Mission difficult or mission impossible

24. 10. 19 John Chapman

Mission difficult

Mr. Hunt, this isn't mission difficult, it's mission impossible.

"Difficult" should be a walk in the park for you.

Anthony Hopkins: Mission Commander Swanbeck, Mission Impossible II

The client is a world-renowned internationally recognised finance organisation. With Brexit looming, there is a programme of business change. A new office will be opened in Europe and staff employed. Business will be conducted across the whole of the European Economic Area; over 30 countries.

They need finance, spend control and expenses solutions. This project will be different. There are many unknowns. The finance system design requirement cannot be easily specified as it is not clear what the reporting requirements are.Will there be statutory reporting in one legal jurisdiction or multiple jurisdictions? Accounting standards are different by country. System configuration is dependent on the design. User Acceptance Testing is there to test the design is correct. Yet to do the design means knowing the requirement.

This is a green-field site. Employees yet to be interviewed. System setup will require user names with hierarchies for workflow approval. Yet there are no employees. Only user roles can be defined; but how many roles will there be?

There is no infrastructure, no office, no servers, no printers, no PCs, no connectivity.

The programme consists of multiple suppliers as well as internal stakeholders. They will have objectives to deliver and constraints to work within. When there are interfaces requiring configuration, who will decide on layout and content? It is not even clear just how many integrations there will be.

Project management best practice says to prepare a risk register. Yet everything is a risk and risk mitigation is not possible. Decisions will need to be taken based on uncertain information and the risks accepted.

The go live date cannot move. Business will start to be written on the defined date. Systems must be operationally ready, training completed and business as usual resources in place. Statutory reporting must take place. The system must meet audit requirements

Budgets have to be agreed at signature of contract. Yet how many days are required? The project will need to be profitable. With so many unknowns there is much commercial risk.

Your mission?

Should you wish to accept it, your mission is to deliver this project.

Projects are not a walk in the park. Remember the words of Mission Commander Swanbeck.

‘this isn't mission difficult, it's mission impossible’

Would you accept this mission?

TouchstoneFMS are a leading solution provider to the Financial Services industry. With over 35 years of experience implementing software, we will always find a solution for even the most impossible sounding missions.

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John Chapman

Written by:

John Chapman

Programme Director

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