Case Study Chapter Questions


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Case Study / Chapter Questions

Chapter 2

What is our major problem?

The main problem the company is experiencing has to do with the main executives agreeing on some strategies of taking the firm forward. Many of the executives agree on where the firm should be heading in both long- term and intermediate term, but there are little common grounds in how this can be achieved. Generally, the executives do not agree with each other.

Identify some symptoms of the problem.

There are several symptoms of this challenge. Firstly, the president of the company is losing control. Secondly, the frequency of conflicts occurring seems to be on the rise. Thirdly, some individuals are usually selected for any created new projects. Project managers think that only their ideas are the best, and lastly, more and more projects are missing their deadlines and surpassing the allocated budgets.

What is the major cause of the problem?

The central source of this difficulty is that all executives are working to benefit themselves and not the firm.

Provide a detailed action plan that attacks the problem. Be specific and provide examples that relate to HGC.

To solve this issue, more focus should be put to ensuring that everyone agrees to how different kinds of strategies are to be implemented, given the available resources to the firm. The plan should focus on putting all the executives to gear for the same results using specific strategies.

Chapter 3

What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of the functional, matrix and dedicated team approaches to managing projects?

The major advantages of using functional approaches include no change to the parent organization, there is maximum flexibility in- depth expertise can be used and normal paths of career are maintained within a functional division. Some disadvantages include lack of focus, poor integration and slowness. Some advantages of the dedicated approach include, it is simple, fast cohesive and it allows cross- functional integration. Disadvantages include, it is expensive, it results to internal strife, limited expertise in technology and it leads to difficult transitions post- project. Advantages of the matrix approach include, it is efficient, it allows for a strong focus on projects, for easier transitions post- project and it is flexible. Disadvantages include, it brings about dysfunctional conflict, infighting, stress and it is slow.

What distinguishes a weak matrix from a strong matrix?

The two are different in that in a strong matrix the manager controls most aspects of the firm’s project while in a weak matrix the manager usually acts as an assistant who draws the checklists and schedules, and collects information about work status and facilitates the completion of the project.

Under what conditions would it be advisable to use a strong matrix instead of a dedicated project team?

In cases where the department of a functional manager serves as a subcontractor in the firm’s project, in which case the department has more control over the specialized activities and work.

How can project management offices (Pos) support effective project management?

Project managers should have the ability to operate in a number of diverse organizational cultures. As it follows, they can support effective management of projects by interacting with their parent organization’s culture, with the clients of the project organizations and with a host of several other organizations involved.

Why is it important to assess the culture of an organization before deciding what project management structure should be used to complete a project?

Because different organizations have, different cultures and different approaches apply to certain cultures only. Not all approaches can work for any culture.

Other than culture, what other organizational factors should be used to determine which project management structure should be used?

The formal structure of a firm and how it chooses to manage and organize projects.

What do you believe is more important for successfully completing a project- the formal project management structure or the culture of the parent organization?

The formal project management structure because it deals more directly with the project and, therefore, affects the project more.

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