The trophy project
As Reichart had been an assistant project manager and thereby involved in the trophy project from its conception, he was made project manager for the project once the project was accepted by the company. From the very beginning Reichart faced issues that would be fatal to the project. The management functions of planning, organizing, staffing, controlling and directing personnel and resources were poorly executed by both senior and project level management. Trying to address the problem Reichart was told not to meddle in the functional manager’s allocation of resources and budget expenditures.
After Six month into the project, a requested progress report to higher level management revealed that the project was in big trouble. In the report it could be deduced that the project was one year behind schedule and a whole 20% over budget. Moreover; the number of workers supplied to the project was not enough to get the project back on schedule. When senior management finally got involved, they were threatening instead of being constructive and failed to seek a true understanding of the underlying problems that plagued the project.
Lastly, the customer was allowed to interfere with internal business while trying to solve intrinsic problems within the project that were outside the scope of the project using the company’s resources. This caused high pressure and lost time due to focus on administrative tasks rather than project related tasks, and intake of inadequate input by the corporate representative. Reichart was fired from PM position for the trophy project and after a total of three PM the project was completed on year behind schedule and 40 % budget overrun. Findings:
-There did not appear to be a corporate champion for this project who could mentor and resolve conflicts that were beyond the authority of the project manager -The Trophy Project was fundamentally mismanaged from the start -Allocated recourses were being used on functional managers own pet project. -Line workers were assigned to accomplished tasks that were not associated to the project. yet the project was billed for the hours. -Reichart and the team ended up falling behind schedule, over spent the budget, and didn’t accomplish the project in accordance with the customer’s desires.
-When Reichart made different people aware of the problems he was told to not meddle in affairs of the functional managers. -The project manager appeared to be inexperienced and was not very adept at negotiating with upper level and functional management to obtain the proper resources necessary to achieve the project objectives. -The organization does not address any sort of training, employee development, relationships with customers and other factors bearing on quality. Instead it focuses on mistakes and condemns them instead of viewing them as opportunities for growth and learning.
Top leadership failed by not providing a culture of trust, support, cohesion and lacked motivational leadership What went wrong/core issues? -As Reichart is the PM he well understood the project and he is the best person to offer recommendation and propose solutions to the project problems. But he did not recommend any adequate solution from his point of view instead he left the decision to be made by the senior manager, which provided result that were unexpected to him and actually cause more harm to the project. -The project scope, resource requirements, schedule and the budget were not well defined.
-There was no proper work breakdown structure were the team could identify the team structure and where authority lines are drawn for task priority. -Allowed the customer to get involve in internal business. -The project manager found himself in an activity trap; he spent more time preparing paperwork, reports and projection, which was needed for his weekly meeting with the corporate, instead of managing the project -Customer expectations were not well defined and scope creep was allowed to take place without proper administration Recommendation:
-Reichart needed to direct and control the project. As the PM he needed to use interpersonal and communication skills with both functional managers and his project team to accomplish every task in the project -The organizations behavioral strategy needs to transform from a bureaucratic to a learning organization where employees operate in high performance teams and where good communication and free flow of information flourish -In order to resolve some of these inherent problems, the organization should consider the Organic Structure .
The organic structure tends to work better in dynamic environments where managers need to react quickly to change. An organic structure is a management system founded on cooperation and knowledge-based authority.