This assessment is worth 45% of the total available marks for this course. The aim of this assessment item is for you to prepare a report relating to Central Queensland University’s latest Enterprise System implementation. If you have any queries in regards to this assessment you should post them to the Q&A forum in the first instance. Alternatively if you are an on campus student you can discuss these issues with your lead lecturer or tutor. You can also ask questions via email to the course coordinator.
Background to the Case Study
The case study provided below is based on a real organisation, Central Queensland University. Be aware that the case outline below is relatively brief. This has been done on purpose as links have been provided that give you some history to begin your research from. You need to research and investigate the case as thoroughly as possible in order to mount and justify your arguments and choices in your report. You should find the web useful in this regard however you are also encouraged to investigate other sources. As any good writer of a report will do – do your homework and be sure of the facts.
Central Queensland University has a complex history when it comes to Enterprise Systems implementation. CQU originally maintained a mix of legacy “in-house” systems combined with commercial products. After the failure of a syndicate approach to the development of specialised Student, Finance and HR systems, the university came to a decision to seek an external solution. Follow initial planning and the completion of the RFP process, a successful tender was announced:
The university took the decision to implement the Student, Human Resource and Finance modules of the PeopleSoft ERP (now Oracle PeopleSoft). After $20 million dollars and two years, the Finance and Student systems were delivered – over budget and over schedule. A number of scholarly works have been based on studies relating to the implementation, however a useful summary for this assignment is provided by Oliver and Van Dyke (2005):
Note (New – 11 August): This resource is available from within the CQU network as part of the library collection. If the link above prompts you to pay for the article, please try downloading the resource here.
Since the implementation project, the support and maintenance of the Oracle PeopleSoft systems have led to significant ongoing costs including regular hardware and software updates. Major upgrades have needed to occur approximately every 5 years and have often cost in excess of ten million dollars per occurrence: the majority of this cost is from human resources such as programmers and functional analysts. One key issue driving these costs is the substantial level of customisation to the ERP to meet the organisation’s unique needs. While efforts have been made to rationalise these customisations, their presence complicates ongoing maintenance and upgrade activities.
The announcement of the merger with CQTAFE has led to an examination of the university’s current and future Enterprise System needs. This has resulted in an announcement to shift to a new Student Management system from Australia-based vendor TechnologyOne:
While this will initially be restricted to VET (ex-TAFE) operations, the plan is to roll the StudentOne product out over the wider university, replacing the existing Oracle PeopleSoft student system. No announcement has been made in relation to the future of the Finance (currently Oracle PeopleSoft) and Human Resource (currently Talent2’s Alesco product) systems.
It should be noted that the new system implementation is not without risk or controversy as the recent Victoria TAFE implementation has demonstrated:
It should be noted that the links provided for this case are only a sample of the information available to you regarding the CQU Oracle PeopleSoft and the history of TechnologyOne implementations: you will benefit from undertaking broader research and Reading.
Study the past if you would define the future – Confucius
The purpose of this assignment is to identify and report on the risks facing the new StudentOne Enterprise System implementation by reflecting on the history of Enterprise Systems at CQU. You need to think about what happened in the past, why it happened and ask yourself is it likely to be an issue in the current StudentOne implementation context. You need to examine what is known about the StudentOne product and look at recent implementations in order to identify any issues or risks pertinent to the CQU context. From this, you are to identify, explain and justify risks. Following this you need to identify, explain and justify recommendations that will avoid or mitigate some or all of the risks you have previously identified.
You are required to use academic literature to support and illustrate your report. It is important that you look at how issues and potential problems inter-relate and explain the linkages in order to present the risks. DO NOT just create a “shopping list” of risks based simply on problems identified in the Oliver and Van Dyke paper (if you do, you will not pass the assignment). The problems that occurred then may not be relevant now, and many of them can be linked together to form meta-themes (or root-cause problems). It is up to you to explain and justify why the risks you identify may be a problem in the new implementation. It is also important to situate them in terms of the literature on causes of Enterprise Systems failure. Use this literature to develop your recommendations for strategies or actions that can avoid or mitigate the risks. Be aware that it may not be possible to avoid or mitigate all risks.
Your audience are non-technical (think university executives) however you can assume your readers are intelligent people who understand business arguments.
Remember that there is no single right answer that will address all risks and recommendations. It is your task to present a persuasive piece of writing that clearly identifies risks that are evidently real and directly related to the current StudentOne implementation. It is your choice to nominate which of the risks you believe are the most critical and up to you to select the most appropriate mitigation strategies for your recommendations. You will be assessed on your ability to persuade the reader, so it is essential you develop factual and logical arguments in your risk and recommendation justifications.
Your report should follow the following structure:
This is a concise summary of the purpose of the report. It includes a brief summary of the findings of this report.
This section describes the purpose and structure of the report: it sets out how the report is to be presented. You may use the introduction to set the context for the report and briefly discuss any relevant history or extant information pertaining to the StudentOne implementation. DO NOT repeat the text of the assignment (i.e. do not use the outline in “The Case” section).
This section should detail the major risks facing Central Queensland University’s StudentOne implementation in the context of previous CQU Enterprise Systems implementations, the history of TechnologyOne product implementations (not just in Victoria) and the extant literature on ES success and failure factors. Each risk must include:
- A description of the risk.
- A justification for the inclusion of the risk in this report. This should link historical or contemporary factors with the current organisational context and literature. In other words, the reader must come away from reading this believing the risk you have detailed is worth the inclusion in the report and does pose a real threat to CQU.
- The implications or outcomes if the risk was realised (if not already covered).
There should be at least three (3) risks identified but no more than seven (7). Bear in mind that many risks will be inter-related and have common root-causes. Try to look for meta-themes and focus on identifying root-cause risks. DO NOT repeat or summarise just the issues discussed in the Oliver and Van Dyke paper.
This section should detail recommendations for strategies or actions that will mitigate all or some of the previously described risks. Each recommendation should include:
- A detailed description of the recommendation.
- A justification for the inclusion of the recommendation in this report. This should link a risk or risks to extant ERP/ES literature on how to mitigate the risk (i.e what doe the literature say about dealing with this issue). You can express your personal opinion as long as you can justify it.
- The implications of carrying out the recommendation (if relevant). Would this recommendation have consequences (schedule, budget, quality, political, user etc.)?
There should be at least three (3) risks identified but no more than seven (7). Note that there may not be a 1:1 relationship with risks. One recommendation may address multiple risks; alternately, one risk may require a number of recommendations to mitigate or address it. Again, look for root-causes and recommendations that address root-cause issues.
This section should briefly summarise the key themes from the Risks and Recommendations sections. You should identify the key risk and the resulting recommendation(s) that address it and explain why you think they are the most critical. You should not introduce any new material in this section.
List all references used in alphabetical order (Harvard format).
The following link provides some good general information on how to get started on a
There is no minimum or maximum word count for this assessment, however it is suggested you keep your report between 3000 and 5000 words. The aim is to develop and deliver a report that contains persuasive arguments for the risks and recommendations you identify: this is not a function of length. In other words, a longer report is not necessarily a better report.
Use your knowledge of CQU to inform the way you respond. Any extant trade or academic literature regarding CQU may be used to inform your argument.
You must use trade and academic literature to inform and support your report. A minimum of 10 references are required, at least 5 of which must be from academic sources (journal, conference or edited book chapter papers). Failure to include these will result in a deduction of marks. A high achieving student will probably have between 15 and 20 references. You may (and should) use the resources that are linked to on this page. Bear in mind that you will need to find some more recent academic literature than just the references cited in Oliver and Van Dyke.
ASK QUESTIONS! Use the course forums to pose questions and seek clarification.
Finally, here are some questions or points that you might like to think about in order to begin to formulate your risks and recommendations. This is not an exhaustive list and you are not required to answer these in your assignment. To repeat – these questions are just to get you started on your way:
- Do you think the first ES implementation at CQU was a success? Why/Why not?
- What is different between the two implementations? What is the same?
- Is the CQU of now the same organisation as it was in 1999? What is different? What is the same?
- What mistakes did CQU make when it implemented PeopleSoft?
- Why did CQU implement PeopleSoft?
- What advantages does StudentOne have over the PeopleSoft Student solution? What are the disadvantages?
- If CQU only implements the Student system from TechnologyOne, what implications are there for the technology and the organisation?
- Are there any political or social factors that are different between the two implementations? Do these make a difference?
What you need to submit
You are required to submit a Microsoft Word document based on this template. Please enter your student details in the section at the top of the template and add to the sections (you may change formatting and add sub-sections). Please DO NOT delete the marking criteria page.
OLIVER, D. & VAN DYKE, M. 2005. Looking Back, Looking In and Looking On: Treading Over the ERP Battleground. Qualitative Case Studies on Implementation of Enterprise Wide Systems. IGI Global.