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ASSIGNMENT ON:

Submitted To:

Submitted By:
Ramji Keshari

109319

CASE STUDY COLUMBUS INSTRUMENTS

Structure of the Case


COMPANY

Columbus Instruments, Inc. (CIC)

BUSINESS

New product development process

OBJECTIVE

To make the projects successful..

POST EXAMINATION

Conducts extensive post project review meetings.


-Documentation analysis
- Market research etc.

FAILURE

- New project venture failure

PROBLEM

- Failure projects because of mismanagement.

CAUSES OF FAILURE

Communication gap
-Over budget and has suboptimal functionality
-Lack of motivational factors

ANALYSIS

- Company is organized along strictly functional line


-Culture of CIC seems to place little status or authority on the
project managers.
-Many project requires that team members be assigned to
them on an exclusive basis.

INITIATIVE BY CO.

Project team war room set up for the latest new product
development within a company.

MAJOR IMPLICATION

Project managers cant appeal their choices for the teams.

Questions and Answers

Question 1. What are the implications of CICs approach to staffing project teams? Are
they using them as training ground for talented fast trackers or dumping grounds for poor
performance.

AnswerApproach 1. Company is organized along with strict functional lines. Rather than project
manager, they they are the departmental head who choose project team members for any
project.

IMPLICATIONa) Delegation of Authority is lacking- Department head are not ready to delegate
all authority (power) to project manager. It may be because of perception of
department head.
b) Perception to selecting Team Members- Department head feels that they are
superior and their choice of selecting of project team members for a particular project
will be best team.
c) Rigid and Slow work- Work becomes rigid and slow because selection of team
members is done only by department head strictly and giving no right to project
manager.

Approach 2. Project manager had no authority to evaluate the performance of project team
members. It is the department head who has authority to evaluate the performance of project
team members.

IMPLICATIONa) Project Team decentralization- As there is no performance evaluation power in


hands of project manager, so the team members of a project will not strictly follow the
instructions of project manager resulting into unorganized team.
b) Demoralized Project Manager- As project manager had no authority for
selecting and evaluating the performance of project team members and also the project

team members dont follow the instructions strictly of project manager so, here project
manager is demoralized and work gets hampered.
c) Problem of over budget and time- Poor performance of team members,
demoralized project manager, no rules and regulation followed, decentralized team, all
these may be the reason for problem of over budget time.

Approach 3. Project team members were selected on a full time basis i.e. team members
remained with project team for complete term of project.

IMPLICATIONa) Multitasking not allowed- Project team members were not at all allowed to
perform any other work related to their department to which they belonged until
project is not completed for which they had been assigned.
b)

De-motivation of team members- Working of the team members was not


flexible i.e. they had to remain with same project until it get completed, it was rigid
kind of working there so they were becoming demotivated, resulting into lower output.

c) Poor result of project- Once the team members had been assigned to the particular
project by department head , they had to continue with project uptill completation of
project, even if their performance or work output is not equal to required output. Thus,
resulting into poor result of project.

Question 2. How would you advise the CEO to correct the problem? Where would you
start?

Answer- There should be a step by step approach in order to correct the problem:
1. Managing the relationship between the project manager and the departmental
heads:
The foremost problem is that there is mismanagement between the project manager and
the departmental heads of the organization. Whenever the project is to be started it is the
department head who assigns the project members without any consultation with the
project manager who plays a critical role in making the project successful. There should
be a proper communication between the both and the project manager should inform:
1.1As to what is the project?
1.2How many members will be required from each department to handle the project?
1.3What competencies should the members have in order to make the project successful?

2. Analyze the key skills:


Now, in order to find out the members who can enlighten the path of success through
their skills, the project manager along with the departmental heads should conduct
some workshops like
Simulating Modeling: In which the employees are given a situation similar to that of
the project and then finding out the best performers out of that.
3. Inputs from non- team members:
Its not just that there should be a cooperation and a communication between the
people who are involved in the project but also those outside the project can also act as a
motivating factor by giving suggestions and ideas as how better the project can be.

4. Regular feedbacks:

Once the project takes off there should be regular feedbacks within the team, from the
project manager , the departmental heads and the top management, so that the pitfalls
can be pointed out at the initial stages and hence the corrective measures can be taken.
5. Performance Evaluation:
As CIC it is the departmental head who evaluates the performance of the team and there is no
involvement of the project manager in it, rather both the departmental heads as he is aware of
the overall performance of the employees and the project manager who knows the
performance of the team in the current project should work together to evaluate the
performance of employees.

6. Job Rotation:
As the employees once deployed in a project are supposed to work for the entire project
of 14 months , there should be rotation between the employees working in the department
and those working on the project and this can inculcate in them the spirit of diversifying
their knowledge not in the core field of their work but rather the project.

Question 3. Discuss how issues of organizational structure and power play a role in the
manner in which project management has declined in effectiveness at CIC.

Answer- An Organizational Structure isG


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As CIC is using a policy under which the full power lies in the hands of Departmental head
and Project Manager is given no authority, due to which project management has declined in
effectiveness at CIC. This has resulted into various issues which are discussed as follows:

1. Over budget:- Main problems of over budget was inefficient team members as they
were selected by department head rather than project manager and not proper
execution of project by project manager.
2. De-motivation:- Both team members and project manager were demotivated because
project manager had no full authority and team members were forced to remain with
the entire project.
3. Communication gap:-As department head was not consulting project manger for
selection of team members, so it was a communication gap between project manager
and department head.
4.

Project delay:- The contribution of project manager in selection of team members


was required as project manager is the only person who knows the skills required for
team members but here department head did not consulted, so proper required team
members could not be hired , that resulted into project delay.