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IT Project Failure

Contents

Introduction.

Objectives of Case Project

Issues Associated with the Case Project

Failures with the Early Implementation.

Cost Overrun and Schedule Delays in Myer’s Project

Initial Project Delivery Method.

Final Project Delivery Method.

Recommendations to Project Manager

Conclusion.

References.

Introduction to Myers Online Shopping Disaster Analysis

The case is about a project failure of website development that was faced by a company named as Myer in Australia. This report is going to analyze the project failure case study of Myer’s online shopping disaster. It further reflects the objectives of case project, issues associated with the project, initial project delivery method, cost overrun, schedule delays, and final project delivery method. Moreover, this report recommends the project manager to manage this project in its earlier stage to avoid any failure.

Objectives of Case Project

Myer Company is the largest department store in Australia having an emphasis on prioritizing clients of the first basis in each decision it takes, and in each activity it does. It is having sixty-one departmental stores all over the nation and it performs its major operations into Australia. However, it has its sourcing office locations in Hong Kong, and China in addition to Australia. The main objective of this company is to offer the highest quality, friendly, unique brands, compelling values, and helpful service to its clients. Furthermore, the main focus of this company is to transform customer experience in-store, endure to enhance its website "Myer.com.au", and to boost its sales via the virtual platforms by investing substantially in the website development. Besides, its values are: do what’s right, own its future, customers come first, and its inclusive team (Myer my store 2020).

The Myer Online Shopping is a platform for Australians to find out a systematized range of inspirational native and global lifestyle brands, affixed in homemade, and entertainment. It is a comprehensible and content-rich virtual shopping place that is run by the nation's largest department store. The broad range of its products is in the form of infant’s, children’s, men’s and women’s footwear, outfit, and fittings.; travel products; video games, homewares, cosmetics and fragrance; flooring, toys; and so on. Furthermore, this company had a stimulating trading story bearing in mind its modest commencement in the year 1900, and its market supremacy in contemporary times. Moreover, it fulfills a demand from its core customer base for an Australian-owned virtual portal. Myer knows and comprehends the nation’s clients and enables a simple and reliable shopping experience. This allows shoppers to gain company’s one shopping praises, capable of returning the things brought online at any of its stores, utilizes gift cards, be secured by its ‘no regret policy’, and imagine the identical shipping terms as they presently get at its website (Myer my store, 2019).

It is dedicated to accountable business growth and incorporating social, moral, and ecological considerations into the way it operates. Further, its sustainability approach aims to enhance the positive results and impacts it can have on its stakeholders by incorporating all the facets of sustainability into its routine business operations. The Myer online shopping company believes that by connecting with and contributing to the societies wherein it resides and operates, it can have an encouraging social influence, make a permanent contribution, and generate a more sustainable forthcoming.

Issues Associated with the Case Project

A project issue refers to a glitch that has been faced in implementing project activities. It mainly damages a project’s capability to effectively accomplish (Van Offenbeek and Vos 2016).

The main issues associated with the case project are stated below:

  • Whenever the site of the Myers online shopping got busy, it stopped even after investing substantially in website development to boost sales.
  • The website of the company crashed at the poorest prospective time in the middle of Boxing Day sales in the year 2013. It can be said that its site started to struggle when nearly 7000 clients concurrently accessing the sales at a time.
  • The major problem was associated with programming that was affecting the website’s communication with its servers.
  • The technical problem was occurred by a communication breakdown between a software application and the internet servers.
  • As a result, numerous clients were not able to accomplish their transactions.
  • At that time, the IT team was confused, and as a result of which the website of the company was forced to be offline for days.
  • It has allowed its competitor David jones to take advantage of the circumstance and let it gain a 100% enhancement in online sales (Reichert, 2014).

Furthermore, the main causes of this project failure are mentioned below:

  • Poorly defined goals: One of the major causes of this IT project failure is poorly defined goals of the company. Myer's online shopping company might not be failed in case it made goals in regards to delay like imposing strict penalties from the starting.
  • Complex project: It is true to say that certain projects are too hard to be handled with a sole agency. Thus, it is always better to finish the project in pieces and bits. The Myers must work concurrently with multiple agencies to lower its failure rate and to handle the situation effectively (Dwivedi et al., 2015).
  • Inadequate flexibility: The projects must be flexible enough with the backup policies at all stages. The Myers Company must have alternatives to work upon rather than just consuming budget and time on one particular thing.
  • Over-optimistic prospects: The organizations that were given tender demonstrated them as having exclusive skills and assets. It created over-optimistic prospects and there was no cross-reviewing initially. In the case of Myers, it supposed its website elevates to completely revolutionize its virtual sales; however these prospects were too extraordinary (Frese and Sauter, 2014).
  • Management tools: The massive project requires to be handled with the usage of technology from the starting so that it can assist the company with accurate estimates of resources, and budgets.

Failures with the Early Implementation

It is noteworthy to say that today most of the companies are dedicated to seizing markets and conducting projects lucratively. However, it is equally essential that they must focus more upon bungling the projects effectively, as the significance of project completion in a profitable manner offset its origination (Taherdoost and Keshavarzsaleh, 2016). A project is said to be a failure in case it is not delivering the required things within the given time and budget. It is a fact that project failure can occur in any company and to any assignment (Anthopoulos et al., 2016). The earlier failures of the implementation of Myers's online shopping project were numerous. Firstly, there was a technical and software failure that occurred due to the communication issues between servers and software. Further, this failure demonstrates the fact that the company and its outsourcing partner IBM had failed to suitably create and test their infrastructure or discover the basic disaster recovery and business endurance plan. There had been a failure in terms of developing its website to manage the growing demand of the Australians. 

In the same year 2014, the technology behind public-facing sites was extremely consistent. The association between application servers, networks, databases, and physical servers they operate on is also understandable. It can be said that in respect of Myer’s failure, it had distorted under the unforeseen burden of the boxing day sales, compelling down the rest of the website’s interwoven systems in a detailed representation of the notion that a chain can only as strong as its fragile link. The initial failure was found by the IBM team is not just in the form of software bugs but the lacked the basic corporate continuity and disaster recovery functionality. It was not only the system that was deteriorating under load; however, it was the system that has certainly not been broadly tested for the load that even Myer could suppose (Tay 2013).

Cost Overrun and Schedule Delays in Myer’s Project

It is noteworthy that the incompetency to accomplish projects within the allotted time and budget endures being a chronic issue globally and is deteriorating. These are the intrinsic part of numerous projects regardless of the much-developed knowledge in project management (Al-Hazim, Salem, and Ahmad, 2017). Schedule delay can be defined as the delay of time beyond an intended completion date indicated in an agreement or beyond the date that parties settled upon for distribution of the project. On the other hand, cost overrun refers to the additional real cost over the budgeted one. It is also known as cost increase, cost growth, and budget overrun (Larsen et al., 2016). The Myers, Australia’s largest department store, has already capitalized tens of millions of dollars on the website development to increase online sales.

Furthermore, schedule delays were there in reaching the main cause of the issue in the non-operative website of the company. The company, with the help of the IBM team, has to spend a lot of time finding the root cause of the issue. The online sales of the company stopped for the six days until the bug was identified and thus it has reduced its slight portion of its overall revenue. It can be seen from the case study that the financial implications are negligible; however, it can be found that there is lasting damage to the company's image and brand equity. Further, it has to compensate for the advertised availability during the Christmas period and for that, it has offered free shipping to the clients after the running back of the website. In particular, the company placed the monetary loss on the sales at below one percent of its business contributed to $ 31 million (TechAU 2013)

Mainly, the cost overruns originate from the errors in the website designs. It can be said that an error design virtually means the incorrect or inadequate demonstration of project deliverables. It will result in the incorrect application of methods in attaining outcomes like the definite implementation stage of the project explains these design errors, and try to correct these will result in cost overrun and schedule delays. Further reasons for the same could be unsuitable and insufficient procurement and defective contractual management system. It is because if a contract has not high pointed the complete project state, it may result in an argument in the contract system. The complexity of the project can also be one of the contributing factors for the delay and cost increase. In this respect, dynamic planning must be done that includes each facet of project milestones, WBS (work breakdown structure), methodology, and more (Sharon and Dori, 2014).

Initial Project Delivery Method

Project delivery refers to the inclusive procedure entailing scheduling, design, and building needed to start and finish a kind of project. It is noteworthy that the selection of a project delivery methodology is a chief decision taken by project managers when developing their acquisition approach (Antoine, Alleman, and Molenaar 2019). The early project delivery method for the Myers online shopping website development project was a waterfall model that is a traditional project management methodology. Also, this model is indeed decent just for simple and short-run projects. However, the website development project is a long one and there needs to be Upgradation after every regular interval as per the market demands. Therefore, this project delivery method is somehow unsuitable for the Myers online shopping website development. Additionally, if there is a change in one of the phases of the waterfall model, then there will be unavoidable changes in the entire succeeding phases. It never caters to necessities changing while the developing cycle. Moreover, there are higher amounts of uncertainty and risks associated with this model. This model depends on the project certification like the practical specifications to describe the scope of work obviously before it is happening. Due to the model's inflexibility, the Myers project got failed as the waterfall model depends on the scope and agrees to be defined straightforward, and there is a slight room for change during the project (Rahmanian, 2014).

Final Project Delivery Method

It is evident from the case study that the website development project at Myers did not end. In the further projects of website development, the team developed clear objectives and expectations to attain instant corporate benefits and assist long-run growth and expansion goals. Further, it built robust grounds with oracle retail merchandise financial planning, and oracle retail size profile optimization. It took assistance from TCS (Tata consulting services). They together adopted a project delivery method of the agile model for web development. It enabled the company to experience augmented benefits and the project compensated for itself. This project was delivered across numerous teams entailing merchandise, IT, and TCS wherein it transitioned from the waterfall model to an agile methodology for project delivery method that further certified the success of the project (Ambrogio, 2019).

It is true to say that agile is the method to project management that certifies that operational software is the main measure of development on a project. It refers to that type of project delivery method used usually for software development wherein desires and solutions emerge via cooperative exertions of self-functional teams and their clients (Dingsøyr et al., 2019). Furthermore, this methodology enables the company to deliver software with a great emphasis on technical superiority and decent website design. It also offers it more flexibility to achieve demanded scope changes during the project. It can also be said that with this project delivery method, web developers can also preserve a consistent workplace, involve in frequent face-to-face communication, and adapt to the team's conduct at frequent intervals to refine effectiveness. Therefore, it is an ongoing method and there is an extreme level of interaction between the project team members wherein activities are implemented promptly and adaptively. Further, it also assists prompt changes to the choice and direction of the project grounded on market necessities (SA and Nisha, 2020).

Recommendations to Project Manager

The recommendations that project manager (PM) would like to make in case he was assigned this project in its early stage, are stated below:

  • After being assured that the outsourcing company has a full grasp over the nature and necessities of the IT project, PM would like to suppose a sincere timeline from them. It will ensure that the company needs not to chase the outsourced company for agreed timelines (Sanchez and Terlizzi, 2017).
  • Furthermore, PM would like to ensure that program testing at all the pre-decided indicators and growth evaluation is part of the development process monitored by the company's in-house team. 
  • It is recommended that proper goals for online shopping sites will be defined and with suitable alignment with the demands of the clients in Australia (Golini, Kalchschmidt, and Landoni, 2015).
  • PM would like to involve the right individuals to carry out the e-commerce project to get a robust and consistent foundation. After making an effective team, PM would communicate the plans for the particular project and specify the requirements to define the purpose of the project more clearly.
  • PM would suggest the company to have the right partners and the right technology (Brones, de Carvalho and de Senzi Zancul, 2014).
  • Additionally, PM would like to aware of the market condition and the surrounding competitive forces, the technical environment, and the other activities needed. In the early stages of the project, PM would conduct a detailed analysis of the market and rivals. It aids me to recognize the weak points and strong points of market leaders (Kaiser, El Arbi and Ahlemann, 2015).
  • There must be the use of the best project management methodology and in my view, the hybrid methodology is the best one to use in the case of Myers project for an online shopping website. It will aid the company to rank the necessities as per the customer’s desires, and the acting ability of the development team in the company. Furthermore, it will remove the limitations of both the waterfall and the agile method for project delivery. The hybrid model facilitated the use of testing and coding utilizing the agile methodology, and a high-level design is made using the waterfall model guidelines (Rani, 2017).
  • It would be suggested that the company must never set impractical expectations and time frames with clients, teams, and other participants to fulfill the project’s goals. Furthermore, as a project manager, PM will define realistic expectations for the team according to their competencies to evade any failure in regards to the project.
  • Since perfection is indeed luxurious rather than impossible. The main fact is that the company uses that software in its online shopping website, which may have bugs as it is the collective effort of numerous developers. As a project manager, my goal must be to reduce the impact of anything that goes wrong, as I cannot avert it fully.

Conclusion on Myers Online Shopping Disaster Analysis

From the above case study analysis, it can be concluded that the main objective of Myer is to transform customer experience in-store, endure to enhance its website "Myer.com.au", and to boost its sales via the virtual platforms by investing substantially in the website development. Further, it can be inferred that the initial project delivery method for the Myers online shopping website development project was a waterfall model that is a traditional project management methodology. However, it has changed from waterfall model to the agile model as the final project delivery method that has overcome the shortcomings of the waterfall model and streamlined the entire process. It can be seen from the case study that the financial implications are negligible; however, it can be found that there is lasting damage to the company's image and brand equity

References for Myers Online Shopping Disaster Analysis

Al-Hazim, N., Salem, Z.A., and Ahmad, H. 2017. Delay and cost overrun in infrastructure projects in Jordan. Procedia Engineering182, pp.18-24.

Ambrogio, K. 2019. Australia’s favorite department store gets more agile with oracle. [Online] Available at https://www.oracle.com/corporate/pressrelease/myer-implements-oracle-110719.html Accessed on 22 August 2020.

Anthopoulos, L., Reddick, C.G., Giannakidou, I., and Mavridis, N. 2016. Why do e-government projects fail? An analysis of Healthcare. gov website. Government Information Quarterly33(1), pp.161-173.

Antoine, A.L., Alleman, D. and Molenaar, K.R. 2019. Examination of project duration, project intensity, and timing of cost certainty in highway project delivery methods. Journal of Management in Engineering35(1), p.04018049.

Brones, F., de Carvalho, M.M., and de Senzi Zancul, E. 2014. Ecodesign in project management: a missing link for the integration of sustainability in product development?. Journal of Cleaner Production80, pp.106-118.

Dingsøyr, T., Dybå, T., Gjertsen, M., Jacobsen, A.O., Mathisen, T.E., Nordfjord, J.O., Røe, K., and Strand, K., 2019. Key lessons from tailoring agile methods for large-scale software development. IT Professional21(1), pp.34-41.

Dwivedi, Y.K., Wastell, D., Laumer, S., Henriksen, H.Z., Myers, M.D., Bunker, D., Elbanna, A., Ravishankar, M.N. and Srivastava, S.C. 2015. Research on information systems failures and successes: Status update and future directions. Information Systems Frontiers17(1), pp.143-157.

Frese, R., and Sauter, V.2014. Improving your odds for software project success. IEEE Engineering Management Review42(4), pp.125-131.

Golini, R., Kalchschmidt, M., and Landoni, P.2015. Adoption of project management practices: The impact on international development projects of non-governmental organizations. International journal of project management33(3), pp.650-663.

Kaiser, M.G., El Arbi, F. and Ahlemann, F.2015. Successful project portfolio management beyond project selection techniques: Understanding the role of structural alignment. International Journal of Project Management33(1), pp.126-139.

Larsen, J.K., Shen, G.Q., Lindhard, S.M. and Brunoe, T.D. 2016. Factors affecting schedule delay cost overrun, and quality level in public construction projects. Journal of Management in Engineering32(1), p.04015032.

Myer my store 2019. Annual Report [Online] Available at http://investor.myer.com.au/FormBuilder/_Resource/_module/dGngnzELxUikQxL5gb1cgA/file/Myer_Annual_Report_2019.pdf Accessed on 22 August 2020.

Myer my store 2020. About us. [Online] Available at https://www.myer.com.au/content/about-us-myer/ Accessed on 22 August 2020.

Rahmanian, M. 2014. A comparative study on hybrid IT project management. International Journal of Computer and Information Technology3(05), pp.1096-1099.

Rani, S.B.A.S.U. 2017. A detailed study of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) models. International Journal Of Engineering And Computer Science6(7).

Reichert, C. 2014. Myer Website crash due to ‘communication breakdown’: IBM. [Online] Available at https://www.zdnet.com/article/myer-website-crash-due-to-communication-breakdown-ibm/ Accessed on 22 August 2020.

SA, G.K., and Nisha, J.S. 2020. Implementation of agile management in the construction of different infrastructure projects. International Research Journal Of Modernization In Engineering Technology And Science, 2(2), 79-89.

Sanchez, O.P., and Terlizzi, M.A. 2017. Cost and time project management success factors for information systems development projects. International Journal of Project Management35(8), pp.1608-1626.

Sharon, A., and Dori, D. 2014. A Project–product model-based approach to planning work breakdown structures of complex system projects. IEEE Systems Journal9(2), pp.366-376.

Taherdoost, H., and Keshavarzsaleh, A. 2016. Critical Factors that Lead to Projects’ Success/Failure in Global Marketplace. Procedia Technology22, pp.1066-1075.

Tay, L. 2013. Myer’s stocktake fail: online shopping closed ‘until further notice’. [Online] Available at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/myers-stocktake-fail-online-shopping-closed-until-further-notice-2013-12 Accessed on 22 August 2020

TechAU 2013. Myer website failure costing millions in lost sales. [Online] Available at https://techau.com.au/myer-website-failure-costing-millions-in-lost-sales/ Accessed on 22 August 2020

Van Offenbeek, M.A. and Vos, J.F. 2016. An integrative framework for managing project issues across stakeholder groups. International Journal of Project Management34(1), pp.44-57.

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