Kenway informed their client that a project had to be restructured or it was doomed to fail.
Industry: Technology Infrastructure and Resale Services
To communicate swiftly and effectively through all channels, at all levels, internally and externally, regardless of whether the information is good or bad.
Kenway was engaged to manage user acceptance testing on a project with a client. The client had already spent $120K on the initiative that was well underway prior to Kenway’s involvement, and Kenway saw a significant issue brewing. Upon reviewing the proposed business processes, it became clear that the solution being built would not meet the needs of the business and would be essentially unusable without significant enhancements. If the client did not allocate the time and resources necessary to redefine the requirements, they were at risk of spending over $300K in remediation and significantly extending the project’s timeline.
Kenway escalated the issue to the client’s management team with the strong suggestion that the project be halted until requirements could be redefined to ensure the business’s needs were captured and incorporated into the design. The communication avoided any assessment of blame and remained objective, focusing only on the issue and its impact. Following the initial communication, Kenway then followed up with a root cause analysis to help avoid the issue in the future.
Fortunately, client senior management in the business agreed that building the right solution trumped meeting project dates. The business and IT teams spent three weeks reworking the requirements, resulting in an entirely new capability being added to the design. While this extended the timeline, it ensured that the right solution was built to maximize return on investment for the initiative.
Kenway had been brought in to work on the initiative, not evaluate it. There were risks to highlighting this issue such as straining Kenway’s relationship with the client’s IT organization and stopping or slowing the project, thus ending the engagement. However, quickly escalating the issue and pushing for a prompt decision was the right thing to do for the client. Kenway’s actions ensured the right solution was built in a manner that maximized future investment.
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