PERSONS SUCCESSMAKER: PUTTING THE CUSTOMER FIRST IN TRANSFORMING PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

INTRODUCTION:

INTRODUCTION:

Success Maker is one of many Pearson’s Digital Learning products. The product mainly focuses upon helping and assisting the students at elementary and middle school with their reading and mathematics skills. The assistance to the students is provided as per the pace of the students and how quick they can adapt to new knowledge regarding the subject. The Success Maker is a product that is totally digital and easy to use. The product is popular amongst the students and is like by those who use it. Success Maker is also a helpful tool for the teachers and the faculty members as it enable them with efficient evaluation and assessment of data. Success Maker is open to customization which allows the product to meet the mandated standards of the students at each grade level.

The approach to the design of the product has been stagnant since the creation. The students were given assignments with respect to their subjects to the students by their teachers through SuccessMaker. Base upon the performance of the students they were evaluated on their multiple skill levels of program of study.

While there were several improvements made to the program for enhancing its performance, a major upgrade in technology and content began in 2005. The Next Generation of the program was more diverse and efficient as per the changed dimensions of the courses of the students. The new curriculum included a number of digital advancements and interactive guiding to the students through the program.

The intent of launching the new and improve version of the program was to address the critical market needs and issues. In reality the scenario was not as planned, the program was not efficient enough to deliver the desired outcome and it was missing the target of meeting and addressing the critical issues of the market. The organization had spent huge amounts in the new release but it was still not able to grow. The market was still not adapting to the newer version.

The company uses waterfall process which also requires the organization to commit to road map of multi-years that did not allowed any prominent changes to occur. The features were individually budgeted and committed in the business units’ strategic plan. If any changes were made to the road map, this was viewed negatively. The process also made internal planning easier for the organization as the scope has been the same and has not been changed for several years. This also reflected that little effort and though was put into committing features that would be meeting the customer needs or finding alternative to the followed process, one a road map was set by the company.

 PROBLEM STATEMENT:

“The Vice president has to make decisions regarding the methodology, how can they be implemented across the departments, and how much will they impact the product of the company.”

 ISSUES:

The main issue in front of the Vice President is how he can extend the Agile into the teams that are involved in the development process of the Success Maker? Implementation of the change approach will require changes on large levels. Implementations of the Agile System will require the company to conduct awareness sessions regarding the system for the team members. Other than the information and knowledge concern regarding the system another concern for the Vice President was the level of acceptability of the team members towards the new system. The company has been using the previous methodology since the creation of the program and it has become a favored methodology for the team members. The level of acceptance from the team member might be low. Implementation of Agile will not only be an operational shift for the company but it will also be a cultural shift for other teams of the organization due to their familiarity with the same waterfall model used by the development team..............................

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