Review the case study on pages 366 – 370. Answer the three questions at the end of the case. Your answers must be supported by the facts of the case. You will be graded on the content of your answers as well as your feedback to other responses.
- How would you respond to the director?
– First, I would assure the director all problems will be resolved, except for the deleted Word Perfect files. Then, I would apologize for not having coordinated my efforts more closely with everyone who had been affected by the problems. Next, I would humble myself and request a meeting where I could take notes about the remaining concerns, and to attempt to regain trust. Finally, I would state that I was wrong, and that I shall be more transparent in the future.
- What mistakes did Young make that contributed to the problems at the end of the case?
– Young only attended meetings that supported her agenda; no trust or “familiar”communication was established; she expected researchers to be proficient with e-mail and database programs; she simply e-mailed an offer for project support and didn’t personally approach non-responders; she had not researched safety or fire requirements; she did not remind people about their “conversion dates”; she did not research all hardware in all computers, for “driver” issues; SHE UPDATED THE DIRECTOR’S COMPUTER FIRST! (The last item was a bold/dangerous move!)
- How could she have managed the conversion project better?
– First, get to know people and hear their concerns; next, research/brainstorm with her team about possible problems; DON’T ASSUME ANYTHING — i.e. ask about something strange like Word Perfect files, outside “impacts”; finally, backup everything and try using the backup on a standalone computer.
In this case, we have another project manager. This time things did not go so smoothly. What did she do (or not do) that caused problems? What do you think Astrid should have done to make sure her project succeeded?
Focus and communication were the two biggest factors at play for the current state of this project. Better focus and concentration on the scope would have allowed Young to stay on track better and tackle issues as they arose with more distinct action. It doesn’t seem like their was a risk management plan in effect at all. Communication also, on all levels, to her assistants, as well as to superiors, and the staff of the entire place that would be affected by this project, were not communicated to very well. his in turn added to the extent of how big the problems were that occurred.
She really had no interaction with her staff, except to give orders. It’s understandable that she didn’t eat with them because of her situation, but not attending meetings to devote more time to the project is inexcusable. That time should have been used to spend time with the staff finding out what’s what. Also, if Young had not lost her temper with Eggert a while back, then maybe when this situation arised Eggert would have felt more comfortable coming to Young when the problem arose. If Young doesn’t make herself more accessible and approachable this problem could happen again.
By not having regular meetings with the staff, she left the door to communication closed. In order to be an effecive project manager you need to be able to not only delegate tasks amongst the team, but you also need to be able to make sure everyone is on the same page.
She seems to allow herself to become distanced from her staff which is not something a project manager can afford to do. She MUST remain accessible to all of her staff if she wants to be successful as a team and as a project manager. That is one of the lessons I learned long ago in the Navy, I had to be accessible and approachable to my troops so that I could be kept in the loop when there were issues with anything that we were assigned to operate and maintain. By letting her emotions get the better of her she is not only hurting herself but the remainder of her team as well. When she is unable to perform at peak efficiency her team will reflect that. Another lesson to keep in mind when we are supervising personnel in the workplace.
1.) I would ask for the complaints to be addressed one at a time and answer them with honest and open communication. Once they have been addressed, I will provide information as to when these issues would be resolved and apologize for the disruptions that have occurred.
2.) She was too busy working that she did not take the time to have meetings with her assistants to ensure that all things were going as planned. She also erased things off of Dr. Phillips computer without his permission that was not her call to make. When a plan is performed,you have to plan for the unexpected and in doing so, she should have made sure as to how many people were actually needed to complete the project as well as provide contingency plans if something were to occur.
3) Planning is everything. She should have had a full plan to understand what was needed and if there were going to be any compatible issue before agreeing to the conversion project. She could have consulted with those form her previous job to get a better understanding of involvement. She should have gotten reports on a frequent basis as to what was going on and unexpected issues so that they could be addressed. A follow up e-mail or a meeting should have been set up to remind employees of their time slot.
According to the case, there were appointments and schedules made and communicated to the users, but when the time came, the users were not around. How do you get people to do what you’ve asked them to do, when you ask them to do it, without having to hold their hands? And is it fair to blame Astrid for this?
I believe that reminders with calendar meetings are essential because people get busy and lose sight on what they are suppose to do. Although we are adults, many of us forget about meetings unless we have something to remind us. If participation is not being done, then there is always a chain of command that can be used to ensure that things go smoothly. Also, you have to be an example. If you don’t go to people’s meetings, don’t expect them to go to yours. Although this should not be the way that it works, it happens like this sometimes.
Attendance and punctuality are a show of respect. Some leaders like to use time and attendance as a way of showing subordinates that their time is more important than those being lead. My program manager is such a person. We often will refer to it as “Jim time” or “the eight minute standard.” I have taken it upon myself to start our weekly meeting on time every week and whenever the program manager feels like joining us, he can provide input or ask questions as needed. Losing eight minutes of a thirty minute meeting is a big deal most weeks and can severely damage communication between teams and overall productivity. As manager, I would look for responsible people to work in my project, it just makes it easier to delegate when you know you have reliable employees. No employee should be reminded of his/her duties unless is a change to the plan. I would not keep irresponsible people in my team because it would not be fair for the other team members. I believe that “team” is a group of people working together for the same goals and objectives.
- I would explain the situation clearly to the director and would mention that these are small integration issues that would be resolves once the staff reports them. i would also inform director that an e-mail would be sent to all staff to report any issues they are facing so that those can be addressed and rectified by the implementation team. The cooperation of the staff would be really appreciated. Moreover, these problems were never intimated to the concerned team and are presented to director whereas, my team should have been informed of these issues firstly.
- Young didn’t invest in building the personal or cordial relations with the employees. She devoted all the time to her project whereas networking with other staff members would have led to better cooperation from these employees. Moreover, Young should have maintained regular communication with the staff, updating them on the project status. This would have created awareness in the staff regarding the project. Young should also have ensured that the employees are sent reminders the day and time scheduled for their system upgradation so that they are available or any changes in the plan could be communicated to the Young’s staff that would have led to time saving. Another major mistake made by Young was that she didn’t plan the project implementation properly and she considered this organization to be similar to her previous organization and thought that converting computers would be similar job.
- She should have interacted regularly with other employees to gauge their attitude about this change. Project planning in advance would have helped with this as she would have been aware of the slack time available with her to ensure that the project is completed on-time.