Case Study: The SMB-0 Project
The Sierra Mountainbikes-zero (SMB-0) case study presented below describes a
representative synthesis of two supply chain management projects that did not follow the
principles of the Incremental Commitment Model and value based software engineering,
and thereby had poor results. It is described in terms of the assessment portion of an audit
report done by a consultant hired to assess the status of the project.
Audit Report: SMB-0 Project
This report presents the results of a two week audit of the project. The project was
undertaken by Industrial Planning and Control (IPC) Inc., under contract to Sierra
Montainbikes (SMB). The report covers the audit’s charter, procedures, findings, and
recommendations. In this draft of the report, the recommendations are still to be
The audit charter was to determine the technical, financial, and management
status of the SMB-0 project, to identify problems needing a solution, and to recommend
solutions. The audit was to be performed by one person within a three week period
A kickoff meeting was held with Joan Black, SMB’s Chief Operating Officer
(COO) and acquisition manager for the product; Bill Brown, IPC’s project manager for
We agreed on the scope, charter, procedures, and information sources to be used
in the audit.
Interviews were held with five remaining IPC project personnel, one
previous project member, and three SMB personnel.
Documents reviewed included the
contract, project plans, and SMB-0 specifications, plus selected portions of the code
listings, user documentation, and accounting records.
The audit findings are summarized in a project background, a project chronology,
and a project status assessment.
SMB has an outstanding reputation for high quality in their
specialty area of mountain bicycles. For the year 2000, SMB had annual sales of $60M
and a 25% market share in the mountain bicycle specialty area, which was growing at a
rate of 10% per year. In the process of developing a new Customer Relations
Management (CRM) system, SMB found that its distributors and customers were
extremely dissatisfied with SMB order processing systems. Distributors encountered
many significant delays and mistakes; poor synchronization between order entry,
confirmation, and fulfillment, and disorganized responses to problem situations.