factor. The project sponsor took his responsibility seriously and was available 24x7 to resolve issues, manage risks and take key decisions when provided with the details.

With a highly motivated, dedicated and able team, the project was delivered with 4 days to spare. Moreover all the benefits and savings from the business case were delivered. Revisiting the PID enabled a second phase of delivery to take place at a later stage when time was no longer pressing and the 'nice-to-haves' had been identified and added to the original project.