Case Study:

Stalled Project: Coca-Cola


Had selected an enterprise software app. Phase 1 complete. Unhappy with high cost of the project thus far. Configured solution didn’t fully meet expectations. Unhappy internal constituents.


Implemented phase 1 using vendor professional services team and client’s designated big name consulting firm. Client’s designated big name consulting vendor was removed from the project. Client’s own project sponsor and project team were replaced with a new internal project sponsor and project team. Vendor relationship was re-started to prepare for phase 2. Client wanted a 3rd party expert, a role which the designated consulting vendor failed to fulfill.

Tension 1

Constraint: Client was committed to the project had to proceed.  But would require a re-start / re-set of the project.

Tension 2

Risk: The previous internal project sponsor had been removed from the project.  The same would happen to the new project sponsor if they were not successful this time around.


Client had an excellent in-house recruiting team.  The manager of this team was engaged to find an independent consultant, doing a broad search on LinkedIn and elsewhere, rather than looking only to a vendor.

Initial contact was made with a consultant whose skills and experience didn’t quite fit, but referred to another consultant who did fit.


There was an initial conversation to confirm this was the right consultant. Then a more detailed conversation with the project sponsor and project team manager.  Finally a third exchange to set-up vendor details and enroll the consultant.  Credentials were issued and evaluation began.


Some advice provided by the software vendor was validated as correct by the independent consultant.

Some problems which the vendor hadn’t solved, were solved by the independent consultant.  New solutions were implemented.  As project close approached, the internal client team was trained and internal production support procedures were documented.  There was a hand-over of tasks and knowledge, a final deployment of code and configuration to the production environment and separation.

Shortly afterward some new problems came up, the independent consultant was briefly re-engaged on an as needed basis.

The relationship is still there, even though the consultant isn’t currently engaged.