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Project Management in Hyten Corporation Case Study

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Updated: Sep 17th, 2019

This is an analysis of a case study about Hyten Corporation, which aims to introduce formal project management to foresee the successful implementation and completion of its projects. In a pursuit to develop a new product, timely delivery of the new product to the customers is paramount for the success of any project.

Due to this critical factor of success, the director of sales (Knapp) and the director of engineering (John Rich), met to seek a way forward. While Rich thought formal project management was necessary in Hyten, Knapp was concerned about the recruitment of external personnel to run the development of the new product. This is the controversy surrounding Hyten on how to adopt the formal project management approach.

The approach of formal project management taken by Hyten Corporation involved expansion of the Business Development Department. This approach is advantageous to the firm because of limited resources used to hire new staff, and changes the informal perceptions by managers and other employees towards the Business Development Department, to formal ones.

Other than integrating formal project management into the activities of the business development department, there is the issue of sourcing outside resources for a project management team to oversee the implementation of a project. Despite the fact that outside sourcing for personnel is associated with a more objective judgment, use of internal personnel is beneficial because it is associated with less resistance and the individuals know how to get their way around the operations of the organization.

However, if the management is very sure that the company does not have any personnel that meets the requirements that enable him or her to become part of the project management team, this should be articulately communicated to avoid misconceptions.

What are some of the major problems facing the management of Hyten in accepting formalized project management? (Include attitude problems/personality problems)

There is no coordination, and communication, among the departments, and this has warranted change. On the other hand, there is resistance to change from what the departments have been used to, as well as resistance to the recruitment of outside personnel (Kerzner, 2006).

Opposition of external personnel to form part of the formal project management team is based on the notion that there are equally competent personnel within the organization who can form the formal project management team (Kerzner, 2006).

Do any of the managers appear to have valid arguments for their beliefs as to why formal project management should not be considered?

Excellent project management skills are paramount for every manager. The problem at Hyten is a lack of clear understanding of individual or departmental roles and responsibilities, which, according to Pinto (2000) lead to project failure.

This being the case, the arguments presented by the different managers are valid. Prior to seeking experts from outside, each individual with the required skills and experience should be given an equal chance of evaluation. Otherwise, disregarding internal competencies in the name of formal project management would cause negative attitude and delay the project implementation process.

Are there any good reasons why Hyten should go to formal project management?

Yes. The formal project management, as described by Eggan (2009) is governed by a detailed and systematic plan that is inclusive of all the relevant departments. The manner in which project implementation is carried out at Hyten Corporation does not adapt an integrated approach or sequence of events; hence, the people working here are not fully involved in the project implementation process.

Has Hyten taken a reasonable approach toward implementing formal project management?

The task of formal project management was mandated to the business development group, which is a reasonable approach considering the associated risks and benefits. Apparently, the main improvement required was communication. According to Kerzner (2010), integration of formal project is very expensive, thus using resources that are already available is a reasonable approach because it minimizes expenditure and resistance.

Has Hyten done anything wrong?

Hyten Corporation has done wrong by not considering the skills and competencies within the organization before venturing into outside personnel. It has previously done so, and at the moment, there are fears that it might use the same approach towards formal project management. Kerzner (2013) promotes the maintenance of personnel who can aid in the implementation of formal project management, and enable cost-effectiveness in utilization of resources.

Should formal project management give employees more room for personal growth?

Yes. Instead of tapping skills from outside, individuals within the company who meet the requirements to do the task should be given the responsibility of project management. Getting people from outside while there are people of equal competence in the company results in backlash and filtration in other companies.

The Open University (2015) indicates that personal growth is obtained from engagement in formal project management through ability to produce time-bound outcomes and proceed to carry on with other activities after successful completion of a project.

Will formalized project management make it appear as though business development has taken power away from other groups?

No. As a matter of fact, formalized project management is perceived as a better approach in the coordination of activities geared towards the completion of a particular project. In addition, if the business development department were to take up the formalized project management responsibility, it would only mean a minor shift into changing the status of project management.

In accordance with Schwalbe (2009), transitioning to formal project management is a way of enhancing project management processes and systems and has nothing to do with taking power away from another group or department.

Were the MBAs exposed to project management?

The company has several individuals with MBAs, and under the previous informal project management set-up, the various individuals at different departments were exposed to project management. Based on a graphical representation by the University of Technology Sydney (2006), managing stakeholders (including employees) is one component of project implementation; thus, employees are able to gain exposure to project management in one way or another.

Were the organizational personnel focusing more on the problems (disadvantages) or advantages of project management?

I cannot say that the employees were focused on the disadvantages of project management per say, but, on the gaps that would influence project failure. This is important because as Haughey (2015) states, it is imperative to evaluate risks, issues and surprises involved in the implementation of any project to subsequently develop standard procedures and processes to redress them.

What basic fears do employees have in considering organizational change to formal project management?

In the same way that Tinnirello (2002) indicates that employees resist transition to formal project management is the same way that employees at Hyten Corporation showed discontentment with this new approach. Various fears were raised, some of which are common in similar contexts as explained by Tinnirello (2002).

To begin with, the introduction of formal project management would result in the recruitment of new staff without consideration of the current prevailing staff. To some extent, this thwarts the motivation of employees who feel they are eligible and qualified candidates.

In addition, there is the issue of conflict between the functional manager and the project manager; thereby, affecting the manner in which an employee executes his or her duties. Also, there is the issue of biased evaluation and promotion which may be based on the subjective view of either the functional or project manager.

Must management be sold on project management prior to implementation?

Yes. The management is responsible for the successful running of every corporation, as well as the endorsement of new strategies into the corporation. Based on an indication by Nicholas and Steyn (2012), the management holds the company’s resources, and without their acceptance of formal project management, this segment would not kick off. The management needs to understand the gaps that call for the implementation of formal project management into their company.

Is it possible that some of the support groups cannot give immediate attention to such an organizational change?

As earlier mentioned, resistance is a common response during the introduction of formal project management, especially when it is an offshore initiative. Yet, this resistance is an important factor to consider in the successful implementation of the project management team. As can be seen in the case of Hyten corporation, the employees seem discontent, and there is some level of distrust that could produce employee backlash (Ramanathan, 2008).

Do functional managers risk a loss of employee loyalty with the new change?

Yes. In the event that the employee is to be evaluated by the project manager, the employee is left with no choice but to bend to the person who signs his or her evaluation and/or promotion form. Kerzner (2004) indicates that employees are forced to become more loyal to project managers than their line managers during project implementation.

What recommendations would you make to Hyten Corporation?

According to Haughey (2015), cost, time and scope are very important in ensuring the quality of products sold by the organization as per the customers’ expectations. It is an obsolete, yet a relevant, statement that the client is always right; thus, every action by the organization is tailored towards the customers’ expectations.

To address the debate whether formal project management will be onshore or offshore, I would recommend an onshore initiative that allows the individuals within the organization to utilize their creativity and knowledge to run activities within the corporation (Vaiman & Vance, 2008). After all, the initial informal project management approach gave individuals the chance to get exposed to project management, and they may have already identified gaps that they would wish to address.

Is it easier or more difficult to implement a singular methodology for project management after the company has adopted formal project management rather than informal project management?

It is easier to implement a singular methodology after adopting a formal project management because the methodology is based on systematic and thorough investigation into the execution of every task listed therein (Hill, 2008).

Is strategic planning for project management easier or more difficult to perform with formal project management in place?

In the attempt to deliver applications to consumers, IT organizations have adopted novel approaches aimed at improving the design, development and implementation of IT projects (Tinnirello, 2002). A formal project management makes it easier to implement a project because planning is systematic and based on thorough evaluation and understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each department.

In accordance with Wingate (2014), planning for project management is more difficult with formal management because it takes time due to collective decision making and evaluation of the capabilities of each department based on their activities line-up; thereby, coming up with reasonable deadlines.

References

Eggan, B. (2009). What is Formal Project Management and Who Needs It? Web.

Haughey, D. (2015). Introduction to Project management. Web.

Hill, G. (2008). The Complete Project Management Office Handbook (2nd ed.). Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Kerzner, H. (2013). Project Management: Case Studies (4th ed.). New York:John Wiley & Sons.

Kerzner, H. (2010). Project Management-Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence (2nd ed.). New Jersey: International Institute for Learning, Inc.

Kerzner, H. (2006). Project Management: Case Studies (2nd ed.). Ohio: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Kerzner, H. (2004). Advanced Project Management: Best Practices on Implementation (2nd ed.). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Nicholas, J., & Steyn, H. (2012). Project Management for Engineering Business and Technology. New York: Routledge.

Pinto, L. (2000). Managing GIS Projects. Web.

Ramanathan, T. (2008). The Role of Organisational Change Management in Offshore Outsourcing of Information Technpology Services: Qualitative Case Studies from a Multinational Pharmaceutical Company. Boca Raton: T. R. Ramanathan.

Schwalbe, K. (2009). Introduction to Project Management (2nd ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.

Tinnirello, P. (Ed.). (2002). New Directions in Project Management. Boca Raton: CRC Press LLC.

The Open University. (2015). Completing the project. Web.

University of Technology Sydney. (2006). Project Management: Implementing Processes. Web.

Vaiman, V., & Vance, C. (Eds.) (2008). Smart Talent Management: Building Knowledge Assets for Competitive advantage. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc.

Wingate, L. (2014). Project Management for Research and Development: Guiding Innovation for Positive R & D Outcomes. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group.

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