As might be expected, engineering would blame most problems on production claiming that…

PM Assignment April 2019
Part I Group Assignment (25 pts)
Case 1
As might be expected, engineering would blame most problems on production claiming that production did not assemble the equipment correctly and did not maintain the proper level of quality. Engineering would design a product and then throw it over the fence to production without ever going down to the manufacturing floor to help with its assembly. Errors or suggestions reported from production to engineering were being ignored. Engineers often perceived the assemblers as incapable of improving the design.
Production ultimately assembled the product and shipped it out to the customer. Oftentimes during assembly the production people would change the design as they saw fit without involving engineering. This would cause severe problems with documentation. Customer service would later inform engineering that the documentation was incorrect, once again causing conflict among all departments.
The president of Dandy was a strong believer in project management. Unfortunately, his preaching fell upon deaf ears. The culture was just too strong. Projects were failing miserably. Some failures were attributed to the lack of sponsorship or commitment from line managers. One project failed as the result of a project leader who failed to control scope. Each day the project would fall further behind because work was being added with very little regard for the project’s completion date. Project estimates were based upon a “gut feel” rather than upon sound quantitative data.
The delay in shipping dates was creating more and more frustration for the customers. The customers began assigning their own project managers as “watchdogs” to look out for their companies’ best interests. The primary function of these “watchdog” project managers was to ensure that the equipment purchased would be delivered on time and complete. This involvement by the customers was becoming more prominent than ever before. The president decided that action was needed to achieve some degree of excellence in project management. The question was what action to take, and when.
1. Where will the greatest resistance for excellence in project management come from?
2. What plan should be developed for achieving excellence in project management?
3. How long will it take to achieve some degree of excellence?
4. Explain the potential risks to Dandy if the customer’s experience with project management increases while Dandy’s knowledge remains stagnant
Case 2
ABC Metals is an original equipment manufacturer of metal working equipment. The majority of Sami’s business is as a supplier to the automotive, appliance, and building products industries. Each production line is custom designed according to application, industry, and customer requirements.
Project managers are assigned to each purchase order only after the sales department has a signed contract. The project managers can come from anywhere within the company. Basically, anyone can be assigned as a project leader. The assigned project leaders can be responsible for as many as ten purchase orders at one time.
In the past, there has not been enough emphasis on project management. At one time, ABC even assigned trainees to perform project coordination. All failed miserably. At one point, sales dropped to an all-time low, and cost overruns averaged 20–25 percent per production line.
In January 2018, the board of directors appointed a new senior management team that would drive the organization to excellence in project management. Project managers were added through recruitment efforts and a close examination of existing personnel. Emphasis was on individuals with good people and communication skills.
The following steps were implemented to improve the quality and effectiveness of the project management system:
? Outside formal training for project managers
? Development of an apprenticeship program for future project managers
? Modification of the current methodology to put the project manager at the focal point
? Involvement of project managers to a greater extent with the customer
1. What problems can you see in the way project managers were assigned in the past?
2. Will the new approach taken in 2018 put the company on a path to excellence in project management?
3. What skill set would be ideal for the future project managers at ABC Metals?
4. What overall cultural issues must be considered in striving for excellence in project management?
5. What time frame would be appropriate to achieve excellence in project management? What assumptions must be made?
Part II Individual Assignment (25pts)
1. What are the phases in a traditional project life cycle? How does a project life cycle differ from a product life cycle? Why does a project manager need to understand both?(5pts)
2. Discuss the Project management life cycle and explain the key issues and deliverables at each stage.(5pts)
3. (a) Identify five common project risk strategies employed to address threats that your project may face. Give an example of each.(5pts)
(b) Projects are often completed late. Describe the techniques you would use as a project manager to improve the accuracy and reliability of your project schedule. (5pts)
In responding to the above points, be sure to: Critique project theory based on your experience and understanding. This is important –don’t just “regurgitate” the theory Provide examples, data or other relevant information to support your discussion. Examples can be from work experience, research, study group experience, for example. They should demonstrate the theoretical points you are asserting in the questions.
4. (a) What are the key roles and responsibilities of the project manager?
(b) What skills and attributes are needed to be a project manager?
Due Date: May Friday 17, 2019

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