Crosby Manufacturing Corporation
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Wilfred Livingston, the president of Crosby Manufacturing Corporation convened a meeting to resolve a major problem concerning the company’s management cost and control systems (MCCS). She stated that the company was having difficulties in meeting competition needs since the company’s MCCS reporting procedures were outdated. Livingstone pointed that in the previous year, Crosby was considered nonresponsive to three large government contracts because it could not adhere to the customer’s financial reporting requirements. However, recently, the government showed renewed interest in Crosby. Therefore, Livingston wanted the company to replace its current computer systems with a more advanced model to update its MCCS reporting procedures. During the meeting, the MIS and EDP managers presented the procedures to be followed in implementation of the new computer model. However, at the end of the meeting, Livingston appointed Tim Emary as the project leader, despite the fact that he was not knowledgeable in computers.
In my opinion, Livingston’s decision to have Tim Emary as the leader of the proposed project was a mistake. This is because; one of the fundamental aspects of project management is use of the right personnel in managing a project (Hierarchy of Project Managers inProject Management, 2010). Studies indicate that there is a hierarchy of project managers in every project management. Depending on the size of a project, and the number of sub-projects in a given project, an organization may require several individuals to oversee implementation of the project in different stages. Generally, there are three levels of management, which are present in project management. The most senior individual in a project is a programme manager (top-level project manager) followed by a project manager, and then a project leader (Hierarchy of Project Managers inProject Management, 2010). A project leader is usually an individual who manages a specific stage in a project, or all stages in case of a small project. He/she should possess particular skills or expertise, related to the project being executed.
This overview of hierarchy of project managers in project management indicates that every management level in project management should be allocated to an individual who has the capacity to handle all the responsibilities involved in the specific level. It is therefore clear that Livingston made a mistake by appointing Emary to hold the position of project leader for the computer-upgrading project. In the case study, Livingston clearly stated that Emary was not knowledgeable in computers as other individuals in the project implementation team. Based on our understanding of the requirements of a project leader, Emary was not the appropriate individual for the project leader position. In this specific project, a team leader should have been an individual with computer knowledge, specifically, MIS and MCCS. Emary belonged to the planning department and not the MIS or the EDP department. Therefore, he did not have the capacity to execute the responsibilities of a project leader in this specific project.
The most probable reaction of the functional employees to the appointment of Emary as the project leader would have been lack of commitment to the project. Since many of the functional employees may fear contravening the decision of the president, it is likely that they did not ask the president to reverse her decision by appointing a different person to that position. However, since they knew that Emary was not the right person for that position, they probably tended to disregard his directions or contributions in the project. This can be termed as lack of commitment to the project. Lack of commitment by the key personnel in the project may result into failure of the project (failure to achieve the desired business goals), or delayed completion of the project, thus utilizing more resources than scheduled for. This may be very expensive for an organization, especially where high-valued projects are concerned.
Implementation of a project entails use of networking techniques such as critical path method and what-if analysis to generate project schedules (early and late starting and ending dates). The most common constraints in project scheduling are time and cost. These two constraints have a great impact on project scheduling. The scheduled project time may be adjusted using schedule compression techniques (Advanced scheduling techniques, 2010). Compressing a project’s schedule means reducing the time taken to complete a project without interfering with its scope or objectives.
Time constraint can be manipulated using a compression technique known as crashing (Advanced scheduling techniques, 2010). This involves undertaking a given project within a shorter period than the scheduled time. For instance, if a project was scheduled to take thirty weeks to complete, crashing can be applied to enable completion of the project within twenty weeks. However, crashing has a direct impact on cost. Usually, crashing is accompanied by incremental costs. This is because, for a project to be completed within the crashed duration without interfering with its scope and objectives, it requires input of additional resources such as human resources (in case of labor-intensive projects), or machineries (in case of capital-intensive projects). Incremental resources results into incremental costs. Therefore, interference of time constraint in a project has an inverse impact on cost of a project.
Time constraint can also be manipulated through fast tracking. This involves performing project activities in a parallel manner as opposed to sequential manner (Advanced scheduling techniques, 2010). For instance, in the case study, Crosby can start preparing flowcharts as it awaits receipt of bids on specs. However, fast tracking can result into rework, hence increasing the time taken to complete a project, as well as the cost involved. Generally, time constraint is very important in project scheduling. If compression techniques are applied, the cost of a project is usually impacted: reduction of project time results into increased project cost.
In project implementation, time is one of the major constraints, which compromises project performance quality. During the implementation process, every activity is allocated specific time within which it should be completed. This is usually done through project schedule or work breakdown structure. Apparently, project time management has a lot to do with managing a project schedule (Evans, n.d.). This entails knowing how to utilize the allocated time to get the work done before or on the scheduled date. Lack of proper time management results into delayed completion of a given project, meaning more time is taken to complete a project.
Consequently, an organization incurs more cost to complete a project if a project’s completion time is delayed. Moreover, delayed completion time may result in increased competitive pressure and financial difficulties, thus affecting the quality of the project during the completion stage (Evans, n.d.). Interference of a project’s quality during the completion stage has direct impact on the quality of the entire project. Moreover, lack of time management when implementing a project may affect the scope of a project (Evans, n.d.). For instance, if the completion period is delayed, the personnel involved in implementing a project may be tempted to overlook some of the aspects of the project in bid to avoid further delay. This may results into interference of the scope of a project, hence affecting the quality of a project. Moreover, interference of a project’s scope means failure to achieve the goals for which the project was set to achieve.
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