Ref: IMD-7-2182

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2182

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Adecco: Project management masterclass (A)

Carlos Cordon

By Professor Carlos CordonCarlos Cordon and Edwin Wellian

At the outset, the A case appears like a typical IT project at Adecco, the leading HR solutions company.

At the end of 2017, a new IT infrastructure service provider had been selected. Adecco’s IT project manager was tasked with migrating almost 500 applications – running on around 3,700 servers located in the current provider’s datacenters – to existing or new servers located in the datacenters managed by the new provider.

The challenges were not unique, but they were plentiful and the stakes were high. The potential cost savings were significant, and the technologically advanced new infrastructure should provide a solution to the many outages that Adecco had been experiencing over the years.

Switching from one provider to another is not the most exciting project to be involved in. The project manager knew that he would have to “borrow” some of the best resources from the 60 countries that were impacted by this change.

With an 18-month project timeline, it was critical for him to find a way to keep the momentum going that had been created during the signing of the new €20 million a year contract – Adecco’s largest contract with an IT services provider to date.

Never having managed a global project before and being fully aware of the potential pitfalls plus the fact that most projects of this size overran by 40% in time and 20% in cost, the project manager was anxious and wondered what options he had to bring this project to a successful end.

Learning Objective

The Adecco case series was developed to address a number of objectives and topics for class discussion:

  • To demonstrate the importance of leading with purpose when an organization has to execute a large transformation project.
  • To illustrate what actions can be taken to keep the momentum going for a long-term project and how to create a winning team spirit.
  • To highlight the different options that can be applied to secure a successful outcome of a complex international project.
Settings Switzerland
2016 - 2019
Type Field Research
Copyright ©IMD 2020
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Reference: IMD-7-2182

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Reference: IMD-7-2182

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