Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The IIM CAT debacle - egg in your face !

December 01, 2009

Indian Institute of Management (IIM) is the 'holy grail' amongst management institutes they run a tough entrance exam that goes by the acronym CAT.

Well they decided to automate the testing and got into a $40m relationship with Prometric.

On exam day hell breaks loose - and you can read stuff all over the net

Simply put - they bit off more than they could chew. These management gurus just did not do anything they teach (and I daresay that I have met some of the graduates who are yet to learn some basic lessons).

No one has done a risk assessment. No one seems to have done any capacity planning ... nothing. Prometric seems to be clueless about how to handle large orders ! They have been unable to put together adequate resources for handling 25000 exam takers in a day ! There is no contingency or recovery plan in place - talk about over-confidence.

These big-guys sitting in their ivory towers now say that it was a virus attack at a few centers. Thats so silly - they can't even get an excuse correct. I mean if you do not have the guts to say you goofed up in all honesty, then what is it that you teach these "best" brains ?

So will you teach them the 'art of glib statements' and 'excuses'.

Unfortunately this is another case of a system failing and causing stress to students and their parents. And the people who run the system are not bothered because they do not value the human being. These youngsters spend thousands of hours studying hard preparing for the exam day and these guys messed their preparedness by building a weak system.

Earlier this year the new online automated system for junior college admissions in Mumbai messed up really bad and thousands of students seeking admission were put to grief and stress. The college admissions system goof up was also explained off by excuses, and now we see excuses again.

In stark contrast we have the example of the US Secret Service who apologized for the lapse when a couple gate-crashed the dinner hosted by the President for the Indian PM.

High time we grow up and owned up our mistakes and made genuine efforts to correct ourselves.


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