• The choice of analytical framework used to identify and prioritise the most significant issues or areas of influence, in relation to the decision making processes, performance of the project team, progress of work, and effectiveness of its management.
• Quality of analysis: the student's ability to critically appraise and discuss available evidence in light of the analytical framework, relevant literature and theory, and use them to support the analysis and discussion .
• Key learning points and recommendations for improvements: logically derived from the presented analysis and discussion with a commentary about implementation in the given organisation and/or more generally.
Kansallis Bank is the biggest commercial bank in Finland having over 10,000 employees and more than 450 branches in Finland and over ten branches around the world. After being established in 1889, it took them almost 100 years to become the most trusted and popular bank in Finland. However, while achieving this success, Kansallisbank had to undergo three software migration processes between 1960 and 1995 (Dutta et al. 2016). They witnessed three generation of banking systems, which were batch computing system of Siemens, online banking system, and multifunctional banking system. They changed their software systems with the time as they used the first generation of the batch computing system from 1963 to 19819(Dutta et al. 2016). After that from 1973 to 1995, they used the second generation, which was online banking system. From February 1995, the multi-functional banking system became operational in their bank. While changing their systems they faced several issues and challenges as they used their technology staffs to adopt those new systems time to time. System migration is like changing home for a human being as it changes the core system of a bank into a new system with better functions (Garibotti 2015).
In the year of 1980, Kansallis Bank management adopted online banking system, which was operating on Bull mainframe environment and was able to manage one million online transactions each day (London 2012). However, the management decided to upgrade their system to MFS or multi-functional system for technical advantages. New targets were set for the new systems as openness, complete integration, ease of use and client server architecture became the primary goal of the Kansallis Bank. This IT structure was divided into six different layers shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Service layers of MFS system in Kansallis Bank
(Source: Dutta et al. 2016)
To complete this project successfully, a MFS team was developed having many middle managers from technical and business divisions.
The first stage of this migration process took place between 1983 and 1986. Management was sound while deciding that they will share hands with IBM for the upgraded mainframe environment. However, it took an additional year to decide which client platform they should select. To think about the performing principles several working groups and architecture projects were started in 1983 but the result was not beneficial at all (Pohl and Freitag 2016), as it had too many “Ifs” and question marks.
The main problem Kansallis Bank faced was the limited opportunity to practice and understand the new software as a limited number of hardware were given for pilot tests to the hardware specialists where it was not accessible to the software developer teams. Besides, there were no software development tools or environment available. Therefore, in 1984 Kansallis Bank decided to choose Nokia as the supplier of their client hardware.
During this period, extreme growth took place in the IT sector. Programming tools became more advanced than before, and the level of sophistication of software development was on the rise. To keep up with the time, Kansallis Bank started making changes in their system like decentralizing IT functions and adopting performance-based compensation system. In 1987 and 1988 different projects and the application layer were completed (Dutta et al. 2016). After this period, the planning for the next version of these systems started whose target was to provide more power to the customers so that they can exploit the power of PCs and the new platform and developing original client server architecture within the Bank.
Issues started to appear as the bank management started to develop the second version of the application layer system without testing the first version completely. This consumed more time than expected and caused some problems related to cost management.
In the early 90’s, Finland faced a major recession in their IT sector that forced the local banks to experience credit losses (Hartog et al. 2012). A significant change in the attitudes towards the IT within the Kanallis bank was noticed as one of the managers stated that the line organization started taking responsibilities for IT projects. He also stated that the organization would manage the IT works itself rather than depending on strange, bearded individuals. During this period more than 60 percent, new IBM applications were prepared, and 50 percent of the transactional workload was transferred from the Bull to the IBM environment (Dutta et al. 2016).
Many new applications were rolled out in this period and all the indicators were used to measure the quality of the application services. With the time, the number of operating errors became lower as compared to the first stage when practicing, measuring and collecting data was started. Without executing new methodologies and tools, the organization was able to cultivate productive results by involving the existing methodology staffs more intimately within the project (Söderlund and Geraldi 2012). There were no more issues, and the results were exceptional as an internal audit showed that the twenty-five last migrating projects that lasted for eight months each were only eight days late on average. Besides, the productivity of Kansallis Bank became 50 percent higher than the whole Finnish Bank sector’s average.
The migration projects of Kansallis Bank ended when the last application running on Bull mainframe application was terminated at the end of February in 1995 (Dutta et al. 2016).
Several migration projects took place in the Kansallis Bank starting from 1961 and ending in 1995 (Bask et al. 2012). During this huge period, the bank management faced several issues while upgrading their software system from an old stage to a new stage. The next part of the assignment will shed light on three major issues faced by the banking organization. Those issues were unable to meet up with the time, stakeholders were not fully involved and not meeting up with the cost. Therefore, Kansallis Bank needs proper time management, stakeholder management and cost management processes for their future system migration plans.
For any upcoming software migration process, the Kansallis Bank must prepare a proper cost management plan that will help them to establish the policies, procedures and documentation for planning, managing, expanding and controlling project costs (Gambetta 2015). Primary target of cost management is to reduce the overall project cost while keeping the organizational goal intact. To establish a successful cost management plan, three important processes are important to be followed. Those are finding out estimate cost, determining the proper budget and controlling the cost.
Estimate cost is the process of developing a list of monetary resources, which will be needed to complete a project. The advantage of this process is, it will determine the how much cost is required to complete a project. The input, tools and techniques and outputs of this process are shown in the below table.
Tools and techniques
Cost management plan
Human resource management plan
Organizational environmental factors
Organizational process assets
Analogous, parametric, bottom-upand three-point estimating
Cost to quality
Software to manage the overall project
Analyzing Vendor bids
Techniques to promote group decision
Proper cost estimates
Basis of estimates
Updating project documents
Table 1: Estimate cost model
(Source: Bhimani 2013)
Determining the budget
This process will help Kansallis Bank to finalize the estimated costs of individual activities or work packages to develop an authorized cost baseline (Bhimani 2013). The advantage of this process is, it will determine the maximum possible cost against which project performance will be monitored and controlled.
This is the third and final part where Kansallis Bank will make changes in their cost baseline depending on the results of the monitoring. The benefit of this process is that it will help the bank to understand variance from the plan to make proper action and minimize risk (Sun et al. 2013).
Tools and techniques
Project management plan
Plan for proper funding
Data related to work performance
Earned value management
To-complete performance index (TCPI)
Reviews of the performances
Selecting proper project management software
Updates in project management plan
Updates in project documents
Updates in organizational process assets
Table 2: cost control model
(Source: Sun et al. 2013)
From the assignment, it is clear that Kansallis Bank faced delays in their second stage while upgrading their software from online banking to multi-functional system, as they did not have full idea about the online banking process and its functions (Dutta 2016). However, the total evaluation showed that each project cost only eight days delay on average, which did not harm the organization or their goals. However, the bank will have to migrate their core software once again as in the modern digital age banking has become more complicated and faster. Not meeting targets within time can harm Kansallis Bank severely this time so they need a proper time management model so that they can outline their jobs according to that model (Burke 2013).
This time management model is actually time management software that can be used on some platforms like Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Android, and IOS (Kerzner 2013). Based on the Eisenhower method of arranging tasks it has established to arrange tasks by urgency and importance. This matrix will allow the Kansallis Bank to execute a cloud-based synchronization of data, which will help the data management.
Dividing the tasks based on Quadrants
The quadrant will properly organize tasks based on their importance and urgency. There are four quadrant levels in this matrix, which are critical and immediate, critical but not immediate, not critical but immediate and Uncategorized (Leach 2014).
Drag Drop tasks
Projects, which are capable of being dragged from one place to another, which will allow the project team to change the priority of the project without creating a new item (Katz 2013).
Import/Export of a project
An entire project can be exported into the organization’s native file format, which will help them to transfer a workplace quickly.
Dates and deadlines will be made for each task in a project. The employees will be provided with proper notifications, which will allow them to track their progress over time (Skillsyouneed.com 2016).
Customization of color and label
In the RGB spectrum, color of any quadrant can be changed for further customization.
Figure 2: Priority matrix for proper Time Management
(Source: Skillsyouneed.com 2016)
Stakeholders are the key who can make a project successful or make it failure. Even if all the requirements are met and goals are achieved, a project can become unsuccessful if the stakeholders are not happy. Therefore, the following model and the diagram will allow the managers of the Kansallis Bank to understand their main stakeholders in internal and external environments.
Figure 3: Important stakeholders in internal and external atmosphere
(Source: Schneider and Hadani 2014)
Top management includes the president of the company, vice-president of the company, directors, division managers, corporate operating committee and others. These people are directly responsible for the development of the company (Schneider and Hadani 2014). Therefore, it is important that the result of a project should satisfy their goals too. Project team members are those people who will work with the project manager to complete the project successfully by meeting target goals. Therefore, it is important to understand their problems and issues by working with them closely and minimizing or removing those problems by offering proper guidance or training. Managers and peers are also some important stakeholders as a manager are the boss of a project who can decide whether project will cultivate a positive result or not (Turner 2014). On the other hand, peers are the other people in the organization who may or may not join the product but are responsible for a project to become successful. Maintaining a good relationship with the peers is essential as ignoring them might lead to internal sabotage, personal conflicts and other unwanted problems that will harm the project (Verbeke and Tung 2013).
Other most important stakeholders are internal customers. They will decide if the project is a success or not. Recently the customers of Sainsbury Bank, UK could not use their debit cards and credit cards as the bank had problems with their existing legacy banking software system (Trotman 2015). This resulted in a customer outrage in Twitter and other social networking sites hampering the brand image and the reputation of the Bank. Therefore, Kansallis Bank must understand that they will have to make proper changes in their core software to meet the requirements of the customers only (Heagney 2012). If the customers are happy, then a project is a success.
In this assignment, three stages of software migration processes of Kansallis Bank are discussed. During those three periods, the bank faced some minor and some major issues like problem in time management and cost management. Proper models based on time management and cost management are also discussed in this assignment so that in future Kansallis Bank can use those models to reduce the chances of any problem. They did not have many issues on stakeholder management, but their last software migration process took place in 1995. Nowadays stockholders are playing a major role in the organization so it is possible that, they will face a problem related to stockholders in their next software migration process, so a model of stockholder management is also discussed in this assignment.
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