£bn Financial Services Company
Turnaround business critical IT project in 4 months.
- Year end accounts delayed by heavy losses.
- Risk of closure due to capital adequacy.
The company was suddenly caught unexpectedly by enormous losses and had to prove its capital adequacy by the year end within 4 months to stay in business. The loss was so large it increased the volume of paperwork exponentially because cash and capital adjustments to some 300 subsidiaries were consolidated manually. In contrast when in profit or a modest loss, the accounting consolidation exercise was quick and simple. The IT department had started a development project to automate the consolidation process but after design problems arose, they believed it could not be completed in time. If the company could not prove its capital adequacy, it faced regulatory problems and loss of bank and customer goodwill - perhaps even risk of closure.
Our solution - a novel design and 24 hr computer development
We concluded the IT department was almost right. However we dreamed up a simpler accounting process and a novel custom built IT system which we estimated would be finished in time. The board agreed. We assimilated their IT development staff into a new joint project team. Together we updated their program specifications, simplified the database design and the accounting processes. We introduced direct fast communications with all 300 subsidiaries to ensure decisions were taken quickly by a democratic majority and the project board. We managed a non-stop 24 hrs - 7 days a week program development team. Our communication and team building skills motivated everyone to pull together. The project plan was monitored every day by the project work package managers and weekly by the board. The users involved in system testing and pilot/parallel running were very supportive - being carefully chosen for their ability and enthusiasm.
Winning results - system finished on target = capital adequacy
We implemented a reliable, high quality system on time & budget. The year end audit and capital adequacy test were passed. The company is still trading. Since then, we have completed a BPR program, made further refinements to the consolidation system and cut the accounts department by 40 staff.