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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