The introduction (Patrick Dorval)The current context of globalization where competition is made easier by information new technologies, a better and better managed cultural diversity, and the increasing number of free-trade unions between countries. The concurrency suffered is different for each company, depending on its specializations and its operating markets. Some of them have a very big product differentiation and are not really concerned about it. However, in other cases, the competition is really strong and the company needs to use a pattern to get through that. Sometimes, they will set short deadlines to outstrip the competition.
When it is the case, it may result as a lot of issues, as we can notice in Medisys Corporation situation. Actually, the company was facing two competitors who were going to launch the same kind of product. To get through it, the president decided to respect the deadline no matter what happens. The engineers had to put so much effort in the project to respect the deadline, that they could not develop a modulatory system, which would be way more attractive for customers. For the purpose of our work we will focus on these questions: -What is the main cause of this issue?
-Is the option adopted by the president the right one?
-Which factor is the most important to get the market, respecting the deadlines or offering a product which would target the real customer’s needs? We will discuss and try to answer these questions in our work.SITUATION ANALYSIS
OrganizationThe case focuses on IntensCare Product Development Team, which is an inter-department working team of MediSys Corporation. MediSys is a company founded in 2002 that sells medical monitoring systems to clients from this sector, mostly hospitals. MediSys knew a big success at its beginning and was early very profitable. Meanwhile, as other competitors are developing, the company’s directors are feeling a slight slow in its growth. IntensCare is a new remote monitoring system in which the company made a $20.5 million investment. It is the biggest project in the company’s history and that’s why Valerie Metez, marketing manager for IntensCare, feels a big pressure with that. Policies of the organizationFor IntensCare product development, MediSys has introduced a new parallel system, completely different from the sequential approach used historically by the company. Beaumont decided to make the different departments work together from the conceptual stage of the product to its final production.
The critical functions involved in IntensCare Product Development Team are R&D, Marketing & Sales, Product engineering, Software Design, Regulatory, and Production. Each of these departments has a “core” team that is part of IntensCare Team is directed by a project leader who is not only a manager of his group, but also a liaison to senior management. Key playersOriginally, Beaumont was the director of the IntensCare team, but later, Jack Fogel came in charge and became the project leader. His main role is to synchronize everything to make sure the production process is well coordinated and finishes in the deadline. Valerie Metz is the marketing manager of the project. She has the impression to have a lot of responsibilities about the profit and loss on IntensCare, but at the same time not enough authority to make others respect their commitments. The lead engineer one the IntensCare project is Bret O’Brien. His main problem is with the deadlines given by the direction, which are a real challenge for him and his staff as the products are very complex to design and produce. They have difficult goals to reach with costs, time, and specified features.
Karen Baio is a lawyer representing Regulatory Affairs on the team. She has been working with the company for years and her patience and persistence are appreciated. Her problem is that she is seen as an obstructionist by some of her teammates. She also finds Mukerjee and Merz difficult to tolerate. 3. Problem identification. What is the problem(s), try to analyze why they exist. This may lead to an even more critical (or basic) problem. Decide on ONE main problem. Problem identificationsThere are a lot of problems related to the case IntensCare. Indeed, there are a lot of issues related to the production of the product itself. First, the engineers have to face out with a space problem on the production line. For this problem, the president thinks the workers do not give their full potential. Also, as mentioned before, the marketing manager, Valerie Merz, thinks that the product will be way more popular if it gets a modular design.
It seems to be a key factor for this kind of product; all the potential customers said that it was an important point. Moreover, the two potentials concurrent said that they will use it in there project. However, as I wrote before, the engineers already have a lot of problems with the internal space and do not have any time to spend for developing a modular design. In addition to that, there is the lack of time. Actually, the shorter deadline set by the new president do not let enough time to the team to make a proper product design, production, and finalization. Furthermore, despite the fact that the IntensCare team is composed of teams from all the concerned departments of the company, each department team reports to its manager who reports to the department manager, which kills all the coordination and synchronisation between departments, which should be the main advantage of this work method.
In this case, we can see different problem linked with the launch of IntensCare. In fact we can listed three different important problem : first of all the pressure of launching the product by august 2009. Secondly the incorporation of a modular product into the product. And finally the need to meet regulatory compliance requirements. In this part we are going to see the different theory witch will lead us to find solution. The IntensCare team doesn’t work good, so we can ask the question if it is a team or just a group ? Does the “team” able to maintain the pressure and finish the product before august ? Are they able to work for a common objective instead of working everyone with different objective ? Are they able to be agree concerning the question of the regulatory compliance ?
Theory 1: the structural dynamic of groups.
It is important to know the role and expectations that develop within the groups, the prestige of group membership and the members’ sense of belonging. The role of each people of the team is very important: they have to play one or more specific roles in group interaction. Role is the typical behavior that characterizing a person in a specific social context. In this case the specific social context is: a team have to work for the development of IntensCare. The scientist have noted that role tend to be differentiated in some standards ways. For example, in any groups there tend to be one person, who, more that anyone else, helps the groups reach its goals. Such a person I said to play a “task orientated role”. Such a person is said to play a sociomotional role ( relation-oriented role). In the group there are some people who play a “self-oriented role” which mean that the activities of an individual in a groups who focuses on his or her own good, often at the expense of other.
We can see some roles commonly played by group members. Organization roles may be differentiated, who is: task-oriented, relative-oriented or self-oriented, each of which have sevral subroles. In this case Fogel seem to have a good role, because he try to avoid the conflict and try to be the mediator instead of negociate in the conflict. Merz, O’brien and Mukerjee seems to have a kind of self-oriented role, because they work for a common objectives but at the expense of the process being implanted by Biao. In the case, they have define role but it seems that some people working expense of other role.
Theory 2: Difference between teams and groups
First of all,a team may be defined as a group whose members have complementary skills and are committed to a common purpose or set of performance goals for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. So it will be difficult for people to know the difference between an ordinary group and a team. However, there are several important distinction between them. In groups, performance typically depend of the works of individual members. The performance of a team, however, depend on both individual contributions and collective work product. Whereas group members may share a common interest in attaining goal, team typically are concerned with winning in some way, such as being first or make the best product as possible. In fact, it is much more difficult thing to create a team that group.
All members of a team must be complementary, should be aware of the importance of everyone’s work. The communication must be perfect and achieve the common goal should take precedence over the conflict between team members. We can see that the members of the “IntensCare” do not meet the criteria of a team. In the case we are talking about a team, but in fact they appear more as a group. Theory 3: Theory about effective team performance
Successful teams make success of organizations.
In this case the questions bellows to the fact if it is a team or a group. Managers like Fogel and Merz have to work together in support team. There must be a coordination of their activities and work closely together. When people work individually, they are not more productive. Team building is usually used when established teams are showing signs of trouble, such as when members lose sight of their objectives. Here there is a misunderstood between managers about objectives. To work in team efficiency, each one has to be able to manage oneself. The Self-Management Skills is essential for members to know how to manage themselves. Training in self-management focuses one five skills, one of this skills is criticizing oneself objectively. Role-definition exercises.
Here Merz discussed about her perceptions and highlight areas of disagreement so theses can be worked on. Goal-setting exercises: Managers are not all focusing on the same goal. They have to set and clarify various goals toward which they are working and to identify ways they can achieve them. Merz has a different conception than other managers, working in an efficient make the possibility to adjust details and way to do. Working by team is an effective way of eliminating layers of management. Then, it improves quality, customer service, productivity and the bottom line.
Theory 4 : Theory about communication in organization
Nowadays we are living in the information age.
In this case, there is a problem of communication, of information. First of all, information alerts workers to the nature and location of any outages they spot, allowing them to take appropriating actions. Here Mertz is in conflict because there is a lack of communications and common commitments. The issue of regulatory compliance acts as a point of conflict between Baio, Merz, O’Brien and Mukerjee. This gives Baio the feeling that the team is not committed to ensuring regulatory requirements are met for example. Weekly meetings for the whole team have to be held in which previous week’s most significant problems are reviewed to assess how they began and to consider how they may be avoided in the future. There is an importance of sharing information in organizations. Information has to be given at once for everybody instead of one person. It’s called efficient communication, it is the processes through which people send information to others and receive information from them. Merz would be able to share her point of view about the product to the rest of the team instead of being put apart from the team.
To succeed, they need efficiency information, at beginning same information, respect of commitments and go straight without disagreement about lack of information. Article related to the topic: Now we will see some article which deals with the same topic. Indeed the first article deals with the way to finish a project before the deadline. It is one of the problem in the case. http://www.capital.fr/carriere-management/conseils/guide-du-manager/tannguy-le-dantec/les-six-principes-a-respecter-pour-finir-un-projet-a-temps-716347This article is perfectly linked with the case because it deals with the 6 way to finish a project in time. It is totally linked with the case because we can see the deadlines as one of the most important problem in the development of “IntensCare”. Indeed this article give six key and way to finish a project in time. First of all, you need a perfect and precise planning.
Secondly, divide the work between team members and in the time. It is also important to fix picked-up steps in the project achievements. Like so that the team members should be guided in their work and purpose. It is necessary to create a solid team and welded. There should be links between the team members and the achievement of the common goal should be the driver of the project over. They all look in the same direction. You should know to recognize the good work of others and the importance of the task they perform. Finally, it should be able to quickly resolve conflicts, and be responsive in case of problems An other article related to this case :
http://www.entreprendre.ma/Gestion-des-conflits-au-sein-de-l-equipe_a532.htmlThis article deals with conflict Value conflicts and conflict needs at work. According to the article, conflicts of values can confuse communication between members, create misunderstandings between members provoke some feelings of isolation and not to participate in the target and the common task. In an other way, conflicts of values can affect the progress of a team. Here, Merz’s opinion differs from opinion of the reste of the team. These elements can help in every cases to better cope with a conflict of values , or to facilitate resolution
– Maintain a respectful attitude towards the person who opposes us in a conflict.
– Take all the time you need to discuss the situation with the person at an appropriate time and at a time convenient to both parties . – Take the time to express their views to the end, clarify the experiences and interests that motivate, clear and consistent . – Make sure to be understood by the other person
– Give the other person the opportunity to ask questions and answer them clearly
– Give the other person time to express their views and to answer our questions.
– Be sensitive to the other trying to understand his reality, his perception of things and experiences and interests that motivate his opinion.
– Have other ideas in mind that we proposed at first , which is the origin of the conflict opened another behavior , another idea.
– Propose a satisfactory compromise for both parties.
EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVES
We have seen the different problem in the case. So now we are able to purpose some different alternatives to solve the problem. 1)When considering the conflict between the team of engineers and Merz, we can see that common ground exists. Indeed, both sides seem committed to deliver a profitable and before the deadline of August 2009.The important point is in the delivery schedule, it is possible to deliver the product before August 2009? In this case the conflict seems better managed by Fogel, one can see that avoids conflict, he does not debate in the conflict but he acts as a mediator. He’s trying to get a win-win scenario between the two party .And that through a management style “collaborative” conflict of Thomas and Kilmann (1972). In the current situation, collaborative approach is the most appropriate since you can see the desire of both parties to meet their own interests while meeting the common interest. An ideal outcome would be a resolution that the engineering team is committed to a modular design, but to meet the immediate time this design will be integrated into the next version of the product. 2)In this case, the product launch does not appear to comply with regulatory requirements, this represents a significant risk to MediSys Corporation.
As we have seen previously, Merz, O’brien and Mukerjee sees these regulatory exigencies as barriers to the project and they lend little attention. But according to the model of conflict management of Thomas, Baio is permitted to occupy a “competitive” position. This creates a problem for Fogel, because in this case Baio could make problems in the timeliness of the IntensCare team. In this situation, it seems important that the product manager, Fogel, educates O’Brien Mukerjee and Merz on the role of regulatory affairs. He should be encouraged to adopt a management style of “accommodating”conflict (Thomas). Indeed, if the parties agree to work and depending on the position of Baio, there is a possibility for the parties to work more in order to meet the launch date of the product. 3) This team needs a leader which can take decision according to the team’s members’ wishes and expectations. All members don’t go in the same direction; there is conflicts and need a supervisor which split the divergences, in the most neutral way, according to the common mind.
Model of Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership suggests that leadership depends on the ability and commitment of team members (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson 2002). It seems that MediSys Corporation has competent and talented people, but there is some animosity or slight reluctance of team members. Depending on the model of situational leadership, the product manager should encourage the group with a participatory leadership style (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson 2002). This will enable the support of team members and allow them to feel a sense of belonging. 4)Working as a team as well-defined results, these results should be celebrated by the team. This will help the team to create an identity, which is important in developing effective teams. Based on the effectiveness of the team, the product manager should understand the strengths and weaknesses of team members. There may be opportunities to address weaknesses through training programs. It is not clear from the case study whether there are cultural differences within the group, but would require that leaders adopt an adaptation strategy in such a situation (Brett Behfar & Kern 2006).
Understanding cultural differences allow the leader to adopt the most effective motivational strategy that will stimulate the interest and motivation of each team member. In some cases, the diversity of the team can also be put to use to solve a wider range of perspectives problem can be incorporated with opportunities for high quality decisions, including exploring the idea of Merz diverging ideas of rest of the team. This leadership culture shapes the leader to motivate others to act, transforms performers in their relationship, and makes leaders effective agents of change. SUGGESTED SOLUTIONAll members of our team agree to suggest the solution n°3 of the atlernatives (Decision making, Model of Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership) Indeed, the problem of the team is that they are in conflict, about different minds about the project, about which way to take to achieve goals. The team needs definitely a leader (Fogel) to lead member throughout one direction and make everybody in coordination. He has to split ideas and launch the team together, aware of following the same way.
Then, at the second plan, to accompany this solution, team has to fix the problem of communication. However communication’s problem will be fixed by having a leader, he will be able to diffuse information in the team and the team will begin to work with all the same project’s conditions. The aim is to avoid every misunderstood, which are the sources of problem and loss of time. CONCLUSIONSAs a conclusion, we can say that the situation on the company is not vey good, in fact, we have identify some different problem in this case. First of all, one of the main problem is the deadline which is august 2009. Secondly, the incorporation of a modular product into the product. And finally the need to meet regulatory compliance requirements. So in this case we have different problem which represent risks for the efficiency of the project. Indeed, the team situation is not very good, there is not a good communication and all the members of the team are not in adequation to realize the objectives.
Some people of the team don’t see other members as important on the team, they don’t recognize the importance of there work. We can wonder if they are a team or a groups ? As we said previously there are a lot of difference between team and groups, and for a good realisation of a project it is essential to have a solid team. Moroever, the deadline impose by Art Beaumont make a lot of pressure on each member of the team, it is problematic because each member of the team doesn’t accord the same importance on this deadline. We have find some different alternatives to solve the different problem, finally for us the best solution is : Work on the Decision making, (Model of Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership) accompanied by a consolidation of the communication.
To finish, we have learned some different thing in studying this case. We have learned that it is essential to have a good team, with good relation and who feel good together, to success in a project. We have also learn that each members of a team have to recognize the importance of the work of each people of the team. It is very important in a team work to have a common objective and people will be proud of the success of this project. The success of a work team will make a team “identity”. Finally, we have learn that the most important to succeed in a project is to work as a team, not as a groups of people ho all work for there own interest.