Case Study: off-track


Companies and their products are built around employee communication, hard work, dedication, customer service, and mutual understandings. A company and its products will not last without these vital components. The current study involves many complications based on lack of direction, lack of communication, too many mistakes, and not enough information given from the employees who are higher up in the company such as the CEO. With all of these concerns, the company is sure to fail at launching a great program because the employees are not taking the time to work together and get things accomplished in a timely manner. There are three phases and each phase has to be completed on time for the project to work, but this cannot be done if the employees and the company do not learn to work together and fix the things that have gone wrong. The case study we are looking at specifically, just like many other projects, has its good points and its bad points; however, with a few good recommendations, this project could succeed and be very helpful to the company.

One thing that is always going to help a company and its projects succeed in implementation is actually doing things right. The best thing about the program is that it attempted to simplify customer communication and contact. It is important to do this in a large company so that everyone can be aware of what is happening with the company, and especially in this case, their financials. The plan was clear and concise as well as well-planned out. One thing that Frederick Financials has done correctly in this plan is getting everyone involved. In the beginning, the former CEO, Mr. Hanson, got many of the company’s employees involved in the project. Committees were formed and consisted of managers from specific departments within the company so that each section of project was handled by knowledgeable employees. By working together, this team was able to plan out a schedule for the project and the first 6 months ended up going smoothly due to their interaction, communication, and assistance within the united group. Secondly, the next thing done right by the company is the way in which the new CEO, Warren Donoway, attempts to receive help in order to keep the project alive. He knows that he needs answers and has to find a way to keep things running smoothly, not only for the company, but for the program and its employees. At first, everything in the project was documented, the team seemed to care about the project and what it could do for the customers, but somewhere it went downhill.

Unfortunately, just like any other company, company projects, and insights for a better future, there were some areas of concerns for Frederick Financials during the second phase of the project. First, the former CEO did not take heed of anticipated hurdles that he heard by other users of the program. The other companies tried to inform him of things that he would face by implementing this program, yet he did not listen to them, their concerns, or their attempts to help him. He seemed to have too much pride and believed that if he thought it was good, then it was good. He believed the program was great and therefore continued on with it without thinking of the things that may go wrong. All CEO’s have to be cautious about the things in which they present to their teams. They have to know the project’s ins and outs, the good things about it and the bad things about it, and they have to be ready to answer questions about complications with the program. The former CEO would not have been able to do this properly because he did not get all of the information about the program before presenting it to his team. After a while, the CEO quit and Donoway became the new CEO. This is where there is another concern. Donoway believed that he did not need to get involved with this project because he had some of his best managers on the project. However, it is important for CEO’s to know and understand each and every detail that is going on with the company in case problems arise like this one. Since he felt he did not need to be involved, he was not aware that there were any real problems until he realized that he had not gotten confirmation for phase 2 of the project. At this point, other concerns include the team losing track of where they were, high workload, unclear intentions, communication problems and late submissions. Due to unclear intentions and communication problems, the team lost track of where they were and they had no clue where to go next or how to fix the problems. They ended up duplicating and found that while duplicating, they also missed the deadline. The late submission is what concerned the new CEO. That is when he took it into his own hands to figure out what was going on. However, he was the voice of the whole project. He should have been present throughout the entire thing and he wasn’t. Therefore, he was playing catch up. Since he was not involved as much as he should have been, others had to pull more weight than they were supposed to. It seems as if he really had no clue that he should have been helping his team with this project. Unfortunately, due to this, the workload for such individuals had become extenuating. Many of them were working long hours after work and coming in on weekends. One of the larger mistakes was that the new CEO wanted more workers instead of using what he had in a meaningful and timely way. Hiring more employees would not have fixed his problem. It would have added to it. He would then have to train the new employees on the system as well as the old employees so that each could work together in order to complete the project on time and efficiently. As a CEO, one must learn to delegate and plan out the day and let project managers or department managers take charge. However, he has to know that they are competent enough to do so. A person cannot add others and expect the project to be completed successfully without proper training and proper communication. If this was the case, then many companies would hire new people and just have them work on the hard stuff.  Finally, there were many problems with the system, just as the former CEO had been told there would be, but lack of training for the new developers as well as communication problems and unclear intentions made things worse for the company and for the project that could have been a success right off the bat. Lack of training is a big problem in a case like this. When developers and other employees are not trained to do what needs to be done in order for the project to succeed, they are likely to fail. Most individuals cannot go into a project and do it well without having some sort of idea or specific training that helps them understand what needs to be done in order to be successful. The CEO does not need to hire more people like these just to have more people to train. As there are good point and points of concern for this company as well as the project, it is important to provide recommendations that will help enable the company to do better and to learn, grow, and become successful.

Recommendations are meant to help, not to demean or criticize to the point that the other person does not want to listen to what you have to say. The first and most important recommendation for this project would be to meet again to review the project and the original objective. This company and its developers need to get back on track, learn what needs to be done, and attempt to make the changes and do what the original plan asked for in order for the project to be successful. Meeting to discuss the project and its original objective will help everyone get on the same page again, allowing them to have more productive communication, work experience, and clear intentions about who does what and when. Secondly, though it may take a little extra time, money, and hard work, the next recommendation is to train the new developers properly so that they are able to do their jobs correctly. Without the proper training, the project is still going to be doomed to fail. These individuals need to know what needs to be accomplished and how they are supposed to do it so that the company and the project can succeed. It is important for them to get the best training they possibly can so that they can give back to the company. Another recommendation is that the CEO look at the bigger picture. He cannot look at short term. Long term is the most important. He must keep the employees that he has instead of hiring new ones and work with those employees to make a system that is beneficial for the company and for its customers. He cannot continue to be absent from such big projects such as this one just because he has others that are running it. It is important for him to know what is going on with big projects 100% of the time. In order for him to be the best CEO that he can be, he needs to be present. He needs to communicate with his staff, guide them, encourage them, and give back to them. He must alleviate the work load so that they can get more accomplished. If he steps back and takes a look at the bigger picture, he will be able to pull the project back together and hopefully succeed in doing so. Communication is key for everyone in the company. They must all be able to communicate on a level that each will understand and that each will be able to communicate as well. That is another recommendation. Keep the communication lines open, use an open-door policy, and work together to achieve a common goal. If the communication is there, many of the problems seen happening would disappear in a matter of minutes. However, that takes time and work for some people so others have to be patient and continue to remind others that communication is important. The CEO should lead by example, especially here. As his appearance is seen and his voice is heard, others will begin to follow his lead. They will begin to work together as a team and give more to the company. When this happens, projects such as the one being talked about can succeed. Knowledge can be gained, employees can perform their duties with quality and efficiency, and many can learn from the mistakes made. Yet, it is important to understand that all must be part of the solution instead of being part of the disaster.

In conclusion, though there are many items of concern in relation to this study, there are also some great points and all could work out well for the company and the system if they were willing to follow the listed recommendations. It is important for the CEO to be a part of the team, learning, understanding, and gaining knowledge right along with his employees. Communication is key. If there is no communication between the CEO, agents, and employees of the company, then the project is sure to fail. As long as the CEO continues to look at the bigger picture, learns to teach the employees he does have, and gives things time to maneuver back to normal, the project has a strong likelihood of succeeding. Once the employees of the company get together to go back to the original plan, they have the possibility of seeing where they went wrong, where they did things right, and where they have room for improvement. Finding room for improvement and doing things a little differently are of utmost importance in a matter such as this. It takes everyone to come to an agreement that they have failed at a certain point and now is the time to fix what they can to make the project strong and successful. It is easier to accomplish a goal when all players are on the same team, understand what needs to be done, communicate in an effective manner, and are willing to take the time to do what needs to be done to make that goal successful.