Acme widgets with right strategic planning at corporate level didn’t realise to engage right kind of resource for specific job completion. Resources are allocated for each strategic directions and yet the high profile IT project gets delayed because there are shortage of trained manpower to carry out day to day work as well as complete the job at hand. Existing manpower resource is too tied up with their scheduled work and are not able to devote time for the new set of work. Given the fact that CEO along with senior management is enforcing the existing team to carry out the strategic high profile IT work. Existing team is too busy in carrying out the core business work and has hardly any time left for the extra work expected from them. The staff members are slowly getting disillusioned as they are overworked, less appreciated and pressurised into giving more output. The whole idea is to develop project plan which will not only take care of the core business needs but also help in strategic projects without getting drawn too much into work hysteria.
Identification of management issues
If a company’s present business activities are successful then extending the activity of current business model into strategic projects involves less risk than complete diversification as it allows the business to concentrate on its activities. This works perfect if the manpower needed to maintain the work scope project is adequate. Abandoning a business or diversify manpower from core business activities for something different, however strategic it may be is a grave decision. This creates insecurity among staff and can lead to substantial write-offs.
case identifies a basic fault where the core business activity is sacrificed for strategic gain. In order to streamline a business activity where the core and strategic project is carried out along with core business requires initializing strategic planning. This leads to strategic analysis at corporate level and at business level. The change that is evident from the situation given above pertains to developing corporate strategy which complement with business strategy. The corporate strategy should help develop and assess strategic option at corporate level leading to developing and accessing strategic projects at corporate level before finalizing the strategic planning.
Recommendations for addressing the issues
Addressing the issue mentioned above or similar to the one mentioned above requires some fundamental changes in the work set up as well as the manner senior management thinks about implementing a strategic project. Changes are essential at both management and workforce level. The command and control structure has to change for commitment and engagement. Work force past performance needs to be assessed and made ready for future capability. The management carrot and stick policy has to metamorphose into self-capability and skill development. The existing workforce has to change its passive and reactive work culture into proactive workforce. Instead of project driven by manager, it has to transform into project of shared responsibility. From activity based focus the work culture needs to change into outcome and accountability focus. The vertical management system has to give away to 360 degree collaboration and two channel communication.
Finally instead of manager judging his resource members, he has to coach, mentor and guide to learn proactive skill sets which goes a long way to help implementing the business need of strategic projects and maintaining the core business activities.
Before embarking on new set of things the project needs to define the starting point clearly. The strategic project opportunity has to have a clear ending and cannot be self-perpetuating. These opportunities require a quick and accurate response from the workforce. The management has to understand that manpower is classified into technical and non-technical. Not everyone is capable of carrying out multiple tasks and is not inherent. The training required to get into the proactive mode is best done by showing how it’s done. The team manager leads the way. The shortage of people at any stage of project can create huge problem and to avoid this segregation of core business manpower an proactive team to work on both core as well as strategic projects is needed (Beck, 2013).
Risk hedge plan
Strategic plan should define organisational objectives for strategic projects. Project designers should perform detailed project definition to balance resource, time and cost across organisation. Unless there is clear and measurable targets the problem like Acme Widgets might happen anywhere. Sufficient resource must be available so that portfolio managers along with project designers can create balanced portfolio. Risk handling decisions of whether to hedge or not to hedge the risk depends upon the decision with a positive value. Active risk management help increase the firm value if the cost of hedge are lower than loss suffered by company by not able to implement strategic projects.
It’s very important to identify mandatory or core business requirements and strategic planning and the cost of non-compliance needs to be checked as well before committing critical strategic projects. The risk can be alternatively avoided or accepted and risk treatment decisions should be coherent with general guidance criteria. The threshold acceptability depends upon the risk propensity of decision makers and hence management has to establish criteria to determine sustainable risk taking or assume the risk generated and transfer the same to a third party.
Conclusion that summarises recommendations
Project management aims to plan, coordinate and control the complex and diverse activities like the one mentioned in case. These share common characteristics of projection of ideas and activities and channel it into new goals. The project management helps in foreseeing and predict future uncertainties and problems that may arise in future. The project management organizes, controls various activities in order to streamline the work flow taking into cognisance the level of risks. Internal delays that occur are mainly due to control management lapses and project coordinators lack of insight. These can be avoided right in the beginning by project management team in order to avoid circumstances which lead to delays or workflow stagnation.
- Davenport, T. H., & Beck, J. C. (2013). The attention economy: Understanding the new currency of business. Harvard Business Press.