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Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Mark Jeffery, Nancy Kulick, Tim Riitters, Scott Abbott, Douglas Papp, Tiffany Schad, Jed Wallace and Jeff Wiemann

This case focuses on the challenge of quantifying the return on investment (ROI) of a large technology project, enterprise resource planning (ERP), in the nonprofit…

Abstract

This case focuses on the challenge of quantifying the return on investment (ROI) of a large technology project, enterprise resource planning (ERP), in the nonprofit environment of the San Diego City Schools. The school district does not generate a profit, so traditional revenue enhancement arguments do not work. Instead, the case discusses the internal processes re-design and system consolidation enabled by the new ERP system. The system ROI is composed of two major components: cost savings from removal of legacy applications and productivity improvements. The cost containment benefits are relatively straightforward to quantify, but do not justify the system. The productivity improvements are harder to quantify, and many can be categorized as soft benefits. Furthermore, many of the productivity and cost-saving benefits will not be realized without personnel reductions, which are especially difficult in school districts and government agencies. The case debrief therefore discusses the tradeoffs quantifying soft benefits and productivity improvements, best practices for management decision making, and the organizational change necessary to realize the ROI.

The case teaches students how to analyze ROI for a large enterprise IT system in nonprofit or government organizations. Financial ROI is applicable for the hard cost benefits but some benefits are more difficult to quantify, and students learn how to factor these into the decision making as well. In addition, organizational change can be particularly challenging in the government or nonprofit context; the case enables a discussion of strategies for workforce re-deployment in these settings.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Mark Jeffery, David Bibbs, Michael Dowhan, Daniel Grace, Lisa Jackson, Woody Maynard, Derek Yung and Steve Johnson

The case is based on a real supply chain outsourcing management decision at a major manufacturing company. The company has been disguised for confidentiality reasons. The…

Abstract

The case is based on a real supply chain outsourcing management decision at a major manufacturing company. The company has been disguised for confidentiality reasons. The case discusses different types of outsourcing, supply chain management, the benefits and risks of outsourcing, and various pricing models for outsourcing contracts. Students must make a management decision and answer these questions: Is supply chain outsourcing a viable option for DB Toys? What will the return on investment be? What is the best outsourcing model? What is the best pricing model?

Students learn the different types of outsourcing, supply chain management, the benefits and risks of outsourcing, and various pricing models for outsourcing contracts. Students also learn how to calculate the return on investment of supply chain outsourcing. Most important, the case enables students to understand the strategic context of outsourcing, and to decide which outsourcing model and pricing is appropriate.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Mark Jeffery, Derek Yung and Alex Gershbeyn

The case is based on a real $25 million project at a major U.S.-based computer manufacturer. For confidentiality reasons the company has been disguised as A&D High Tech…

Abstract

The case is based on a real $25 million project at a major U.S.-based computer manufacturer. For confidentiality reasons the company has been disguised as A&D High Tech. The Web-based online ordering system project is required by sales and marketing for the fall holiday season. If the project misses this window, the firm will lose substantial market share to competitors. The A&D High Tech case examines how to create and analyze a project plan in Microsoft Project. Specifically, data is given to build the project plan step-by-step and then analyze the plan using the Microsoft project management tool. In order to make the case manageable for students we reduced the size of the project, and corresponding number of resources, to approximately $1 million, but retained all of the features of the original project. The project plan that students construct from the data given in the case is fraught with risks, and students must apply risk management techniques to diagnose the plan. Ultimately, students must answer the management question: Will the project be completed for the holiday shopping season? This case is the first in a series; the second is the case entitled “A&D High Tech (B): Managing Scope Change.” The case can also be taught using other project management software tools, such as Primavera.

The case teaches students how to build a project plan in Microsoft Project (or other project management software tools). More important, the case teaches prospective executives how to analyze a project plan and identify risks of the plan, and define strategies to mitigate these risks. Students learn that in the planning stage of any project the risks are highest, but this is the best opportunity for proactive management intervention.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Mark Jeffery, Robert Cooper and Debarshi Sengupta

A major barrier for growth of large multi-business unit firms is the inability to resource the critical initiatives to win—both in terms of dollars and people. The…

Abstract

A major barrier for growth of large multi-business unit firms is the inability to resource the critical initiatives to win—both in terms of dollars and people. The underpinning of the challenge involves the conflict between resourcing current cash-generating legacy businesses vs. new initiatives which may not, in the short term, produce positive financial results. Most companies do not have a formal portfolio process to deal with this fundamental issue. Danaka is a fictional company based on real business experiences. The company has strong growth markets as well as markets that are commoditizing. Unfortunately, the latter represent a sizable portion of the company's business. A framework is given that establishes a matrix to analyze the Danaka businesses using their critical financial criteria—cash generation and top-line growth. Projects are divided into four categories based on how they fit into the matrix, and resource allocations are then analyzed. Students discover that the current allocation does not enable Danaka to meet its aggressive growth goals. The case incorporates an interactive spreadsheet model in which students can dynamically change the various resource allocations and see the impact on future top-line growth. The essence of the case is how to manage the resource allocation for a multi-business unit firm when present allocations will not meet future growth goals.

The key learning of this case is that when business leaders set financial goals, they must understand how they are expending their resources. More often than not, significant changes must occur that could be wrenching to the organization. The key learning objectives are: (1) realize the importance of performing a portfolio analysis; (2) discuss the issues involved in making the changes; and (3) understand how to put the decision process in place.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Mark Jeffery, H. Nevin Ekici, Cassidy Shield and Mike Conley

Examines the lease vs. buy decision for investments in technology. Addresses pivotal investment decision issues such as varying the length of the lease, the useful life of…

Abstract

Examines the lease vs. buy decision for investments in technology. Addresses pivotal investment decision issues such as varying the length of the lease, the useful life of the equipment, and alignment with the company's overall financial strategy. The scenario is for a real financial services firm that has been disguised for confidentiality reasons. Presents an investment decision: should a company buy or lease technology with a relatively short useful life? The new controller at AMG, a Fortune 500 financial services firm, has been tasked with determining how to finance the acquisition of 7,542 new PCs to be rolled out over the next 12 months. This is a $6.7 million investment decision and the rollout schedule adds significant complexity to the solution. The controller must choose between buying or leasing the computers over 24- or 36-month time frames. Provides a framework for analyzing similar investment decisions. The key learning point is that leasing information technology can be cheaper than buying. This is contradictory to a car lease, which may be familiar from everyday experience. A new car has a potentially long useful life and can retain significant value after several years, hence, intuition is that buying should always be cheaper than leasing. Shows that this is not the case for information technology. Teaches the correct application of the mid-quarter convention within MACRS depreciation for technology, and the implications of operating vs. capital leases and off-balance-sheet financing. In the process, introduces the four tests for a capital lease. Finally, shows how creative analysis techniques can be used to simplify complex decisions. These techniques aid in arriving at a conclusion faster and with less effort.

To illustrate the fundamentals of lease vs. buy decisions in technology and how they differ from the typical capital equipment lease vs. buy decision. Topics covered include MACRS depreciation and off-balance-sheet financing for a complex leasing scenario staggered in time across multiple business units.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Mark Jeffery, Joseph F. Norton and Derek Yung

“MDCM, Inc. (A): IT Strategy Synchronization” examines the issues of formulating an IT strategy and a set of IT objectives aligned with corporate strategy. Specifically…

Abstract

“MDCM, Inc. (A): IT Strategy Synchronization” examines the issues of formulating an IT strategy and a set of IT objectives aligned with corporate strategy. Specifically, the case describes a firm that has grown rapidly through global acquisitions. As a result of these acquisitions, the new conglomerate is not responsive to the competitive environment. The firm has therefore launched a new transformation strategy called Horizon 2000, but it has yet to develop a corresponding IT strategy. Students solve Case A by applying the management by business objective framework and develop an executive-level IT strategy for the firm. This case is the first in a series; the second is the case “MDCM, Inc. (B): Strategic IT Portfolio Management.”

The objective of the case is to have students analyze a firm's strategy and define the IT objectives for the firm. A key takeaway is that IT objectives should be systematically linked to corporate strategy. Students learn a framework and process for aligning IT objectives with business strategy. The framework consists of mapping corporate strategy to business objectives, to overall IT strategy, and finally mapping to specific IT objectives.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Mark Jeffery, Daniel Fisher, Mirron Granot, Anuj Kadyan, Albert Pho and Carlos Vasquez

In 2001 Accenture took the bold step of separating from its parent, Arthur Andersen. The new firm that emerged had a bright future ahead, but it also faced the challenge…

Abstract

In 2001 Accenture took the bold step of separating from its parent, Arthur Andersen. The new firm that emerged had a bright future ahead, but it also faced the challenge of building a new IT infrastructure that could support a global organization that consults on leading-edge technology. Accenture's CIO at the time, Ed Schreck, knew that becoming a master of your own trade was not an easy task. Frank Modruson, Schreck's successor and the person responsible for carrying forward the IT transformation challenge from 2002 on, had ambitious plans for the new technology infrastructure that was to replace Arthur Andersen's legacy systems. Difficult decisions had to be made. Should the firm continue with a decentralized approach to managing technology platforms, in which each country chooses its own IT platforms and has autonomy to run them? Or should the firm take a mixed approach, in which the same standard applications would run throughout the enterprise but would be managed independently by individual offices? Or should Accenture espouse a “one-firm” approach and boldly shoot for a centralized implementation of its most critical systems, with all its offices interconnected on the same “instance” of a software platform? Furthermore, should the firm retain its traditional conception of IT as cost center, or should it migrate to a scheme that recognizes IT as a service provision center that generates measurable value for the organization? These questions and many others drove Accenture's CIO team to undertake one of the most remarkable IT transformations in a global organization in recent years.

To understand best practices for transforming an IT infrastructure. To offer a step-by-step approach to rationalizing a billion-dollar-plus IT technology infrastructure. To understand the connection between strategy and architecture in delivering high performance for an organization. To understand organizational change strategies and approaches in dealing with complexity in very large companies.

Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Mark Jeffery, James Anfield and Subhankar Bhowmick

This case is designed to teach how to structure information technology (IT) infrastructure outsourcing deals from both the outsourcer and the client perspective. Office…

Abstract

This case is designed to teach how to structure information technology (IT) infrastructure outsourcing deals from both the outsourcer and the client perspective. Office Supply Incorporated (OSI) is a company in crisis, with challenges in its cost structure and poor IT performance. Outsourcing to Technology Infrastructure Solutions is an opportunity to both reduce costs and complexity for the firm, but students first must consider whether outsourcing is a good strategic fit for OSI. Detailed spreadsheet templates are given that are based on a real outsourcing client engagement for a major infrastructure outsourcing company. The spreadsheets are complex but have been simplified so that they automatically calculate when populated, allowing the students to quickly move to answering the management challenge: how should TIS price and structure the outsourcing deal? Answering this question provides deep insights into the business case for IT outsourcing and how outsourcers financially engineer a deal structure to ensure a win-win outcome for both the client and outsource service provider.

Students will: Understand the strategic context of IT outsourcing and when it will benefit a firm; Understand IT infrastructure outsourcing and management issues such as personnel reductions and organizational change; Learn which outsourcing pricing model is the best fit for a project; Create a rigorous cost-benefit financial analysis and ROI model for IT infrastructure outsourcing; Analyze the model and learn how to financially engineer the deal to be a win-win for the outsourcer and client.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Mark Jeffery, Chris Rzymski, Sandeep Shah and Robert J. Sweeney

Technology projects are inherently risky; research shows that large IT projects succeed as originally planned only 28 percent of the time. Building flexibility, or real…

Abstract

Technology projects are inherently risky; research shows that large IT projects succeed as originally planned only 28 percent of the time. Building flexibility, or real options, into a project can help manage this risk. Furthermore, the management flexibility of options has value, as the downside risk is reduced and the upside is increased. The case is based upon real options analysis for an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and analytic customer relationship management (CRM) program at a major U.S. firm. The firm has been disguised as Global Airlines for confidentiality reasons. The data mart consolidation or EDW marginally meets the hurdle rate for the firm as analyzed using a traditional net present value (NPV) analysis. However, different tactical deployment strategies help mitigate the risk of the project by building options into the project, and the traditional NPV is expanded by the real option value. Students analyze the different deployment strategies using a binomial model compound option Excel macro, and calculate the volatility using Monte Carlo analysis in Excel. A step-by-step tutorial is provided to teach students how to accomplish the real options analysis for a simplified project, and this tutorial is easily generalized by students to the case scenario. In addition to the tactical options, the case also has the strategic growth option of analytic CRM. Students must therefore analyze both the tactical and strategic growth options and make a management recommendation on funding the project and also recommend an optimal deployment strategy to manage the project risk.

The case teaches real options for technology projects. Students learn how to calculate real option values, where the key input of volatility is obtained by Monte Carlo analysis in Excel. Students also learn that the real option value is “real,” resulting from active management mitigating the risk of the project and improving the upside. Most important, students understand the difference between tactical vs. strategic growth options and the important management issues to consider.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Mark Jeffery, Derek Yung and Alex Gershbeyn

The case is based on a real $25 million project at a major U.S.-based computer manufacturer. For confidentiality reasons the company has been disguised as A&D High Tech…

Abstract

The case is based on a real $25 million project at a major U.S.-based computer manufacturer. For confidentiality reasons the company has been disguised as A&D High Tech. The Web-based online ordering system project is required by sales and marketing for the fall holiday season. If the project misses this window, the firm will lose substantial market share to competitors. Part (B) takes place three months into the original project plan. The project manager has just been fired and the management challenge is to find out what is wrong with the project and recommend fixes. In addition, the scope of the project has changed: the VP of marketing has an additional promotional bundle requirement. A&D High Tech (A) examines how to create and analyze a project plan in Microsoft Project. In order to make the case manageable for students we reduced the size of the project, and corresponding number of resources, to approximately $1 million, but retained all of the features of the original project. Part (B) gives actual work done on each task three months into the project. Students must answer the management questions: Can the project be fixed and completed in time for the holiday season? Can the additional requirements be incorporated, and if so, what is the best approach? In order to answer these questions, earned value data can be extracted from Microsoft Project and analyzed. These data provide important insights into the root cause of problems with the project. The next step is to reduce the scope of the project and reassign resources. However, one must be aware that indiscriminately adding people can slow a project down, not speed it up. Finally, the additional promotional bundle requirement from the VP of marketing provides an important outsourcing management discussion. The case can also be taught using other project management software tools, such as Primavera.

The case teaches students how to analyze a project in trouble using Microsoft Project (or other project management software tool). More important, the case teaches prospective executives how to manage a project in trouble by first accurately diagnosing the problems, then reducing scope where necessary, and finally replanning the project with reallocated resources. In addition, students will learn the tradeoffs of outsourcing to highly specialized professionals vs. average contractors.

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

Keywords

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