Project Management

Question 1

Project management is an art that requires project managers to adopt the right practices towards leadership and management. In absence of the right practices being employed by a project manager, the project is at risk of failing or experiencing delays (Project Management Institute, 2004). Ultimately, the success of any project depends majorly on the leadership of the project manager since workers can either be motivated or demoralized by project managers’ practices. The following are the practices of good leadership and management practices: firstly, a project manager should inspire a collective vision he is described as an individual who possesses a visualization of where to go along with the capability to articulate it. A visionary project manager enables workers to feel like they own a stake in the project. They offer employees opportunities to formulate their own vision to their careers and lives. Secondly, a good project manager should be a good communicator; he should have the capacity to communicate effectively at every level (Wysocki, 2004).  Project leadership requires clear communication regarding responsibility, goals expectations, performance and feedback. Thirdly, good leadership calls for integrity, that is, the commitment towards ethical practices. This practice involves promoting integrity and rewarding the ones who exemplify it. Fourthly, for project managers’ competence is inevitable, this refers to the capacity to lead others (Wysocki, 2004). Having an exemplary record of accomplishment is the best way to be considered competent. The ability to inspire, challenge and model calls for competence. Fifthly, a project manager is required to be a team builder; he should offer the motivation that focuses the team towards the right collective goals.

Question 2

When Judy Stokley became the Program Director at Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) located within Eglin Air Force Base, the program was riddled with difficulties (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.). Judy came at a time that there existed a great mistrust amongst the government and the contractors. The issues regarded the directive by the Air Force to reduce the workforce numbers. Every employee in the program knew of the downsizing plans. Some of the staffs had worked on the program for about twenty years and had supposed that they had more time there. The then Program Director vowed to quit his position rather than lead the sacking over so many employees. Judy had to implement this lay off directive and when she announced it a mood of hate towards her arose (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.).Even her assurance that they would be assisted in locating fresh jobs did not help. She personally never liked the idea of laying off staff but it had to be done. She knew and heard the resistance and hostility environment presented towards her by the frustrated workers. Judy in addition feared that the staff might get stressed up and frustrated to the extent of hurting others in the workplace or even themselves (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.). Thus, Judy Stokley being a visionary manager and utilizing good communication practices decide to adopt strategies that would restore trust towards her by the staffs and the contractors through a number of ways;

  1. Judy held meetings whereby she gave out note cards so that the staffs can anonymously list recommendations and or complaints.
  2. All constructive staff’s recommendations were actually executed.
  3. A report was produced every time to give details  of how much has been achieved towards addressing the immediate previous meeting
  4. Judy had the vision to cut off spending through introduction of TPSR and PBS which indicated this importance. This created trust from her bosses in Washington along with the contactors and they largely supported her.

These efforts greatly boosted the trust of the employees towards the Project Coordinator’s vision and commitment to address their problems. By the end of the fiscal year, the program office group had reduced to only sixty-eight and the contractors’ relationship with the government was highly improved (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.).

Question 3

 Judy knew that reducing the number of workers could not introduce or establish efficiency and effectiveness required in the program. Thus, she believed in absence of a complete overhaul of the organizational culture the program from control towards trust and responsibility AMRAAM would still be unhealed (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.). Judy believed that the only way to transform the culture was through partnership between contractors and the government.  This strategy was aimed at arriving at win-win situation for both sides, that is, the government would receive quality work and the contactors were assured of profits (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.). Judy utilized the following learning and behavior adjustment strategies.

  1. Judy knew that she had a supporter; Chuck who headed the AMRAAM program within Hughes. Raytheon and Hughes merger introduced lots of issues, but the actuality that Judy knew that she had a senior supporter in the contactors side was a reason enough that the reforms would be implemented.
  2. Judy’s objective was to save money, for instance, she tabled a budget that revolutionized everything. Everyone realized that it was at times cheaper to build new missiles than to repair the damaged ones. Previously the government required that the contractors repair every damaged missile since it had been paid for. The government dismissed any notion of beyond economic repair. Her idea led to the reduction of cost since repairing a destroyed missile required directing a big part of the workforce along with the associated costs.
  3. Under TPSR state reps were compensated heavily for reporting any inefficiency by the contractors but after Judy’s strategy was implemented the reporting problems were eliminated since that would violate the agreement among the two parties. The two entities became allies in helping each other deal with their respective issues. Judy indicated that and proved that strong teamwork helps remove the barriers that arise along the way.

Through Judy’s introduced reforms the two bodies started trusting each other, for instance, Gillman Raytheon’s Contracting Officer was invited by Dennis the Air force Contracting Officer into their internal budgetary meetings and this eradicated the mistrust notion that existed (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.). Judy believed that it is through trust that the other party would really know what is actually going on the ground. Worsham the  Air Force Chief Logistics officer stated that after TPSR was introduced many roles performed by the government previously were better done by the contractors, for example, a missile still possessing warranty were sent to the contractors whereas those that have passed the warranty period were sent to the army warehouses for repair (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.). This formed a big challenge in terms storage space and heightened expenses since every warehouse has to have staff, inventory

Question 4

A number of individuals in Judy’s team introduced innovative steps directed towards improving the understanding and recognition of the new culture. Judy and Chuck engaged in a “mirror exercise” whereby both the government and the contactor listed significant issues touching on both sides (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.). Through these lists they found that mistrust was prevalent. Thus, Judy had to introduce a variety of measures to ensure that trust is build between the government and the contactors. In order for changing the team’s culture Judy spearheaded the following transformations.

  1. In order to make the contractors produce quality work they requested for the numbers of the workforce to be reduced to a hundred from four hundred.  Many people had to lose their careers but it had to be done. Judy implemented this request to enable contactors increase efficiency.
  2. Judy seized the opportunity of the merger as a means towards reforms. However, the biggest challenge was convincing the government to permit contactors work freely and autonomously in order for them produce quality work.
  3. Judy spearheaded the establishment of Total System Performance Responsibility (TPSR). This required the contractors to agree to the responsibility of doing what was essential to offer high quality, combat capable and affordable missiles whereas the government was required to extend trust towards the contractors that they would abide to these requirements (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.). TPSR was meant to abolish the bureaucratic procedures required by the state in order to approve simple missile spec changes. For instance changing a small part like a capacitor required a whole day approval process.

Gillman who was Raytheon’s Contracting Officer indicated that removal of bureaucracy by Judy earned a lot of trust (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.).   This is because bureaucracy used to require a huge working force since big numbers of staff on the state side necessitated an equal number on the contractors’ side thus reducing the returns.

In order to strengthening the trust between parties, Judy wanted to initiate a long-standing pricing agreement (Laufer, Ward, & Cockburn, n.d.). This meant that contractors’ vendors a majority of whom were small business entities would not be required produce certified cost data each year.  Though the PBS did not materialize, the contractors saw that the Program Director was willing to improve the relationship between the contractors and the government.

Question five

Personal development plan

Name; Judy Stokley

Position; Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Senior position  

Location: Eglin Air Force Base in Florida

Development Focus

Recently promoted, development in a brand new position

Major strengths

  1. Good Project management and leadership skills
  2. Ability to transform a business
  3. Capability to produce results
  4. Profound experience as a Project Coordinator in the institution
  5. Established relationships

Development requirements

  1. Developing and coaching my team
  2. Foster continued improved relationship between the government and contractors
  3. Improve my conflict handling skills
  4. Enhance my listening skillfulness
  5. Utilize the already established relationships with my supervisors to request a complete organizational culture 

Development actions

  1. Closely work along each of my teams to create personal development plans by use of a coaching approach listen more and request for constant feedback.

Time frame; begin next week, once per week

Cost: not any, simply my time and that of team members

  • Working with the HR department on my Personal Development Plan

Time frame: begin next week

Expense: none, only my time

  •   Speak to my superiors regarding my wish to operate a high ranking, cross-functional development team in order to leveraging my strengths and enhance strategic thinking.

Time frame: in two weeks

Cost: An agreed project cost

  • Taking a strategic change leading course online

Timing: the next quarter

Expenditure: $10-13 thousand

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