Project management coursework
Part 1: Wynn Computer Equipment
1. What are the major problems at WCE?
· One of the major problems that can be interpreted from the responses of those interviewed is the lack of communication between departments and ranks. Different departments think negatively of each other because they do not let each other know what they are expecting from each other.
· Another problem that WCE is experiencing, which is ironic to the business, is their lack of computerized and advanced equipments to support their operations. Some personnel interviewed admitted that they do not have the advanced tools for their database, planning and control which inhibit the company’s full potential.
· One other issue that the company is facing is the lack of expertise of some personnel, even the seasoned ones. Although non-degree employees may have helped the company reach its status in the industry now, the company would still need the skills, knowledge and talent of those who finished a degree and specializes on it.
2. What appears to be the major problem?
· I guess the major problem that Wynn Computer Enterprises is facing now is the lack of effective communication. All of the issues cited above can be eliminated should the employees have a good working relationship with each other and can openly communicate. Communication is very important in a large company such as WCE. Proper channeling of concerns is needed for the company to succeed and everyone to prosper.
· When employees realize that acquiring advanced equipments with be more beneficial to the company, they could have presented a proposal to the management and showed what this move will do for the company. If there is an open communication among different ranks in the company, that particular task can easily be done.
· Same thing goes in resolving conflicts between the degreed and non-degreed personnel. Both sides just need to cooperate with each other, and respect and listen to each other’s ideas and thoughts. Limitations and constraints of marketing
3. Can line managers effectively wear two hats?
· A line manager can possibly wear two hats, i.e. perform the tasks of a project manager at the same time, but he will not be able to perform his all his duties effectively. A line manager is already experienced on his side of operations. If he’ll be assuming the responsibility of a project manager at the same time, his attention will be divided between the two roles.
· He will not be able to focus on his duties and responsibilities in being a line manager.
· He may not have the right skills and proper knowledge in dealing with the project as a whole and effectively communicating with external parties that are also involved in the project.
4. Should there be a group of project managers?
· A group of project managers is a good idea especially if the project has a wide range of scope. In WCE’s case, computer equipment manufacturing involves several processes and may benefit from having a group of managers for new and old processes.
· There may be separate groups but I guess having just a single group for both old and new processes will enhance the skills and knowledge of these project managers since they can be exposed to different operations processes and products.
Part 2: The Critical Chain
1. There are no real-life systems with twenty constraints. They have one, maximum two constraints.
· In my opinion, real-life systems can have more than two constraints or limitations. In a project or certain endeavor, there are several risks and uncertainties that are associated with it. These risks become the limiting factors of the project. When it comes to risk identification, some risks are not accurately identified by project managers and staff. They will just eventually realize a certain constraint once they encounter it in the middle of the project.
· According to The Critical Chain chapter, setting the exact time-frame that a certain task will be finished is very difficult. Engineers can only give an ample estimate of the time that is well within their reach to protect their reputation. This time estimation depends on a lot of things such as available resources and ability of the members and staff to finish the tasks. These dependencies on a lot of things already form constraints in the project.
· Having just one or two constraints, I believe, is close to an ideal situation where most of the things and processes are assumed to work well according to plan. It is indeed better to work on just a single constraint or limitation as project managers can focus in resolving this limitation and come up with a workaround.
In essence, I believe that projects or systems may not have as much as twenty constraints but possible to have more than two. Several risks and uncertainties in project planning contribute to these limitations that a system can have.
2. Much better solutions emerge by refusing to attempt to find a compromise, and instead concentrating on exposing the underlying assumptions.
· I believe this statement is true. In trying to find a compromise, there will not a total resolution to the existing issue. The act of finding a compromise seems like a way to escape on the problems and refuse to face them.
· If project managers concentrate on exposing the underlying assumptions instead, other team members, staff and employees can understand things better and may even be able to help in resolving some conflicts and issues based on the underlying assumptions.
· A compromise is also not acceptable if high quality output is desired in any system or project. Finding a compromise is like settling for mediocrity, which is not a good business strategy and is something that project managers do not aim for.
I think that the statement given is true. If all underlying assumptions are exposed, all the persons involved in a project will know how to better approach the situation and come up with a more sound solution that addresses the assumptions. Compromising is not ideal for project managers to do as it is not a way to really solve a problem. It’s just like sugar-coating the issue with a mediocre solution, which may possibly turn to a much bigger problem.