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Published by:
IMD (2020)
Revision date:
7 pages
Data source:
Field research


This is part of a case series. At the outset, the A case appears like a typical IT project at Adecco, the leading HR solutions company. At the end of 2017, a new IT infrastructure service provider had been selected. Adecco's IT project manager was tasked with migrating almost 500 applications - running on around 3,700 servers located in the current provider's datacenters - to existing or new servers located in the datacenters managed by the new provider. The challenges were not unique, but they were plentiful and the stakes were high. The potential cost savings were significant, and the technologically advanced new infrastructure should provide a solution to the many outages that Adecco had been experiencing over the years. Switching from one provider to another is not the most exciting project to be involved in. The project manager knew that he would have to 'borrow' some of the best resources from the 60 countries that were impacted by this change. With an 18-month project timeline, it was critical for him to find a way to keep the momentum going that had been created during the signing of the new EUR20 million a year contract - Adecco's largest contract with an IT services provider to date. Never having managed a global project before and being fully aware of the potential pitfalls plus the fact that most projects of this size overran by 40% in time and 20% in cost, the project manager was anxious and wondered what options he had to bring this project to a successful end.


Operations; Project management; Leadership competence; Business partnering; Project; Project planning; Supplier relationship; Change management; Team; Outsourcing; Contract; Digital transformation; Information technology infrastructure; Cloud computing


The events covered by this item took place in 2016 - 2019.

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EUR 28 billion
Human resources

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