Ricky Lee is the manager of the contracts group of a large regional office supply distributor. His boss, Anne Zumwalt, has asked him to prepare by the end of the month the department’s new procedures manual that will outline the steps followed in negotiating contracts with office products manufacturers who supply the organization’s products. Because Ricky has another major project he’s working on, he went to Anne and asked her if it would be possible to assign the rewriting of the procedures manual to Bill Harmon, one of his employees who’s worked in the contracts group for about three years. Anne said she had no problems with Ricky reassigning the project as long as Bill knew the parameters and the expectations for the completion of the project. Ricky is preparing for his meeting in the morning with Bill regarding this assignment. (Robbins, 2012)
Assignment. Prepare a 350- to 1,050-word paper detailing how your team would handle the situation described in the scenario
The Facts. Presented here are what I consider to be the facts on this scenario.
* Rick Lee is the regional manager for the contract group of a large office supply
* Rick Lee Reports to Anne Zumwalt
* Anne requested Rick to prepare the new department procedures manual
* The deadline for the manual preparation is the end of the month
* Bill Harmon works for Rick Lee
* Bill Harmon has worked in the contract’s group for about three years
* Rick asked Anne if he can delegate the preparing of the new manual to Bill
* Anne agreed to have the project to Bill
Chain of command
Rick should consider the following five behaviors when he meets with Bill to discuss the delegation of the project (Robbins, 2012):
1. Clarify the assignment:
a. Rick must present to Bill the requirements of the project. That is, to prepare the new department procedures manual that will outline the steps to be followed in negotiating contracts with office products suppliers who supply the organization’s products.
b. Rick must specifically indicate to Bill he is delegating this responsibility onto him if Bill is willing to accept the project.
c. The time constraint of the project has to be clearly stated. According to the scenario, the project hast to be completed by the end of the month. Rick is ultimate project responsibility for successful completion of the project so he needs time to review the manual the manual and incorporate changes before the manual is completed.
d. Rick and Bill have to agree on what the end result should be before Bill accepts the task
2. Specify Employee’s range of discretion:
e. Bill project is to prepare the new procedures manual, detailing the steps of the contract negotiation process. It is important Bill is aware to what extent he is authorized to make decisions on the steps to be taken, and the order. Rick must indicate he will have the final say regarding the procedures outlined in the manual, and Bill should consult with him if questions arise while defining the creating the procedures.
f. Bill will be taking on responsibilities beyond his current role. Bill will be taking part of the Rick’s responsibilities, so he must be made aware he is only dealing with matters related to the preparation of new manual
3. Allow employee to participate:
g. Rick and Anne should discuss with Bill the extent of Bill’s responsibility while working on this project. Rather than informing Bill of the extent of his authority, he must participate in making the agreement of the extent of the authority. If Bill is required to use other resources, to what extent is he authorized to set resource’s utilization priority.
4. Inform others that a delegation has occurred
h. Bill is part of the contracts group. Rick must inform the rest of the office that Bill has accepted the responsibility of preparing the new manual.
i. Also the suppliers have to be informed of this delegation. It is very likely that Bill will be contacting them in the process of generating the new manual.
j. Rick must also notify other managers within the organization who may be involved in the preparation of the new manual.
k. The communication to other has to indicate the project, and the extent of the authority Bill has been delegated in order to successfully complete the project.
5. Establish feedback channels:
l. Rick must agree with Bill on how the progress of the project will be tracked. In addition to tracking the project progress, Bills performance has to be monitored as well. Periodic meetings should be held between Rick and Bill to discuss the progress of the meeting and Bill’s performance. It is not clear from the scenario how much time is available to complete the project. A brief 5 to 10 minute meeting in the morning every other day could be setup between Bill and Rick to discuss the project.
m. At the end of the project Rick should have a close out session with Bill to discuss the entire project. In this session Rick should provide feedback to Bill on his performance, based on the parameters that were defined at the beginning of the project. Bill should be recognized for the success of his work, pointing out those areas where he did a great job. Also Bill should be informed of the areas he needs to improve.
Robbins, Stephen P., Mary Coulter. (2012) Management, 11th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, VitalBook file.
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