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NIBCO’s Team-playing Environment Report (Assessment)

Name and describe the leadership approach taken

This leadership was unique in that the three top leaders operated as one, even though each one of them contributed differently from the other as they specialized in different fields of business operation. This brought significant success to the implementation of the ERP system.

NIBCO did not designate an individual project leader, a scenario that made many consultants skeptical of the viability of the project, arguing that the decisions would be unsatisfactory.

Moreover, the IBM change management strategy was general and sub standard, which did not exhibit any ERP characteristics as opposed to the other forms of leadership.

NIBCO’s leadership was designed as a triad management which comprised of three top managers.

The managers who assumed these top level of management included Wilson (who was the director in charge of Information), Davis (previously the director quality management), and Beutler (formerly the Operations VP).

This trio reported to the senior chair, president, and CEO known as Rex Martin.

The leaders were appointed and approved in July, 1996.

There were however, other directors under the core trio giving an aggregate sum of twenty-eight directors, with the co-leads included who stayed in the company until the full realization of the set goals.

The NIBCO leadership was successful in establishing a unit enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, SAP R/3 instead of the 3 to 5 year phased approach after its approval by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and Board of Directors.

This would considerably reduce the inventory expenses and subsequently increase the revenue estimated at 6%.

Though the implementation of the big bang would result in increased consultation expenses, it was viewed as to last only in the short run, while the long-run effect would be a reduction in the overall cost of the projected budget.

Name and describe one communication approach taken

The communication strategy was enacted in an effort to acquire change management. It was launched to open up various channels of communication to facilitate better communication between the project team and other NIBCO associates, as well as other business people.

Additionally, NIBCO intended to build a team-working environment through participating in TIGER talks that focused on various aspects of entrepreneurship.

Don Hoffman was in charge of the meetings, which comprised of Davis and other chosen TIGER team players, who made presentations and answered questions.

The initial stages of its implementation stared with holding of person-to-person discussions, wherebythe the final report was published and released to the other team members of the organization within 48 hours.

This was normally an open forum headed by Don Hoffman and anyone could participate though it was expected that a Focus Group member would be among those present.

This strategy was adopted in January 1996 and mid-way towards completion of the project; the weekly newsletter was relayed via e-mail to the hose who could access the R/3 system.

Moreover, the members of the Focus Group were also issued with summarized documents and recorded materials of the key issues discussed at the end of every month.

The approach was however completed in May 1997 and therefore lasted for five months.

This technique helped the company in getting up-to-date with the company’s developments, eased the means of communication within and outside of the company, as well as gave solutions to any impending questions or challenges facing the organization.

Name and describe one training approach taken.

NIBCO initiated user training in September 1997 at both the NIBCO’s headquarters as well as the marginalized locations.

Wilson was in charge of the technical team training of Information System.

Specialists ensured the success of customer care infrastructure while Steve Hall ensured the team being trained got the required training

Prior to this, the company was required to consent and sign an agreement with IBM towards the end of August 1996. This technique was implemented with the main aim of imparting knowledge from the consulting firm to NIBCO’s team players.

In the view of this, ABAP development and training development personnel together with business consultants formed an additional ingredient to the party.

The training was conducted in three different NIBCO locations over a span of four months prior to the date when the company anticipated going live i.e. December 1997.

There was s preliminary training mainly for orientation and R/3 modules training which was targeted to be fully on course by the Go-Live date.

In addition, the training was geared towards teaching the new processes, and hence each user was allocated between 8 and 68 hours of training depending on the job description of the staff.

The whole training process took almost 800 days to implement the project

After the training, the trainees were given user passwords to allow access to the ‘sandbox’, which was meant for testing different entities.

There was preliminary training mainly for orientation and R/3 modules training which was targeted to be fully on course by the Go-Live date

This technique was significantly important as it linked more than 60 servers and 1200 desktop personal computers to a WAN. With this in place, the organization was in a better position to serve its clients as well as effect a warehouse management change at NIBCO.

Overall, which one of the above Change Management Techniques/Approaches that you detailed above was the most important and detail why it was most important

While all the mechanisms employed brought on board positive results in the organization’s growth and development, subjectively, the leadership approach was of greater significance to the success of NIBCO’s big bang approach.

This is because were it not for the three top directors standing strong for what they believed, the whole project would not have succeeded. This can be attested to the fact that they received great criticism both from within and without.

For instance, in the launching of the Big Bang system, not all the IBM team members were sure of the viability of the system even though they spearheaded its implementation.

Other consultation enterprises dismissed the approach as unworkable due to its triad design. They argued that the project had to be directed by a single person as the leader and pioneer of the project.

Instead, the trio fully embraced and owned the project, and together as one, forged forward to implement the project.

As the saying goes,’ United we stand, divided we fall’ the leaders acted as role models of working as a team and championed various team playing projects like the TIGER Den.

They sought the guidance of consultants with the main aim of tapping the knowledge, acquiring technological knowledge, as well as exchanging ideas and views. The NIBCO team leaders sought to know how things work so that, in effect, they would be able to develop their expertise.

This was the antagonist of other companies who hired consultants to work for them instead of developing their manpower. Moreover, this unique leadership model was responsible for the innovation of all the other projects implemented in the company.

Name and describe any course theories and approaches that were apparent in the NIBCO case

It is clear that the business environment exhibited by NIBCO had strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats just like any other business arena.

It is apparent that NIBCO exploited the available opportunities and built on its strengths to overcome the threats and limitations experienced. Some of the approaches they took to effect this included the following.

Customer-focus approach

NIBCO worked tirelessly to develop a quality customer-oriented service. This is in line with the theory that a customer is key to any business enterprise. The directors ensured that their customer service staffs were highly skilled and well equipped with new technological skills.

Also, NIBCO ensured that the services needed by its customers were availed in the right manner and time.

This was facilitated by improving order accuracy, installing Personal computers for customer service officers, expanding, and developing a multichannel infrastructure that enabled efficient flow of information to its clientele.

Team playing

NIBCO played a major role in creating a team-playing environment despite criticism from their counterparts. This can be seen initially from the co-leads Davis, Wilson, and Beutler. The trio worked as a team and later on preached teamwork to the other staff.

For instance, they initiated TIGER talks geared towards providing a solution to various issues of the projects.

Additionally, they held open discussion forums as well as face-to-face discussions, which made the team members open up and give their views and suggestions.

This ensured that each member had at least face-to-face session every month, which further helped them improve their communication skills and innovation skills.

These unique and diversified ideas are coming from different areas of expertise brought on board significant improvement of the organization.

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