Case Study 5.3: Project Management at Dotcom.com
This case is based on a true story and illustrates some of the key that IT organizations face when they attempt to develop solutions for clients. Many of these clients understand their problems but don’t see how to create an appropriate solution. Others, however, think they understand their needs but find the solutions generated for them to be inadequate or simply addressing the wrong issues. It is a classic story of cope definition that many IT organizations routinely deal with when trying to satisfy the needs of clients.
- How would you begin redesigning Dotcom.com’s project management processes to minimize the problems they are experiencing with poor scope management?
- How do the company’s consulting clients contribute to the problems with “scope creep?” If you were to hold a meeting with a potential customer, what message would you want them to clearly understand?
- How do you balance the need to involve clients with the equally important need to freeze project scope in order to complete the project in a timely fashion?
- Why are configuration management and project change control so difficult to perform in the midst of a complex software development project such as those undertaken by Dotcom.com?
Case Study 6.3: Johnson & Rogers Software Engineering, Inc.
This case shows one example of the types of problem that can be encountered with the use of new technologies, such as the Internet, to help link participants on a distributed project team. In this case, a combination of geographically-dispersed project team members, faulty technologies, and other concerns are hampering progress on the project. Further, an additional phenomenon is the fact that distributed project teams do not allow for standard team development stages to occur because team members can only interact in formal channels. Without informal communication, it becomes more difficult to build trust and enthusiasm among members of the project team. Kate’s difficulties here are by no means abnormal, but a managerial plan for handling these communications will go a long way toward helping her and the team get through the awkward “newness” of geographically-dispersed project teams.
- How would you advise Kate to proceed? Analyze the conversation she had this morning. What went right? What went wrong?
- What should Kate’s next steps be?
- How can she use the technology of the Internet and teleconferencing to enhance team development and performance?