Lavasoft Company, a web site development firm, is developing new site software for one of its…

Lavasoft Company, a web site development firm, is developing new site software for one of its…

Lavasoft Company, a web site development firm, is developing new
site software for one of its corporate clients. The project starts out well.
Lavasoft staffers meet frequently with client representatives to produce a
document of clearly stated client needs and requirements. There is no question
about what the client needs; however, members of the Lavasoft development team
disagree about the kind of system that would best satisfy these needs. The
project manager, Mary West, is concerned about the time this project will take.
She feels that the kind of system that would best satisfy the user
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Lavasoft Company, a web site development firm, is developing new
site software for one of its corporate clients. The project starts out well.
Lavasoft staffers meet frequently with client representatives to produce a
document of clearly stated client needs and requirements. There is no question
about what the client needs; however, members of the Lavasoft development team
disagree about the kind of system that would best satisfy these needs. The
project manager, Mary West, is concerned about the time this project will take.
She feels that the kind of system that would best satisfy the user needs is
more or less obvious, and she asks a few people on the team to help her create
some bullet points and general flowcharts to address the requirements. She also
creates a project schedule. She then presents the charts and schedule to the
rest of the development team and says that anyone is free to question her about
them. Some people are concerned that the approach as stated by the bullet
points and the high-level charts are too vague. Mary assures them that the
vagueness will be worked out as details of the system are defined. A team of
designers is selected to perform the detailed design and development work. To
speed up decision making and reduce outside interference, the team’s size is
kept small and relatively isolated from other development teams in the company.
Daily the team is forced to interpret the bullet points and high-level charts
and to make design decisions. Whenever there is disagreement about what should
be done, which is frequent, Mary makes the decision. The design team produces
the detailed system specifications on time according to the schedule, so the
project is considered in good shape. However, upon looking at the
specifications, some reviewers raise questions. For example, it is not clear
that all aspects of the system will be compatible with the client’s existing
site products. Further, the effectiveness of meeting all the requirements is
not uniform (some requirements are clearly met; others are questionable); and
some of the specifications involve system expertise that isn’t the forte of
Lavasoft. The original development group does not want to change the general approach;
instead, they simply change some of the specifications before proceeding. Many
weeks pass as the specifications are reworked, reviewed and approved, but
questions persist. Finally, the project manager decides that coding and testing
must begin if the project is to stay on schedule. Once coding and testing of
elements of the system are completed, however, resistance grows to changing the
specifications because that would require recoding and delay the project
further. Compromises are made to the specifications. More time passes and the
system falls 3 months behind schedule. To meet the deadline, Mary puts more
people on the project. Eventually the system is considered ready for
installation, but it is 2 months later than the original promised date. Because
more people were needed to staff the project, Lavasoft does not make a profit.
Also, because the system is not completely compatible with other elements of
the client’s web site, Lavasoft must continue to work on it and introduce
“fixes.” The client is not happy with the results and does not contract with
Lavasoft again.

1. What went wrong with the project?

2. Where were mistakes made in the project initially?

3. How were problems allowed to persist and go uncorrected for so
long?

View less »Nov 20 2021 09:06 AM

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