The systems development and implementation processes associated with this case spanned a ten-year period. Four years were spent in the initial development and implementation phases. The remaining six years were necessary to generate a fully functional product. The weapons systems acquisition development processes were sustained concurrently throughout the IPPMIS conversion process. Resistance to change remained a constant threat to this project. The system atrophied waiting on a reengineering evaluation in the last year of the contract. Business Process Reengineering (BPR) of the processes should have been considered (Broadbent, Weill & St. Clair, 1999; Roy, Roy & Bouchard, 1998; Tonnessen, 2000). That evaluation never occurred. The IPPMIS product was neglected.

The human factors that plagued this case included poor planning during all project phases. A lack of attention was given to the relationship between the end users (PMO) and the designers (Prime Contractor). Project planning did not accommodate periods of high transaction volume. Needs analysis focused on the technical hardware and software requirements. No consideration was given to the trust in the technology (Lippert, 2001). Ergonomics were minimally addressed. Project management (Chatzoglou & Macaulay, 1997) and business planning were under-funded and project characteristics were not understood.

The personalities of the individuals involved, both government and contractor, were simply not considered. Expectations were discussed, but then promptly forgotten and feedback was light and limited. The result was that the end users had little enthusiasm to accept a new system. Users were resistant to training, education and development on the IPPMIS and therefore user satisfaction was seriously compromised. The notion of improved productivity was never accepted by users and the interests and intents of the stakeholders, both government and contractor were not explicated. In the end, the end users' attitudes about the entire project and concept were ignored.

The government continues to face numerous social-organizational issues. Politics continually inhibited efforts to improve the IPPMIS. User involvement remains reactive, with limited support and marginal proactivity, by any but the PMO representative for acquisition reform. The management of the PMO uses a ‘hand's off’ approach and therefore project planning and management is limited. The culture of the government, the defense industry and the individual contractor were all ignored. Management commitment was difficult to identify and cooperative environments to facilitate change were never explicitly addressed. There were no rewards or incentives for adoption of the IPPMIS and open communications were limited to system evaluation at final deployment. Government personnel distrusted the contractor and the contractor personnel distrusted the PMO. Changes, from the level of acquisition reform to database management of modules such as the IDP, were resisted. The contractor did not consider job design issues. The age and seniority of the end user workforce in retrospect were misjudged. Differential power through consumer/provider, user/developer was misunderstood. The final outcome of this lack of attention to the human factors was a less than fully functional system, at an unreasonably high cost, with marginal utility.

Annals of Cases on Information Technology
SQL Tips & Techniques (Miscellaneous)
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 367 © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: