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MSHIA ISM 6128 – Business Process Design: Case Study 1: Providian Trust- Tradition and Technology (A)

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MSHIA ISM 6128 – Business Process Design

Professor Weidong Xia

Case 1 (Providian Trust) – Analysis write-up/discussion questions

(1)  What key issues and challenges led to the initiation of the Access+ project? Please think about the external vs. internal and business vs. technological aspects of the issues and challenges.

(2)  What organizational changes that the company should have made (but failed to do) before and during the project to ensure the success of the Access+ project?

(3)  What were the strengths and weaknesses of Providian’s approach in managing the project?

(4)  How would you evaluate the roles (good or bad) that the internal auditor Peter Storey played throughout the project?  Do you agree with him, why and why not (if you were in his role, what would you have done differently)?  Should he be fired, why and why not?  

(5)  If you were in charge of the project, what would you do differently? What have been your experience and observations of IS projects in your organizations?  If you were in charge of a healthcare IS implementation project in your organization, what would be the top three things/issue on your agenda list?

These questions are intended to help you think about the key issues involved in the case and facilitate your case analysis.  Please feel free to create your own questions and highlight interesting ideas that you to share with the class.

Please try to limit your case analysis to 2 pages and name your Word file as

6128_LastName_FirstName_Providian.doc and submit it using Assignment Drop Box under “Case 1- Providian” folder before the due time as specified in the course schedule.

Weidong Xia_MSHIA 6128 Case 1 - Providian questions/ Page 1 of 1


Case Study 1: Providian Trust- Tradition and Technology (A)


Institutional affiliation

Case Study 1

After Stephen Walsh, was appointed the CEO of Providian Trust he was confronted with a rare corporate conflict that required his intervention. According to McFarlan and Dailey (1997), the company's trust division was on the brink of operational paralysis due to the difference in opinion between the leaders of information technology (IT) project and the internal auditor, Peter Storey. By 1995, the conflict had reached its optimal point as depicted by the request of the committee members to have internal auditor removed from his position. The purpose of this essay is to use this case study on the Providian Trust to answer the following questions.

Question 1

            The Trust Division at Providian Trust Company was facing the challenge of operational inefficiency due to the use of outdated information system. Before, being dismissed the former CEO felt it was imperative that the company improved its information management systems by acquiring a more reliable and efficient system using the Access Plus. McFarlan and Dailey (1997) determined that these critical issues and challenges prompted the top executives at Providian Trust Company to set aside an $18 million budget for the implementation of a new IT project. The company believed that the acquisition of an up-to-date IT system would improve service delivery. 

            By 1993, Providian Trust was among the largest provider that was managing over $45 billion in trust assets with a network of 216 offices; even so, the company was not profitable. This situation was credited to the inability of Providian Trust to keep up with the improvement in technology and other services. The increased competitive pressures and customer demands force companies to initiate drives that would result in the improved provision of quality trust services (Hirschheim & Sabherwal, 2001). The company felt to gain profitability then it was imperative that it redesigned the business processes in the trust division through the implementation of new software.

Question 2

The success of the implementation of the Access Plus project at Providian Trust was affected by the failure to consider certain organizational factors. For example, the project leader Michael LeBlanc, as well as other project leaders, did not possess adequate fundamental skills in project management. The implementation of...


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