The Great Lakes Health Case Study Solution
The Great Lakes Health Case Study
Summary of Facts
The Great Lake Health is one of the largest health facilities in the Midwest with revenues of $550 million. It was a union of two hospitals. The organization has employees which have primarily worked together in other organizations and who have established tremendous benefits and advantages for the organizations in which they worked from. Other employees followed up the CEO from his original company. The CEO had a vision to make Great Lakes one of the premier health provider in the region. However, this was a major challenge for the organization as the local population was declining in a fast pace and most people preferred healthcare from university hospitals more than 30 miles away.
In order to achieve these objectives, the company has embarked on a project aimed replacing the hospitals legacy information system which had become obsolete with a new system. Despite the requirement to reduce costs, the executive went ahead with the project towards the installation of a new information system. Without following the right procedures for the project and without due planning and feasibility assessment, the organization went ahead to request for proposals, vetting the proposals and selection of the vendors. The installation, although highly priced was begun, leading to massive challenges during the implementation process.
From the above case study, there are numerous problems and challenges that led to negative challenges to the organization. One of the primary problems that present within the case study is the lack of experienced information stakeholders during the planning and implementation of the project. According to the article by Al-Aboud (2011), proper use and implementation of information system increases business success. Strategic information systems planning is the best and the most appropriate that supports the organization in ensuring that IT activities are effectively attuned with those of the rest of the organizational needs. There was an extensive ineffectiveness in the preparedness of the company for the project. First, the project implementation team failed to conduct a feasibility study to assess the need for the system in the company. The primary reason why the CEO sought out to implement the project was to enhance the healthcare facility to a world class level.
The second major problem was the lack of communication with the key stakeholders. In the work of study that was conducted by Naqvi, Aziz & Rehman (2011), stakeholder communication is one of the primary factors influencing the success of IT projects. As explained within the case study, the company lacked a chief information officer, and as such, the vice president of the marketing operations took the responsibilities of a chief information officer and the leader of the project. The result was that the project lacked a comprehensive budget with set milestones, poorly planned information technology project and significant failures during the implementation of the project.
Finally, the third problem the company encountered was that of over expectations. The CEO wanted to develop the Great Lakes Health to become a world class medical facility. This however happened without due planning and distribution of funds towards achieving these objectives. Even with the availability of the numerous alternatives for the company, the executive committee decided to pick on the most expensive alternative without due research on the expectations for the installation of the system.
Alternative Solutions and Probable Outcomes
The first major problem is the lack of trained and experienced IT stakeholders. There are primarily two alternative solutions for the above problem. First, the company may opt to employ full time IT staff members for the company. Secondly, the company may hire the services of IT consultancy companies. This will enable the company in better planning the project and ensuring that the right system is purchased.
The second challenge was the poor communication with the stakeholders. As observed throughout the project, the executive management has been responsible for handling all the installation project. The project implementation team never communicated with the expected users of the system, the owners of the system nor the customers to obtain their views on what they wanted from the implemented system. Stakeholder communication may be effectively achieved through the issuance of data collection questionnaires, interviews as well as discussion groups.
Finally, there lacked a comprehensive documentation of the requirements of the information system to be installed. This led to a project marred with over-expectations on the project thus poor budget estimates. This may have been solved by collection of information from the stakeholders or through assessing the services provided by the existing variety of information systems.
On assessment of the above detailed alternatives, I recommend the employment of company’s full time IT staff members responsible for the implementation of any IT project within the company. Although this might be expensive, this is necessary as the department would assist the company in making any specific IT related decisions. This would also assist in ensuring staff training on the utilization of the IT system. The IT department will also assist oversee all the different IT initiatives implemented by the company. Secondly, I recommend the implementation of a comprehensive feasibility in seeking to understand the requirements of the company. This will enable the company in the purchase of required and cost-effective systems which will serve the company effectively without requiring massive investments.
- Al-Aboud, F. (2011). Strategic Information Systems Planning: A Brief Review. International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, 11(5), 179 – 184.
- Naqvi, I., Aziz, S. & Rehman, K. (2011). The impact of stakeholder communication on project outcome. African Journal of Business Management, 5(14), 5824-5832.