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Read the mini case Investing in TUFS, then complete a well-written 3 page (minimum) paper responding to the questions presented at the end of the mini case. Support your answers with references to the principles presented in the assigned reading from this the assigned readings. In your initial response, ensure you describe how IT is organized to deliver value as well as how you would classify the type of initiative presented in the mini case. Cite sources using APA formatting and proof and edit your paper carefully before submitting.Case attached, no plagierism
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Mini Case
Investing in TUFS3
“Why do I keep this around?” Martin Drysdale wondered. “It infuriates me every time
I see all that satisfaction over something that is now the bane of my existence.”
He looked gloomily at the offending photo, which showed the project team happily
“clinking” pop cans and coffee cups in a toast: “Here’s to TUFS!” The Technical
Underwriting Financial System (TUFS) was the largest single investment in IT ever
made by Northern Insurance, and it was going to transform Northern by streamlining
the underwriting processes and providing strategic e-business capabilities. The TUFS
team had brought the project in on time and on budget, so the party was a thank-you
for all of the team’s dedicated, hard work. But it was two years ago when the camera
captured the happy moment for posterity, and Martin, CIO for Northern, had celebrated
with the rest.
“Yeah, right,” Martin grimaced as he turned from the photo to the e-mail message
on his computer screen, summoning him to a meeting with his boss that morning to
discuss TUFS. The system had turned into a nightmare in its first few months of operation.
Now his job was on the line. What was supposed to have brought efficiency to
the underwriting process and new opportunities for top-line growth had become a
major corporate money pit. TUFS was still eating up the vast majority of Northern’s IT
budget
and resources to fix the underwriting errors that kept appearing, and resistance
to the system had grown from sniping and grumbling into calls for Martin’s head. “No
wonder we’re not saving any money, though, with senior underwriting managers still
insisting on receiving some of their old reports, even though TUFS lets them look up the
same information online anytime they want,” Martin fumed. The meeting with the CFO
was to discuss TUFS and the company’s “very significant investment in this system.”
Feeling like a condemned prisoner on his way to the gallows, Martin grabbed his suit
jacket, straightened his tie, and headed up to the seventh-floor executive suite.
An hour later Martin was feeling very well grilled as he was confronted with a
long list of the problems with TUFS. The CFO, Melissa Freeman, had done her homework.
Before her was a binder full of TUFS documentation, stretching back almost three
years from when the project had been first identified. “According to my calculations,
Northern has spent almost $4 million on this system, if you include all of the resources
dedicated to fixing the problems identified after implementation,” she noted. “And I
have yet to see any cost savings in the underwriting department. Why?”
“It’s true that there have been some unanticipated changes to the system that have
cost us, but the underwriters have never bought into the system,” Martin conceded.
“They insist on following their old procedures and then using the system at the last possible
moment as a double-check. What can we do if they won’t use the system the way
it was designed?”
“Could there possibly be a reason why they don’t like the system?” Freeman asked.
“It seems to me from looking at these change reports that the system hasn’t been meeting
our basic underwriting needs.”
Martin acknowledged that there had been some problems. “But my guys are technicians,
not underwriters. They didn’t get much participation from the underwriters
in the first place. The underwriting department wouldn’t take the time to bring my
people up to speed on what they needed and why. As well, we were facing a very tight
deadline, which meant that we had to defer some of the functionality we had originally
intended to include. That was senior management’s decision, and everyone was
informed about it when it was made.” He added that they were now asking for a TUFS
training program and a help desk to handle questions that underwriters might face
while using the system!
“A help desk and training program weren’t in our original plan,” Martin reminded
Freeman. “These extras are eating away at the system’s benefits.” According to the business
case prepared by the users, TUFS was supposed to pay for itself over its first two
years of operations from savings realized from the underwriting process. The system’s
problems certainly accounted for some of the extra costs, but the users hadn’t made any
of the process changes that would help those savings be realized. “They think we can
just plug in the system and cost savings will appear like magic. And other parts of the
system are going to take time to deliver benefits.”
The “other parts” he was referring to were the e-business capabilities that TUFS
provided. “If you will recall, this system was approved in the days when we had to have
e-business or we were going to be dinosaurs. In retrospect, we could have cut back on
this functionality more easily and left some of the underwriting functionality in, but
who knew?”
“Well, as you know, our financial resources are very limited at present.” Freeman
leaned forward. “I’ve been asked to make some recommendations to the executive committee
about whether or not we should put more money into this system. TUFS has
been our number-one priority for two years now, and quite a few people are saying that
enough is enough—that we need to make some major changes around here.”
Martin took a deep breath, waiting for the ax to fall. Freeman continued, “What I
need to know now from you is this: What went wrong with our TUFS investment, and
what can we do to prevent these problems in the future? What do we need to do to realize
the benefits that were projected for TUFS? How can we measure these benefits? And
how can we best decide how to apportion our IT budget between TUFS and these other
projects?”
As he slowly exhaled and felt his pulse resume, Martin nodded. “I’ve got some
ideas. Can I get them to you in writing by the end of the week?”
Discussion Questions
1. What went wrong with the TUFS investment, and what can be done to prevent
these problems in the future?
2. What does Northern need to do to realize the benefits that were projected for TUFS?
3. How can Northern measure these benefits?

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