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Case Study: Lakes Automotive Essay

1. How do companies combine methodologies? Answer: Companies combine methodologies by conducting research to determine the fastest and most cost effective method to move product and satisfy the customer; criticizing both advantages and disadvantages; asking for the opinions of the employees and managers, and/or deciding which phase the company is willing to keep.

2. How do you get employees to change work habits that have proven to be successful? Answer: In order to get employees to change work habits that have been proven to be successful, management must ensure that the new, implemented work habits are just as good and will benefit the overall longevity of the company as well as the employees of the company.

3. What influence should a customer have in redesigning a methodology that has proven to be successful? Answer: The customer should have a lot of influence in redesigning a methodology that has proven to be successful because the overall goal of any company should be to satisfy the customer. The customer is essential in generating the company’s revenue.

4. What if the customers want the existing methodologies left intact? Answer: If the customers of both companies, Lakes Automotive and Pelex Automotive Products, desire to implement the existing methodologies than the board will have to agree on a standard methodology to satisfy both parties. Therefore, combining methodologies becomes a vital option.

5. What if the customers are unhappy with the new combined methodology? Answer: If the customers are unhappy with the new combined methodology than management should revisit the most effective way to satisfy the majority of the customer base.

1. Why was it so difficult to develop a methodology? Answer: It was difficult because the employees were not trained and was not knowledgeable on the one particular methodology.

2. Why were all three initial methodology based on policies and procedure? Answer: The three initial methodologies were based on policies and procedure, because that was the only standard that information systems, new products, and new corporate clients have in common. It was used because everyone is aware of policies and procedures and have access to references.

3. Why do you believe the organization later was willing to accept a singular methodology? Answer: It is not possible for there to be any organization or success in doing business with using three different methodologies. It had to be chaotic. Moreover, the company “had a problem deciding how to assign the right project manager to the right project.” (Kerzner, pg. 5)

4. Why was he singular methodology based on guidelines rather than policies and procedures? Answer: In the beginning the company used policies and procedures as a map for the three initial methodologies it was using, because they probably thought that was a way to have some sort of organization amongst the three methodologies. Later when the company realized the strategy was not working, they decided to use one methodology. Furthermore, since everyone is trained in the only methodology the company is now using it made sense for everyone to follow the guidelines of the methodology instead of the policy and procedure.

5. Did it make sense to have the fourth day of the training program devoted to the methodology and immediately attached to the end of the three-day program? Answer: Yes, it certainly made sense to have the fourth day devoted to training the employee on the new methodology. It is important for the employee to learn the new methodology specially since the previous strategy of using three different methodologies did not work for the company. In order for a company to be successfully all the employees should be trained, practice, and be comfortable with the company’s culture and methodology. According to the PMBOK Guide, a methodology is defined as, “A system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline,” therefore a company will have a difficult time being successful if everyone doesn’t know the methodology the company practices.

6. Why was the consultant not allowed to teach the methodology? Answer: The consultant was brought in only to train employees on project management skills, therefore, as the text implies, the consultant’s expertise is only in that subject. Moreover, the new methodology was developed internally. Since it was created internally only an internal employee could have the knowledge to train employees on the new methodology.

1. What is the critical issue? Answer: The critical issue is that the Clark Faucet Company has a non-cooperative culture; therefore, the engineering and marketing department is not encouraged to communicate. This causes friction between the two departments and many failed project management implementations.

2. What can be done about it? Answer: The executive council should enforce better company structure. For example, good project management practices and mandate communication between the engineering and marketing departments in order to complete task effectively and efficiently.

3. Can excellence in project management still be achieved and, if so, how? What step can you recommend? Answer: Excellence in project management may still be achieved if the project manager follows the tasks identified under the planning, execution, and closing. I would recommend the project manager keep constant communication with the stakeholder to identify risk (issues) internally and externally that will prevent the project form progressing.

4. Given the current non-cooperative culture, how long will it take to achieve a good cooperative project management culture, and even excellence? Answer: The length in changing the project management culture depends on the executive decisions and implementation process. If all employees are made aware of change and consequences of not adapting to change than the culture should transition quickly. However, if its not encouraged or practiced than a culture transition may take a while to achieve.

7. Should a singular methodology for project management have a process for the prioritization of projects or should some committee external to the methodology accomplish this? Answer: There should be a singular methodology for project management to have a process for the prioritization of projects because as a project manager, you are responsible for the planning, execution, and closing of the project. Therefore, the prioritization falls under the planning phase, which falls under the project manager.

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