UK's Co-op Bank failed IT project beset by management weakness, claims Kelly report

Matthew Finnegan

Another problem was an inefficient organisational structure, with approximately 800 staff contracted to the project by 2011, which became over-managed.

Too little was done to reduce complexity, Kelly adds, with the business demanding 18,000 amendment requirements — an "excessive demand" for what was supposed to be an 'out of the box' system. Even the collection and documentation of requirements created a substantial workload, Kelly said, with the complexity likely to have added to the project costs.

"The Bank's management seems to have underestimated the amount of work reconfiguration would entail both for Infosys and for its own staff. The project would also require significant effort to migrate data from the legacy systems, to build interfaces with other bank applications, to train staff to use the new systems, and so on."

Future plans
Since the cancellation of most of the Finacle project - which has been rolled out to the SME lending part of the business - the bank has announced plans in its full year financial results to invest £500 million as part of ongoing IT transformation plans.

The bank stated: "The primary focus for 2014 and 2015 will be remediation of the existing system issues to ensure the bank can meet its ongoing commitments to regulators and customers, and the creation of an IT platform which allows the bank to provide new digital channel applications to enable appropriate online products, specifically web-based and mobile banking and functionality for its customers."

The bank, which recently saw CIO Peter Coleman depart, announced in October that it had appointed former HP Enterprise Services vice president Bill Thomas as a non-executive board member to help lead its IT transformation.

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