1) Abstract: What the case study is about?
The case study is about Jones and Shephard Accountants, a midsized company and ranked 38th in size by the American Association of Accountants by 1990. In order to compete with the larger firms, J&S formed Information Services Division to perform studies and analyses. Later, the Division has been expanded and provided services for the outside customers. Due to the internal and external workloads had been increased extraordinary, the Division has a lot of troubles customer satisfaction and other internal conflicts. Especially when the Director of Information Services Division has would be reassigned. The systems manager has been promoted as the new Division by the corporate. He would have to restructure the Division, solve the internal conflicts, make the company projects to be done effectively and gain the outside customer satisfaction.
2) Project management area being reviewed in this case:
What is the objective of the case study?
By considering the Jones and Shephard Accountants Inc., the case study introduces us the importance of having a suitable organization structure. The case study also shows us the advantages and disadvantages of the traditional organization as well as the demand to have a new well-control organization structure. The case study also includes the developing work integration positions between high level managers and transitional management issues. The system manager wanted to restructure the Division to some form of matrix organization so the process of selecting organization form and matrix organization form was considered and compared with the other organization structure.
What does it have to do with systems engineering?
The case study puts the systems engineering in the center position and make it becomes the key to solve the issues of the case study. System engineering is a logical way to thinking. As the definition, System engineering is a methodical, disciplined approach for the design, realization, technical management, operations, and retirement of a system. So we can apply the methodologies of system engineering to solve the issues of the case study. As a system engineer, I could meet and talk with all the team member about the restructure of the organization. It will be critical to know what people in the team are thinking about their work flow. The matrix structure could be the best way for conflict resolution and optimal the human resources.
3) Critique: Your opinion on the case study.
The case study is very helpful and practical to study about the organization structure. The demand for restructure the company is always there at any organization and at any time. So this is a good practice for me to understand how to select the organization form, minimize the conflicts and prepare for the transition from the old form to the form. In this case study the matrix form could be choose to form the new Division but the new Director must be very careful to choose between strong, week or balanced matrix structure for his Division. In my opinion, because both Project X and Project Y managers are highly competent individuals so I can choose the strong matrix structure for the Division and then reassign the supervisors and line managers lower in the organization. By that way, I can abolish the associate manager position. The project managers could gain more power and the operation manager could gain less power to break down his empire.