TuesdayJun 16 at 11:45am
Manage Discussion Entry
Within the scope of project management, tangible benefits aid an organizations overall bottom line. Project managers need to have a variety of tangible benefits to include skills and techniques to help carry out a project throughout its entire process. Tangible benefits can become commonly recurring as they propel projects to increase levels of revenue, save costs, grow productivity, and overall improve processes based on the tangible benefit.
Ensuring higher customer satisfaction is a tangible benefit that will no doubt increase the success rate of any project. Customers are the sole reason why a project is initiated from start to fruition. Ensuring their satisfaction will help convert probable prospects into future customers (Kerzner, 2005). References and referrals are typically how firms retain and get additional work. By implementing a strategy purely focused on customer satisfaction, additional projects based on experience will occur throughout the organization’s life. Simply put, higher customer satisfaction will directly lead the organization into increased profits and revenue in the future.
Organizations should always implement effective and realistic strategic plans through effective project management. The goal of transforming www.HealthCare.Gov into a web-site that operates smoothly for the majority of users was deemed a failure, due to inept project management by the government (Thompson, 2013). The government failed to provide contractors realistic requirements which resulted in technical complexity for end-users of the website. The governments focus was primarily on the completion of the project, and not the overall satisfaction of the end-users and their ability to utilize it effectively. If the government would have focused on higher customer satisfaction, the website would not have been released prematurely which resulted in high customer dissatisfaction. The tangible benefit of higher customer satisfaction if implemented by the government, would have resulted in a website that is easily accessible, navigation friendly, and fashioned for users of all computer skill levels.
Project managers have a need to understand, define, and assess the customers needs for all projects to include the governments website. Higher satisfaction levels from customers, leads to greater sentimental attachment for the current project and for future projects. Focusing on the tangible benefit of higher customer satisfaction will provide growth and continued support from customers by overall increasing profit and revenue for the organization.
TuesdayJun 16 at 10:46pm
Manage Discussion Entry
Chapter 6 in the textbook describes four “tangible benefits” of using project management; these are: Lower cost, Shortened schedules, No sacrifice of scope or quality, and Higher customer satisfaction (Kerzner, 2005). The development of healthcare.gov failed in all four of these tangible benefits (Thompson, 2013). According to Thompson, the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) did not use the experts in project management to manage the project. The website was overseed by three different departments of bureaucracy and cost. They did not use common language to facilitate communication. Metrics and critical information were concealed from each other. Each department has their own processes of operation. There was no set framework of a repeatable PM process. Each department had to figure out issues on their own. This cost over budget and time. The CMS also failed to have a standardized contractor selection system. The decision making was left to the bureaucrats who are more concerned about their own status quote than the efficiency of the project (Thompson, 2013). They often select unqualified contractors despite warnings. Then more cost and time were needed to fix the problems.
They also did not appear to have any phase-gate review for end-to-end testing. This leads to unsecured storage of user data and a not user-friendly website with too complicated pathways (Thompson, 2013). These mistakes also cost more time and money to correct. All of these could be avoided if the CMS used a professional project management firm to head the website project. The PM firm would make sure the communication language and process are uniformed and efficient. They would have testing and review with each stage of the website making project. There would be benchmarks they look at in order to evaluate the progress and fix any issues along the way. Because the project management firm is a stakeholder in the profit making of the website, and not a bureaucrat who just oversees the spending of the tax dollars, the PM firm would be more interested in completing the project below cost and shortening time.
TuesdayJun 16 at 10:49pm
Manage Discussion Entry
I work for a large healthcare system with hospitals in 3 different states. They recently merged with another system but the merger was not well explained to the staff. We don’t know how big the cooperation really is. We were under the impression that we brought the other system, but we are slowly changing our name. As you can see, the culture of this organization did not foster communication between management and staff. There are different processes in doing the same thing in different hospitals within the same system. My learning curve was almost a whole year after I moved from CA to AZ, even though I was with the same healthcare system for 20 years.
The SF hospital tried to apply the PM principle to standardize the work process 10 years ago. However, the process was only implemented in one nursing unit. Once the project saw some minor success, it was left to the few chosen nurses who had no real authority for change to manage the process. Soon, management changes and top management moved on to other new processes to improve performance. The effort to standardize and educate and communicate was met with strong resistance to change.
This hospital had not even achieved level 1 of common language (Kerzner, 2005). There were knee-jerk rejections to process change by nurses who saw management as the enemy. The lack of commitment of top management to stick with one common process had left the nurses low in morale and unwilling to change.
WednesdayJun 17 at 11:04am
Manage Discussion Entry
Lockheed Martin has been in existence for many years now and have established themselves as an innovator for technology and the best defense contractor in the world; accomplishing this title has come from years of dedicated hard work. A few reasons why Lockheed is the best is due to the fact that they follow a foundation of principles from the top executives to sub-contractors employed by the company; some of the methods that Lockheed has incorporated in their company is LEAN, Kanban, and Agile.
Since Lockheed's biggest customer is the United States government on account of the defense weaponry necessary for national security, oversight is necessary to ensure the highest quality product is delivered to the field. As a government inspector, I must conduct audits on all of their processes and have found that they follow the project management principles, especially in continuous improvement. As a manufacturing company, defects are always going to occur and Lockheed has answered the challenge by incorporating a management system which tracks and stores the defective material to ensure that it does not become part of the final product. Now, Kerzner (2005) mentions "project management methodologies must undergo continuous improvement. This may be strategically important to stay ahead of the competition." (pg. 112, para. 3) This is true but it is not Lockheed's sole reasoning for establishing a continuous improvement protocol in their processes as they want to retain the title of the best defense contractor in the world. As an oversight entity, we care about delivery and the finished product which is provided to us time and time again. Lockheed has recently established RFID labels to all of their parts which ensures that duplicates are not being entered into the work orders which cause the purchasing of the product by the government to halt until it could be sorted out. This improvement also allows Lockheed to track lot numbers which makes troubleshooting if the product does not perform in the field properly.
Ultimately, the goal for any organization is to provide the highest quality product while procuring a profit. Lockheed has gone one step above this by ensuring their continuous improvement process not only benefits the company but also the customer by ensuring the lessons learned have corrective actions put in place which will mitigate issues in the future.
Kerzner, H. (2005). Using the Project Management Maturity Model: Strategic planning for project management (2nd ed.). Retrieved from https://redshelf.com