Concordia Casting Company, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was a large, multi divisional organization that was originally an automobile part supplier, but has recently broadened its operations to include four business segments: automotive, machine tools, precision parts, and fluid control. Much of Concordia's growth has come through acquisition. Concordia currently uses Centronic programs written by the Concordia staff as their company system. In 1989, Centronic Computers Inc.
announced that they were discontinuing Concordia's line of equipment and would no longer support it and also indicated that there was no migration path with their product line. The long-term viability of Concordia was in question by most of the industry at this point and a conversion of systems at this point was unwise. However, a conversion to a new IBM system was necessary in order to ensure the survival of the company. In evaluating the management of the CAPS, there seemed to be two major problems with the project: poor project planning / estimation and project staffing problems. The first problem that is evident throughout the CAPS was poor project planning. This is evident in several situations throughout this case.
One of the major project management issues in the case was the poor estimates of the programming years it would take to complete the CAPS project. There appeared to be several reasons for the poor estimates. The first reason is that no one at Concordia could fully understand or appreciate the difficulties involved in building a complex, independent network system from scratch. Another reason is that 40% more enhancements had been added to the new system as compared to the old system. The final reason is that the old system has evolved while the new system was being developed and there were several modifications that had been made to the old system. The initial estimate by Concordia required 15 programmer-years.
By 1991, the conversion estimate had risen to 75 programmer-hours. For the reasons stated above, the scope and requirements of the project continues to expand not allowing the management of this project to be able to adequately plan this project from start to completion.