The directorates of Engineering, Marketing, Manufacturing, and R&D all had projects that they were working on, and each directorate established its own priorities for the projects. The problem was that the employees were working on multiple projects and had to deal with competing priorities.
PRIORITIZATION ISSUES Lynx Manufacturing was a low-cost producer of cables and wires. The industry itself was considered a low-technology industry, and some of its products had been manufactured the same way for decades. There were some projects to improve the manufacturing processes, but they were few and far between. Each of the four directorates—Engineering, Marketing, Manufacturing, and R&D—had projects, but the projects were generally quite small and used resources from only each individual directorate. By the turn of the twenty-first century, manufacturing technologies began to grow. Lynx had to prepare for the technology revolution that was about to impact its business. Each directorate began preparing lists of projects that it would need to work on, and some lists contained as many as 200 projects. These projects were more complex than projects worked on previously, and project team members from all directorates were assigned on either a full-time or part-time basis. 54 Project Management Case Studies Each directorate chief officer would establish the priorities for the projects originating in his or her directorate even though the projects required resources from other directorates.
This created significant staffing issues and numerous conflicts:
● Each directorate would hoard its best project resources even though some projects outside of the directorate were deemed more important to the overall success of the company.
● Each directorate would put out fires by using people who were assigned to projects outside of its directorate rather than using people who were working on internal projects.
● Each directorate seemed to have little concern about any projects done in other directorates.
● Project priorities within each directorate could change on a daily basis because of the personal whims of the chief of that directorate.
● The only costs and schedules that were important were those related to projects that originated within the directorate.
● Senior management at the corporate level refused to get involved in the resolution of conflicts between directorates. The working relationships between the directorates deteriorated to the point where senior management reluctantly agreed to step in. The total number of projects that the four directorates wanted to complete over the next few years exceeded 350, most of which required a team with members coming from more than one division.
On the base of above Case Study, Answer the following questions.
QUESTION 1. Why is it necessary for senior management to step in rather than let the chiefs of the directorates handle the conflicts?
QUESTION 2. What should the senior management team do to resolve the problem?
QUESTION 3. Let’s assume that the decision was to create a list that included all of the projects from the four directorates. How many of the projects on the list should have a priority number or priority code?
QUESTION 4. Can the directorate chiefs assign the priority or must it be done with the involvement of senior management? 5. How often should the list of prioritized projects be reviewed, and who should be in attendance at the review meetings?
QUESTION 5. Suppose that some of the directorate chiefs refuse to assign resources according to the prioritized list and still remain focused on their own pet projects. How should this issue now be resolved?
QUESTION 6. Discuss the importance of different project tools for managers to complete projects within time, cost and quality standards.