Show your understanding of the five key concepts (Strategy, Structure, Organisational Culture, Team Development, and External Environment) and how they inter-relate, using examples from your Project Team and relevant literature, including the text book and readings. Critically analyse the changing effectiveness of your Project Team this semester using the five key concepts.
Project is defined in different ways by different authors and professionals time to time. Some has linked with the job completed whereas others like quality expert Juran has defined it as a problem scheduled for solution.
A systematic plan that is implemented and executed in a way that it achieves its objectives and goals is known as project management. This fills the gap of expected results and reality by identifying challenges of real time based scenario. It helps in finding the way out of these projects. Project management is a systematic way to initiate, plan, schedule, implement and control project activities in order to meet project objectives (Binder, 2007).
As a part of our course curriculum, there were teams created.
The team was created on the basis of the fact that not more than two people from same country were in a same group. The group consisted of two Chinese, one Malaysian, one Saudi Arabian and one Vietnam person. The team was diverse in terms of language, culture, norms, geographic identity and the overall group identity was diverse. The common language of the group was English. However the two Chinese people were able to interact more due to language compatibility.
The goal of the team was to create their webpage using Dreamweaver program. The task given to the team was to create a page for website that can describe pathways of Swinburne. The target audience for this webpage was international students. The external environmental pressure of meeting the deadline and delivering the quality project was there.
However the team members have their own way of doing task. The division of labor was clear and the contribution of members varied with their skills and involvement. Each member represented their cultural background and individual attitude and perception regarding different aspects of the work. Designing was the responsibility of Vietnamese team member. This was his area of interest and he was good at the designing. The Vietnamese team member showed considerable amount of involvement in terms of ideas, quite, hard work and level of cooperation with other team members. However, he liked to speak less and talking point to point regarding any issue.
The Chinese students worked hard and collected considerable amount of information, graphics, and other sources required for development of the webpage. These researched material helped Vietnamese student to develop the design for the webpage.
The Malaysian student required pushing all the time due to his free riding attitude. He lacked interest in the group activity and the classes and this was very clear from his low attendance in the class.
“The effectiveness of individual employees, teas and entire organizations depends on how they manage conflict at work (Tjosvold, 1998). Managers spend an average of 20 per cent of their time managing conflict (Thomas, 1992), and evidence suggests conflict and conflict management substantially influence individual, group and organizational effectiveness. (Sutterfield, Friday-Stroud & Shivers-Blackwell, 2007)”
The Saudi Arabian student was not involved in actual working however he was readily available for help and kept his interest in the group activities by asking and interacting with group members. Human resource management is identified as one of the vital resources of an organization and proper human resource management strategy is vital for the success of a project (Binder, 2007). The cultural diversity of the group had positive and negative implications on the overall performance of the group. The division of tasks was done as soon as the project was assigned to the team. This was a small project and team member took initiatives to understand the outcome they would like to see.
“Together the team created a consolidated work plan, which detailed who was responsible for each task as well as expected completion dates. The plan was published so everyone could see if the project was on track or if adjustments were necessary. (Jacobsen, 2008)”
The strategy of the group was to divide the work into smaller task and according to the ability and interest of the team members divide the work among them. Except for one team member, everyone else was very interested in creating a cooperative organizational culture and collaborative environment. The team members were not very comfortable with the conversation, however, they tried their level best to contribute to the team and deliver the expected goals.
As discussed in the available literature (Frame, 1999, Binder, 2007, Jacobsen, 2008 and others), it is very important within a team to have strategic approach for the project in project management. The best way to do that is to divide the project to smaller task and assign responsibility to each member. The team has divided the work accordingly. However, the limitations of individual team member were evident during the project in their behavior and approach. It was very challenging to get consensus regarding various aspects of the task. However, the team learned to get the best advantage of the strengths of the team and overcome its weaknesses and successfully delivered a quality project.
Binder, J. 2007. Global project management: Communication, collaboration and management across borders. Burlington, VT: Gower Publishing, Ltd.
Frame, J. D. (1999). Project Management Competence: Building Key Skills for Individuals, Teams, and Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=113979747
Jacobsen, J. (2008). Teamwork Makes the Difference. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 31(3), 30+. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5037702473
Sangwan, R., M. Bass, N. Mullick, D. J. Paulish, and J. Kazmeier. 2007. Global software development handbook. Boca Raton, Fla.: Auerbach Publications.
Shin, Kalinowski and El-Enein, “Critical Implementation Issues in Total Quality Management”, SAM Advanced Management Journal, Vol. 63, Iss.1, pg 10-15 Society for the Advancement of Management
Sutterfield, J. S., Friday-Stroud, S. S., & Shivers-Blackwell, S. L. (2007). How Not to Manage a Project: Conflict Management Lessons Learned from a DOD Case Study. Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management, 8(3), 218+. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5035126089
Zarrella, E., and C. Gumn. 2007. Managing global projects: observation from the front-line. KPMG International.
Wales the Hotspot as Sun Shines Once More on Tourism. (2007, March 13). Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), p. 6. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5019805656
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