6 The Quantum Bank
Quantum Bank Inc. is a regional bank with branches throughout the southeast. In early 1999 the bank
launched a website that provides its customers with the ability to check the balance of their accounts, and
obtain information about the bank’s various services, obtain contact information, email questions, and link
to a variety of other useful sources of information. Given the site’s tremendous success, competition from
both traditional and non-traditional organizations, and the desire to expand its presence beyond its
current geographical area, Quantum decided to significantly expand its online offerings. More specifically,
Quantum would like to expand its website to include an online bill payment service, allow customers to
apply for credit cards and loans online, open accounts, and manage their investment portfolios online.
Vice-President of Information Systems, Stacey Thomas, has been charged with overseeing the project.
One of her first tasks was to select the project manager. Because of the strategic importance of the
project, she had a strong preference for staffing the project internally as opposed to employing the
services of one of the many consulting firms available that specialize in these types of projects. After
developing a list of ten or so possible candidates to serve as project manager, she finally pared the list
down to the two finalists described below.
Bill Fence: Bill joined Quantum in 1995 after graduating from a well-respected small private school with a
degree in computer science. His first assignment as a member of the bank’s help desk provided him with
exposure to a variety of areas in the hank. He quickly gained a reputation for capable solving difficult
technical problems. In addition, users of the bank’s various computer systems were often heard
commenting on how service-oriented Bill was and on his ability to describe concepts in nontechnical
Because of both his technical knowledge related to hardware and his ability to program, Bill was selected
to develop the bank’s website in 1998. Bill worked alone on this project and had frequent meetings with
one of the bank’s directors of Information Systems, who supervised the project. Initially, the director did
most of the design work and Bill did the computer programming. Bill often proposed alternative ways for
incorporating key features into the website, and the director would choose among the options Bill
identified. Toward the end of the development project, Bill began to take a more active role in proposing
features to include in the site.
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