Project Managment Two - Argon

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 09:00 -- sewm02

Project Managment Two - Argon

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Next Meeting - Saturday February 2 at 10:00am, Physical Plant Office at Fairmont State

What were the issues

This company has only established informal project management as opposed to formal project management. Formal project management is not accepted among all the departments and is causing some major problems. It seems the Business Development Team was developed to supply coordination among departments but end up causing more trouble or delays. The Business Development Team has a hard time communicating between all the departments which is also causing problems.

  • Technical
  1. Lack of communication between departments, no formal contact between departments
    Solution → Could be minimized with a stronger information management system,the information management systems could keep the stake holders, engineers, and project team up to date with any changes or delays, etc.
  • Organizational
  1. Organizational structure was too flat
    Solution → Should look into utilizing the workforce we have to promote within. If the company already has the personnel qualified with PM, promote to project manager. They are familiar with the inter-workings of the company and should be able to be up to speed in short time.
  2. Organization had wrong party (engineering) in charge of directing the projects
    Solution → developing or organizing a Formal Project Management Department will eliminate this problem

  1. Distribution of work, some departments were becoming more overloaded then others. This causing them to get behind and delayed in their projects
    Solution → Hopefully the implementation of Formal Project Management will distribute workload properly allowing departments to stay on top of things.
  • Competitive
    • The need for PM comes from Hyten needing to become more competitive in unfamiliar areas
  • Interpersonal
    • Engineers do not trust others with handling PM responsibilities
      • The engineers may not know what the PM responsibllities really are. Explanation or TRAINING may be required to gain trust.
    • Not great communication between the engineers and management and alike
      • See note on Information systems.
  • Political
    • Instead of dealing with lucrative military contract, they now have to deal with private industry, which is a completely different world
  • Other
    • Too much emphasis on MBA education as requirement for upper level positions.

What were the options for resolution of each issue


What would go wrong if we Implemented Formal Project Management

  • Prior to implementing formal project management, Hyten needs to set priorities and reorganize its infrastructure. Implementing formal project management could cause mistrust if not implemented gradually. If the process is thrown on the employees without them understanding it, it could cause a backlash. The process needs to be implemented first at the upper echelons and slowly introduced to the lower levels. Another concern is to ensure employees that introducing formal project management is not a risk to their employment. Many employees might perceive that the reason the company is implementing formal project management is to cut back on personnel. Providing understanding will lessen those fears. Another “con” of formal project management could be the lack of ability to promote within. With the likelihood of “outsiders” coming in and taking charge, employees might feel betrayed and sabotage the new managers or could go on strike. Providing proper training with the current experience would be more beneficial to both company and employee strengthening both employee trust and morale.

What would go Right if we Implemented Formal Project Management

The most important aspect of implementing formal project management would be that it will create a method for planning within the company. Creating plans to guide project execution would take into consideration outputs for project integration, scope, time, and cost management. Planning between departments would build a trust, increase production, provide milestones and deadlines, provide an activity sequence, create a work breakdown structure (WBS), and create a cost estimate and cost baseline. People are more likely to perform well if they know what they are doing, when they are doing it, and why they are doing it? Without proper planning remember:

  • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
  • If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there
  • The Five P’s; (Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance)

Implementing formal project management provides a measurement for quality in the product and service. It ensures that the project will satisfy the stated or implied needs for which it was undertaken. Formal project management makes effective use of the people involved in a project. It is people that determine the success and failure of organizations and projects. Many corporate executives have said, “People are our most important asset”. Formal project management provides for a line of communication throughout the project. A failure to communicate is the greatest threat to the success of projects. Formal project management can reduce the amount of risk and uncertainty on meeting project objectives. And finally, good plans are important, but it is even more important to execute them well. Poor execution is the cause of more failed projects than all other factors combined. Formal project management can alleviate execution failures through repetitive checking and crosschecking.

Summarize the outcome of the entire project (or anticipated)

We anticipate that the transition might meet with some initial resistance, especially due to the complete change in structure of the corporation, and the recommendation of bringing some new personnel into the company, specifically regarding the project management needs. That being said, we do see that within 6-12 months that the company should have completely transitioned over to Formal Project Management. During this time, the need to make additional changes(mostly personnel related) are possible and the company must be willing to make some tough choices. Those tough choices come into play when some are just not willing to accept change and make the transition even harder than it needs to be. Hyten needs to realize that Formal Project Management is not only our suggestion, but is a necessary change that all businesses need to make at some point (especially a company as large as Hyten). This is why tough choices are sometimes the only choices to keep on a successful PM path.

Any relevant information from external sources

  • Sources Used
    • Introduction To Project Management, Kathy Schwalbe, Course Technology, US,2006.
    • Leadership In Organizations, Gary Yukl, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 2006.

How would your team resolve each issue; rationale?

This is mentioned above in the Issues Section.

Lessons learned

One thing our company has learned throughout it’s years of implementing Formal Project Management is that we might not always have control over how a project is run or how well a company stays within time and budget, but utilizing all the project management tools that we have provided you will allow your company to keep those issues to a minimum. It is obvious that you have learned that an informal project management system just does not allow the company to be as competitive and stay within time and budget as easily as will our vision of your Formal Project Management structure.

Breaking Down the Company Workers

Frank Harrel – Quality and Reliability Manager

  • Pro PM
  • Reduces sub-optimization
  • Problems with 'hot items' and 100% inspections.
  • Since he is already pro PM, you may be able to utilyze his efforts or make sure that he is a stock holder in the process. I don't believe there are enough meetings, so Intergration Management within the project would help.

Harold Grimes – Plant Manager

  • Anti PM
  • More work than it’s worth
  • Doesn’t like change
    • Use a form of leadership that will involve him in some of the decision making, such as consultation or joint decision making. These forms of participation may help change his perception of project management.
  • Hiring within
    • I agree with the some of this, if qualified personnel are available, they should be positioned as such.

Herman Hall – Dir of MIS

  • Not for or against
  • MIS needs reorganization
  • Project priorities
  • One possible fix to the situation he finds within his department is to out source some of the work. Put out bids for the work that needs to be performed. Many large IS suppliers have consultants that will come in and help set IS up and there could even be a maintainence contract or even tech support, etc.

Bob Gustwell – Scheduling Manager

  • Very Pro PM, if done correctly, will actually make their job easier

John Rich – Dir of Engineering

  • Very Anti PM
    • I believe him to be mis-informed about PM.
  • Does not want outside help
    • Engineering should do ENGINEERING, not PM. If the project has SCOPE MNGT, it would help engineering understand the requirements needed. They could manage their time more efficently knowing these items.
  • Engineering should direct the projects
    • The technical aspects of the project should have engineer guidiance, but if the technical side is all that is looked upon, the project will not keep pace with schedules and budgets.

Fred Kuncl – Plant Engineering

  • Highly changing priorities
  • His worries involve the daily functions of production. Need to show him how time management within the projects could help him with preventive maintainence and scheduling. The project management would utilyze, not weaken, the department's specialization.

Bill Knapp – Dir of Marketing

  • Pro PM
  • Placing individual emphasis on each individual product
  • Cross utilization or resources

Stanley Grant – Comptroller

  • Overall Pro PM
  • Worried about added duties

Our Thoughts

  • Hire outside person to be direct PM, but promote inside to work closely with him
  • PM needs can be based on project requirements, every Project may not have the need for outside consultants
  • Reduce the changes in priorities for engineering
  • TRAINING is vital. The commitment from management to back the formal project management is a must. If the President, VP, etc., do not accept, neither will anyone else. Training is where is will start.