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Concordia Case Discussion

Richard Baskerville
Georgia State University

Georgia State
University
Abbreviations
CIS Corporate Information Systems
H&W Huntington and Wells Consultants
Concordia Case Profile
Organizational Structure

P Ft. Wayne Mfg. with $1 Bn. Revenues in


1992.
P Profit Center Divisions: Automotive, Machine
Tools, Precision Parts, Fluid Controls
P Minicomputer driven LAN in Eastern
Regional Data Center (Hagerstown Md).
P DP steering committee
Concordia Case Profile
CIS Budget & Staffing

P 1987 CIS budget $3.6 million, 52 in


department (37 of whom in ops and systems)
P 1988 CIS budget $5 million
P 1991 CIS budget $14 million, 100 staff (22 in
eastern regional data center)
Concordia Case Profile
CIS Organization

P 1987 5 CIS groups: systems & pgming, IT


ops, proc. cntrl., planning & cntrl., ops
research
P 1988 6 CIS groups: Bus. Sys., Tech. Serv.,
DP Ops, Voice/Data Comms, Dec. Sup., Ops
Res.
P 1991 7 CIS groups: Bus. Sys., Sys Dev,
Tech. Serv., Ops & Comms, Office Sys, Dec.
Sup. Regional data center
Major Characters
Stuart McMillen Director of CIS, formerly with Concordia’s auditors
Huntington and Wells, UVA MBA, Purdue BEng,
6 yrs designer for retailer
Jim Butler Previous CIS director
Bradley Corp. VP & Treasurer, former CIS director, reports
Sherman from CIS
Ronald Lawton Controller of Automotive Division, pressing for
uninterrupted service from CAPS
Frank Northrup Most recent CAPS project manager
Len Creighton Stongest tech. Mger at Concordia, (10 yrs) new
CAPS project manager
Timeline
1960's Original CAPS system, by late 1980s hi maint. costs & poor fit for
distributed needs
1984 Jim Butler hired as director CIS, charged with building up CIS,
proposed poorly received centralized plan, left firm.
1986 Sen. Mgmt choses IBM as prime vendor: OS/2
1987 McMillen hired as director, CIS, saw need to upgrade staff due to
impact of OS/2 conversion
1988 McMillen request $5 mi budget aggressive recruits gifted s.engr. &
prmrs., Bus. Sys. Mgr., Voice/Data Comms Mgr.
1989 Hunting & Wells Consultants propose distributed CIS org., Sen. Mgmt
approves, McMillen moves over 3 years
April 1991 Northrup resigns as CAPS project manager
Summer 1991 Many unexpected mods to CAPS by short-handed team
Sept 1991 Lawton upset by slippage of CAPS, McMillen realizes conversion
wouldn’t complete until Sept 1992
Oct 1991 Major slippage in CAPS project: a year late
Issues
CAPS Project Management

P 1988 H & W that the 15 programmer years


required for CAPS conversion had become
27.
P 1991 Estimate for CAPS conversion
becomes 75 py’s.
P Function creep in CAPS (McMillen estimated
40% more)
P Four CAPS project managers in 3 years (1
fired)
Issues
Runaway CAPS impacts

P CAPS team recently increased from 10 to 18,


soaking up people, interfering with good
management order and delaying other
projects, backlog of requests.
P Upswing in business conflicts with poor
maintenance in old CAPS as CIS attention
turned
P Divisions can’t meet their business plan
without fullfillment of new requests
Issues
CIS Staffing

P New staff didn’t know “Concordia” systems,


old staff resented newcomers & didn’t share
P Old staff worried about their obsolecence,
newcomers insensitive
P Turnover, salary escalation problems with
new staff, inefficient irritating usage of
contract staff
Issues
Indemic problems

P 1992 CIS plan must contain long-term


proposals for managing CIS.
P User-relationship problems plaguing CIS
Corporate Cultural Features
Organizational View of IT

P Value division and operating company


independence: distributed management and
control
P History of promoting IT management
P Poor communications between IT and
division management
P Lack of confidence in IT capability by division
management
P User conflicts
Corporate Cultural Features
Internal IT Culture

P Divisive IT group: “old-timers” and “new-


comers”
P Heavy IT turnover and contractor use, loose
loyalties
Explicit Stakeholders

P Major Characters
P Old-time IT professionals
P Newcomer IT professionals
P Users
P Divisions dependent on old CAPS
P DP steering committee
Case Reprise
General Security Issues

P Jeb Stuart, director of information security,


reports to Manager of Operations, “dotted-
line” reports to regional data center
managers. Primarily responsible for old and
new CAPS
P Multiplicity of standards for backup, access
control and disaster recovery
Case Reprise
CAPS Security Issues

P New CAPS developers too overwhelmed to


see the security “message”
P New CAPS bringing remote access and new
security issues (unshredded sensitive output)
P Potential threat to organizational security?
Case Reprise
Corporate Cultural Issues

P Fluid controls having success with


microcomputer center development teaming
IT professionals with business experts
P “Theory Y” style management giving way as
array of newcomers erode confidence of
managers.