Develop and Implement the Solution
At this point, having analyzed the alternatives from the benchmarking exercise, the author is in a position of suggesting a solution for HK. HK should get its people together and agree on the common objectives and what is needed to reach these objectives. Jan Petersen need to convince the CEO that the e-publishing project will succeed on the condition that the CEO allows more time for the project to mature. The CEO and management team will understand the need for having a project culture, which message is going to be delivered by management team members in favor of the project.
The people involved will meet and agree on goals and deliverables. Having the final recommended solution for HK, it is now key to have the implementation plan in detail. Table 4 shows the detailed implementation plan, which emphasizes the need for control, involvement of people, research and constant reporting. A crucial step is to create a project team and start working in a project team structure, including the appointment of a project manager. The CEO needs to be convinced in the early stages of the project, so he will allow his people more time to make the project a success.
Once the CEO sends out the message, the acceptance of the e-publishing project will be accelerated. In order to reduce the resistance to change, the company is to invite experts within the digital industry and Will Harper to its meetings. A pilot has been integrated in the implementation plan and allows for scaling up titles after a successful period. HK needs to be very critical with what will be outsourced. Once the outsourcing partner has been selected, attention needs to be paid to core employees in the parts of the company, which will not have been outsourced.
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After the suggested solution has been put into practice and functioned for a period within the organization, it is time to evaluate the results and determine whether the goals and end-state defined earlier have been achieved. As it can be studied in Table 5, each of the goals was assigned a target and a tool to measure its attainment. One of HK’s primary objectives was to take its share in the promising growth of the e-publishing industry. HK can either determine its achievements in this respect by measuring the total number of sales within a timeframe of 12 months or by measuring and comparing its own growth in the sales of e-books.
A condition to sell e-books at all is by having the distribution network for this type of books. HK will have three players in the worldwide e-publishing industry in its network, so e-books can be sold on a large scale. One of the first steps in the implementation plan was to create a project organization, which will haven been a critical success factor: multidisciplinary resources have been allocated to implement the strategy to become a leader in the e-publishing industry.
These resources need to support the initiative, which is the reason why management will do a regular check via surveys and meetings to assess their opinions and come up with actions to convince them of the new strategy. Furthermore, both management and employees must be committed to hit the critical milestone in the implementation plan. By having agreement on the plan before the actual implementation, all people involved are more likely to make their best efforts to make the implementation a success. Conclusion The Harrison Keyes case poses interesting challenges.
Having a new CEO with different views on the viability of e-publishing was hard to absorb or the organization. Instead of continuing the project with a CEO not in favor of the project, all people involved went back to the basics and the reasons for the project. There are ample companies, which have proven to be successful with e-publishing in the recent past. The CEO will change his mind after knowing the facts and figures about their successful competitors and the gaps to fill within HK to make the project successful.
The preparation of the cooperation with the outsourcing partner should have been prepared better with more internal support. Staff at HK were not aware of the urgency for the relationship with the outsourcing company. Furthermore, HK had an organizational unsuitable to handle projects, which aim at realizing the strategy. A detailed implementation plan created a clear picture with set timelines for everyone to agree on. Hurdles still have to be taken, but the company can at least anticipate problems and act upon them.
Management plays a crucial role as well in creating an organizational culture for change.
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