A technology-swap project was successfully transformed into an organizational transformation project.



The Client's Challenge

The state-owned totalizer (betting) organization was upgrading its core betting management system at the same time as it was expanding into new products and new markets. The project had originally been established as a back-office technology swap to replace ageing and increasingly unreliable hardware and software with a new platform and system.

However, new executive management had recommended that the opportunity be taken to improve the TOTE’s operations rather than just translate existing processes into the new systems. This recommendation fundamentally changed the nature and focus of the project.

The CEO was concerned as to the overall status of the project and the organization’s ability to absorb the resultant level of change.


The TOTE system replacement project (including platform replacement).


The existing project documentation was reviewed to understand the rationale and need for the project and the nature of the work to date.

Key executives and project personnel were interviewed to understand their views, concerns and hopes for the project – both in its current and its proposed form.

All key risks (eg vendor risk) were explored in order to have a position as to their criticality and potential impact.

The Results

  • The scale of the increased business workload was identified so as to make visible the impact on the business of expanding the project scope

  • The key risks were reassessed and some new key risks identified for management attention

  • The relevance of the investment vis-à-vis the new products/new markets strategy was increased – further increasing the product management team’s commitment to the project

  • A series of business decisions were laid out with their dependencies and down-stream impacts made clear so that the executive team and board could make informed decisions

  • The costs/risks of doing nothing were reassessed.

The Payoff

The status and consequences of the project’s (higher) risk profile was made clear. Previously unknown major risks were identified for immediate attention.

Executive management was able to make an informed decision to expand the scope knowing the increased risks, time and costs involved.


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Topics: Project Success, Change Management, Betting, The TOTE