The Organization under today’s discussion is Integra Life Insurance Institution. It established as a Life Insurance institution in Canada and in the flow of time, the company expanded its business; mainly in general insurance, securities brokerage, trust services and, as well as in portfolio management. In 1996, the company decided to launch its Banking and Loan Insurance services system and wanted to implement an automated system called BLISS (Banking and loan insurance software system) throughout Canada.
As the company’s major focus was to extend their business throughout Canada, the first question was to segment the market and define the states and places where they could provide their products and services. It was a very complicated task for the reason that in Canada, the banking sector is split into federal and provincial models and due to some “cultural and historic reasons, the institutions tended to structure themselves into very different configuration within each province” (systems management in practice, 7th edition (2006) pg: 446) and hence, the banking infrastructure of each sector was therefore different with the other.
So, Integra decided to develop a system which will be compatible with 10 technological platforms and their main focus was to sell this product to the Credit Unions. Consequently, they created a partnership with an Information System integrator institution of Canada called the Intex Consultation, to achieve their goals. It was a highly reasonable decision as Intex was also a leading IS institution of Canada, but however, they wanted to keep this system as confidential as possible and then, surprisingly reveal this new software and capture the whole market over night.
Nevertheless, all through this urgency, they unintentionally started to commit blunders. They somehow overlooked the market research, planning, risk management and straightaway started to create a system. At last, they were succeeded in creating a flawless system but when they tried to implement it they came to know that credit unions; their main target group owns some share of another insurance group and therefore these CU’s turn their back to BLISS and as a result the flawless software never got implemented.
Although the project had failed but this was not the end because its influence on the organization is so dreadful that the managers and stake holders were not able to recover back soon and it may oblige them to avoid the risky projects which thus, put an end to the organization. So, the following course of actions requires rapid and vigilant attention. 1. The Vice president accepted his defeat so soon, just because CU’s has some shares in Cancoop group; it doesn’t mean that Cancoop group owns all the credit unions.
Credit unions are earning important income from Cancoop group and if BLISS provide them the same income why would they refuse, Integra have to convince them and it’s possible by systematic strategy. In the beginning give them special offers like free installation and free maintenance or offer the agents more percentage than the Cancoop group. It’s not impossible but if they remain quiet like this all hard work and everything will go detriment.
The BLISS is bilingual and client server architecture it means that it can be implemented anywhere in the world, then why the VP has shelved the system; they can target the whole world’s loan market. . BLISS Software, if changed slightly can work in the Bank’s system or Small and medium Enterprise development Organizations where they themselves are not offering any kind of insurances on loans, so the Vice president and higher executives must think about it and they must try to target similar organizations. 4. If the system declared as a failure they should cope with it very strategically, firing any individual or blaming project team will not help the organization at all. They need to find the problems and it can only be trapped by a sensible approach.
Every project in the Organization either succeeds or fails, in both cases the Organization must learn out of it, unfortunately in this case the project which was taken and tried to implement was not successful, their were a lot of mistakes which the organization committed and the main factors which became the cause in the project failure were as follows. 1. Project goals were not defined properly 2. The project scope and objectives were not shared with the Higher executives.
The project team composition was not done precisely because VP was accountable for the role of VP and the head of the coordinating committee which escort them to Coordinating problems between both the teams 4. The Team overlooked on the management issues and took the project like a software application. 5. The project team didn’t planned anything and started to develop the application. 6. The monitoring by the executives was almost missing. 7. The project team infrastructure was a mess they were working at different places without any interaction.
These above defined problems are the some of the mistakes that are already been committed and there is no point to go back and solve the problems, however the organization must learn from this massive failure and this failure have the potential to left its marks forever and therefore now both organizations have to look for the future projects and their first priority is to make sure that they must not to repeat the same mistakes again. Secondly after such a huge loss there is an endanger of manager’s attitude toward risk and it may oblige managers to avoid risky projects in the future and if it happened the company will indubitably suffer.
Integra Life Insurance has already been working in Loan Insurance from early 1980’s and was very happy with the outcome. They were using a software system called “cash cow” which was completely automatic and was integrated with the banking systems of the participating institutions so as soon as the loan application is accepted, the system not only automatically determine the risk of the loan and recommends a type of loan but it also calculates the premium to charge for the insurance coverage throughout the loan period.
This system was one of the most successful products of the Integra in the early 1980’s with more than 2 million insured loans but due to only restricted in Quebec Province the company was unable to market the rest of the Canada and therefore the company started to spread out their business throughout Canada.
Quebec Province where Integra Life Insurance was working is using a standardized central banking system so Integra System was working fine with those systems but as outside the Quebec Province the market was very diverse and banking system was not central so the company was lacking the gist to connect the banking systems with their system “Cash Cow” and therefore they wanted to create a new system which would be compatible with all the systems and then they can market the whole Canada.
Integra Life Insurance, a Canadian institution which was working in the Quebec province of Canada was one of the best organizations of the Quebec and was doing a tremendous job in their field but as they were limited to only one province, the company was unable to market the rest of the Canada and it was obvious that if they start to provide their services and products hroughout Canada they could easily double their market-share. This Opportunity was giving the impression of being very vital for the organization and attractive for the stake holders and hence to achieve this objective Integra entered into the partnership with Intex Consulting.
It was one of the leading Information System organizations in Canada specialized in flawless loan and Banking systems and wanted to foothold in the Canadian banking system, and for this reason both organizations were watching this opportunity as a breakthrough in the Canadian insurance Market, because Integra had a vast and long experience in the loan Insurance business plus the winning product to commercialize whereas Intex was one of the leading IS systems integrators and had a proven loan system to provide.
It was looking like a dream come true for both the organizations and as a result it was irresistible for them hence they agreed to work on it together. Everything was perfect till this point but from this point onwards the organizations committed numerous mistakes and due to all these problems the dream project turned into a nightmare. First of all before discussing the problems we must elaborate the BLISS Project Characteristics what they were trying to achieve and Credit Unions where the system is going to be implemented.
As its name suggests Banking and loan insurance software system, it will be a Software system that will be used in participating Credit Unions and Banks and as soon as their will be an approval of loan from the bank or from the CU for their client, the system will suggest an Insurance policy for the loan, automatically calculate the risk and the premium to charge for the life of the loan and it will be a client server software system that will be connected to Integra server. The CU is an organization which is owned, controlled and managed by its members to provide loans or financial services at reasonable rates.
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