Coordinating major projects across continents and time zones can be hazardous under the best of conditions. But this financial institution realized that fiefdoms could kill the implementation of massive new software program.

The Challenge

A bank was implementing a new software system in the US, London, and Tokyo. The project leader was concerned that fiefdoms would wreck the project before it ever got off the ground.

The Opportunity

Just because fiefdoms wreck the plans of others, there was no reason why this bank needed to suffer the same fate.

The Results

I was invited to join a team of consultants to work on this challenge. We brought key decision makers together for three days to look at the goals of the project. Could these leaders get behind them? If not, why not? It was hard work, but by the time the meeting ended, the key stakeholders were on board for this major change.

One of the managers pulled us aside and told us that he had come from a competitor who had faced similar challenges. Their integration project had been budgeted at $14 million. They never had a planning meeting like this and the project had now cost nearly $22 million – and they weren’t much farther along than we were. And this project was just beginning.

People were skeptical and protective of their own turf for the first day or so, and than they shifted. They began talking – and then working – together on ways to make this new software system a success.

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