MegaTech, Inc. designs
manufactures automotive components. For years, the company enjoyed a stable marketplace, a small
a relatively predictable environment.
sales continued to grow until recently hitting
million. MegaTech products were
because they required little major updating
yearly redesign. The stability
its market, coupled with
allowed MegaTech to forecast annual demand accurately,
long lead times, -and
internal efficiency. Then, with the advent
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other international trade agreements, MegaTech found itself competing with auto parts suppliers headquartered in countries around the world. The company
thrust into an unfamiliar position: It had to become customer-focused
quicker to market with innovative products. Facing these tremendous commercial challenges, top management at MegaTech decided a
years ago to recreate the company
a project-based organization. The transition, while
smooth, has nonetheless paid big dividends. Top managers determined, for instance,
frequent. Achieving this goal meant yearly redesigns and new technologies' which, in turn, meant making innovative changes
the firm's operations.
order to make these adjustments, special project teams were formed
the company's product lines and given a mandate to maintain market competitiveness.
a large (700-bed) regional hospital
the northeastern United States. The information technology (IT) department employs
people and has
million. The department
responsible for managing
projects, ranging from small (redesigning computer screens) to very large, such
multimilliondollar system development projects that can
for over a year. Hamelin's IT department has been growing steadily, reflecting the hospital's commitment to expanding its information storage and processing capacities. The two principal functions
the IT department are developing new software applications and maintaining the current information
lifeforthedepartment. IT department jobs fall into
At the same time, however, MegaTech wanted to maintain its internal operating efficiencies. Thus
project teams were given strict cost and schedule guidelines for new product introductions. Finally, the company created a sophisticated research
development team, which
responsible for locating likely new avenues for technological change
years down the road.
MegaTech operates project teams not only for managing current product lines
also for seeking longer-term payoffs through applied research. MegaTech has found the move to projectrnanagement challenging. For one thing, employees are still rethinking the
in which they allocate their time and
tion, the firm's success rate with new projects
hoped. Nevertheless, top managers feel that,
balance, the shift to project management has given the company the operating advantage that it needed to maintain its lead over rivals
its globally competitive industry. "Project management;' admits one MegaTech executive, "is certainly
a magic pill for success,
it has started us thinking about
a result, we are doing smarter things in a faster way around here:'
which MegaTech operates led the firm to believe
project management would improve its operations?
offers MegaTech a competitive advantage in its industry?
PROJECT MANAGeMENT CLASS!!!!
Case Study 1.1 MegaTech, Inc.
MegaTech, Inc. is designed to highlight some of the reasons why an organization that had operated in a relatively stable and predictable environment would seek to move to an emphasis on project-based work. The trigger event, in this case is the advent of the NAFTA treaty, which opened up competition on a more price-competitive basis.
- What is it about project management that offers MegaTech a competitive advantage in its industry?
- What elements of the marketplace in which MegaTech operates led the firm to believe that project management would improve its operations?
Case Study 2.1 - Rolls-Royce Corporation
Rolls-Royce is an example of a case based on new strategic opportunities and an organization's desire to capitalize on market and technological developments. As one of the premier manufacturers of jet engines of the commercial and military markets, Rolls-Royce is facing an opportunity to "piggy back" off Airbus's newest airframe design, the A-380, an enormous airplane capable of flying up to 750 people. The case also demonstrates the manner in which Rolls-Royce must identify and manage their key stakeholder group for maximum effectiveness.
- Who are Rolls' principal project management stakeholders? How would you design stakeholder management strategies to address their concerns?
- Given the financial risks inherent in developing a jet engine, make an argument, either pro or con, for Rolls to develop strategic partnerships with other jet engine manufacturers in a manner similar to Airbus's consortium arrangement. What are the benefits and drawbacks from such an arrangement?
Please cite scholarly research resources for all case studies.