A Project Dilemma at Canadian Shield Insurance Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

 A Project Dilemma at Canadian Shield Insurance Case Study Solution


  • What should Seamus consider for the company AIS system or the ISS? If AIS then near a million dollar, and 5 years would be lost along with their employment since AIS system would be provided along with all services needed that means no need for the Seamus in the organization and for his team of developers.
  • If ISS considered by the Seamus, so would it be able to develop it competitive to AIS, and address more than hundred complaints for errors in the ISS encountered by the underwriters during the testing phase?
  • Does it become an ethical dilemma for the Seamus rather than professional dilemma? So, implementation of the AIS would be justifiable in any situation? What Seamus should do?


  • IT infrastructure of the company is good enough to operate with the industry’s minimum standards. But, rising competition in the market and issues in managing the client’s related information, and problems with the system ALPHA have emphasized on switching to another IT system.
  • It is vital for the company to bring efficiency in the operations to compete with large market players, because its client base in the market has been increasing which in contrast asks for better information system.

Long-term Solution

  • Seamus has been working on the InsuranceSoftware Solution (ISS) for company forthe last five years with a team of developers with a budget of $250,000 which is five times higher than the budget of existing system ALPHA.
  • Company’s main focus is on improving the operational efficiency of the underwriters. Since, insurance industry was very dynamic and wasregulated by the state and federal government so the changes into polices, premiums, fees, and other charges were determined by the government.
  • It was not possible for the existing system to provide these services with flexibility and efficiency in the operations because, a user friendly, and customized IT solution is required which is not available in ALPHA.
  • Company has initiated an IT program named ISS under the leadership of Seamus Reynolds. Seamus has good understanding of the insurance industry but after spending huge time and budget in developing the ISS he completed the project.
  • The project did not give good results during the testing phase at Canadian Shield Insurance Company.Within a period of just two weeks more than a hundred complaints were received for errors in the system.
  • ISS had become a very complicated software for the underwriters. The purpose of the ISS was to provide efficiency to underwriters so that they can manage as much clients as possible.

Implications for underwriters

  • It also hadanother objective to accommodate all information requirements to meet with the government regulations and insurance industry. So, the software achieved to accommodate all types of information, but it lacks in providing flexibility to the underwriters.
  • Underwriters were not happy with ISS.The typical entry in the ALPHA system required underwriters to go through three screens. On the other hand, this ISS system required underwriters to go through seventeen screens that made them frustrated.
  • These screens were related to information of the clients, government regulations, and information relating policies. Both systems are organized but, are not comprehensive and objective.
  • The system had become very complicated, and had created many complexities for the underwriters to go through because it has become a sophisticated software.
  • The object of the ISS was to give company competitive edge in the market, but in contrast a complex,sophisticated,and most detailed software was delivered to underwriters. No flexibility was provided to the underwriters that did not make any sense.
  • The ISS project has continued from the last five years, and its total budget has crossed fives time of its original budget. Since, company has invested heavily in the projectaround one million.


  • It has many issues, problems, bugs, and errors along with most frustrating thing for the underwriters the screens which were irrelevant or they had nothing to do with them but they had to pass through those screens by skipping.
  • Seamus also considered the Advance Insurance system (AIS) which was commercially available into the market.
  • The AIS has all features and characteristics that Seamus had thought to be in the ISS. Both information systems were not so different the problem with the ISS was that it had too much screens, and was a more detailed software.

AIS was also more detailed but comprehensive, and user friendly, and customizable. Since, these attributes could be brought in the ISS, but the time, budget, and support from the top management was not expected because the project had already exceeded the estimated time, and budget multiple times................

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