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Short Case

Lemming Television

Lemming Television (LTV) is a television production company which specializes in making outside
broadcast (OB) specials for a variety of television networks. It was recently commissioned to
make a series of summer roadshow programmes which would be shot at locations around
Europe during the spring and early summer and broadcast by the customer (a satellite
broadcasting network) during the summer. The programmes would involve circus acts, displays,
events and computer-graphic displays to entertain the crowds and popular entertainment acts and
interviews which would be interspersed with contestant games. Managing the preparation for the
series was the responsibility of the shows producer, Flo Brown. Flo, who had recently graduated
with distinction from her MBA course, knew that she would need to keep a tight grip on the
arrangements for the roadshow series. The shooting would start at the end of May and the final
show would be recorded at the end of July. The shows would be broadcast between early July and
late August, so any delay either in recording the material or in editing the programmes would
cause considerable complications.

The company had known that it would be commissioned to make the programmes since
December, but Flo had only been allocated the job in early February! Her first act was to list the
various jobs which would have to be done before shooting could start. She then discussed each
job with the part of the company which would carry it out, to try to understand what decisions
would need to be made before they could start on their jobs. The jobs which needed to be done
prior to the start of the shooting are listed below together with some details.

The producers responsibilities (as well as managing the whole project) included:

Scheduling the venues: would take about two weeks to finalize and could be started
straight away.
Defining the design concept: would need discussions with the chief designer and would
take about four weeks of considering alternative designs before finalizing the concept, but
could be started straight away.
Specifying computer-graphic displays: again in consultation with the chief designer, it
would take about a week but could not be started until all the detailed planning had been
finalized.
The design departments responsibility was:
Producing artwork for printed materials: would take about three weeks but could be
started only after completion of the detailed planning.
The programme planning departments responsibilities were:
Booking the venues: a one-week job which could be started as soon as the venues had
been decided by Flo.
Detailed planning: the preparation of detailed plans and schedules, a two-week task which
could be started once the design concept had been finalized and the venues booked.
Printing the brochures: an outside printer could be given this job as soon as the artwork
for the printed materials had been prepared by the design department. The printer usually
quoted a four-week delivery from receipt of the artwork.
Printing the display posters: again depended on the preparation of the artwork but could
be delivered within two weeks of the artwork being ready.
Ordering the roadshow vehicles: several trailer trucks and ancillary vehicles were
needed which could be ordered on completion of the detailed planning; delivery of the vehicles
would take about six weeks.
Writing the graphic display software: contracted out to a software house, it would take
about four weeks but could only be started after the computer graphics had been specified by
the producer and chief designer.
Final testing and rehearsals: the programme planning department were finally
responsible for getting the whole act together immediately prior to shooting. Testing and
rehearsals could only start once the brochures had been printed, the vehicles fully fitted out
and customized and the promotion staff trained. Final tests and rehearsals should take around
a week but, if things went wrong at any stage, could take longer.

The workshops responsibility was:

Customizing and fitting out the vehicles: after the vehicles are delivered and the artwork
agreed and the computer-graphics software finished, the vehicles could be fitted out and
customized for the shows; this would normally take around two weeks.

The personnel department was responsible for:

Recruiting the promotion (promo) staff: these were the people (often resting actors)
who staffed the exhibits and entertained the crowds; they could be recruited as soon as the
detailed planning was completed. Usually it took two weeks to recruit all the promo staff.
Training the promo staff: once all promo staff had been recruited they would need training
a one-week task.

Questions
1 Can Flo get the project together in time to start shooting on schedule?
2 Which are the jobs which she will have to manage particularly closely?
3 What general advice would you give her to help her to manage this project?