Discuss about the Digitization Project of Ken Private Limited.
Ken Private Limited Company is in the business of knowledge outsourcing as well as technology services. It was founded in the year 1991 in Texas, U.S. This company provides fabrication services like digitization, imaging, data conversion, language translation, content development and XML as well as mark-up services. Knowledge services include editorial services, content enhancement, and indexing and vocabulary development. Technology services involve designing, implementation and integration of systems. Ken Private Limited has offices in Asia, Europe and America. It has more than 5000 number of employees. It is a well reputed company with its net profit amounting to $ 90 million. Dogma International is a company that deals with the business of content-publishing. This company has the right to archive the prestigious newspaper called ‘The Genesis Times’. The Digitization Project of Ken Private Limited was to create and develop digital archives of ‘The Genesis Times’ newspaper for Dogma International. Ken Private Limited had aimed to archive 150 years of ‘The Genesis Times’ newspaper. The project began in April, 2004 and the company had promised to deliver digitized newspaper for 10 years by July, 2004. The company had failed to deliver the project within the correct deadline and the client was dissatisfied due to this reason.
This report discusses about the main issues that were stoping Ken Private Limited from delivering the Digitization Project to its client, Dogma International. It gives a brief overview of the main issues in terms of the concepts of organizational behaviour. This report analyses the issues and gives appropriate recommendations to overcome these issues.
Identification of Issues
Ken Private Limited had divided the activities of technology development and production into two teams between the Indian and Philippines office. This company had taken up this type of digitization project for the first time. The main focus of the Indian team was to develop technological platform and delivering it to the team in Philippines. The Filipino team was responsible for content processing as well as production by utilizing the new technical platform developed by the Indian team. The Filipino team was divided into five departments: Quality Assurance, Non-Production Staffs, Initial Process Imaging, Document Control and Distribution and PPC or Production Planning and Control. All the departments have department managers and the three Indian teams were lead by three assistant managers.
Issue One: Resistance of the Filipino team towards learning and using new technology
It has been seen in the case study that the Filipino team was not comfortable in using any high-end or advanced technology. They had a preference towards the pragmatic or traditional workflow. They believed that the pragmatic workflow would have been more flexible for carrying out the production activities (Mariana, Daniela & Nadina, 2013). They were unable to see the benefits or advantages of using and adopting the new technology that was being developed in the Indian office. The initial and the most important issue was the resistance of the Filipino team towards learning and using the advanced and high-end technology (Wittig, 2012). This team did not understand the value and the importance of the advanced or new technology.
The Filipino team was accustomed to the existing technological platform for the production and content processing purposes. They were finding it difficult to give efforts to adapt any new technology (Kinchin, 2012). They were unaware of the purpose of developing the new technology. They had not been consulted by the management before taking this decision and they did not understand value of the new technology (Nesterkin, 2013). They were resistant towards the new technology because it would modify the current pattern of workflow and working relationships among the people (Kunze, Boehm & Bruch, 2013). The team members wanted to remain in their comfort zones by not adopting any advanced technology. The Filipino team was not in a state to adopt the new technology. The IPI team members reported that the first segment of the technology was not user friendly and required improvement. This led to the initial delay of the delivery of the project. The DCD department found flaws and faults in the second segment of the technology platform which further delayed the delivery of the project. The resistance of the Filipino team members towards the learning and usage of advanced technology was one of the main issues of that led to the delay and unsuccessful execution of the Digitization Project.
Transparency: The Filipino team should be informed about the importance and the need of adopting the new technology (Hon, Bloom & Crant, 2014). The value as well as benefits of advanced technology should be explained to the Filipino team.
Understanding individual benefits: The management team should explain the benefits that each individual will have by adopting the new technology. The company should make the Filipino team understand that the new technology will ease their working procedures and it will not have any negative impact on the employees (Cummings & Worley, 2014). The team should understand that adopting the new technology will help to increase their level of productivity and efficiency.
Encourage participation: The company should encourage the Filipino team to participate in the decision making process so that they can contribute their ideas and knowledge in the adoption of new technology (Green, 2012). This will help the team members to get a better picture and understanding about the technology and they will automatically understand the need and value of the advanced technology. It will help the team to understand that the advanced technology is needed for individual as well as the growth of the company.
Agreement: The project manager must establish agreement. In this case study, the project manager is Mr. Sharma (Schalock & Verdugo, 2012). He should ensure that the Filipino team and the Indian team are in terms of agreement regarding the development of the advanced technology platform.
Training and Education: This case study shows that the Filipino team deals with production as well as content processing. They are not familiar with technology development. The company should conduct a training programme where the Filipino team will be taught about the features of the new technology that will be developed (Anderson, 2016). The DCD department should be trained to use the second segment of the new technology platform and IPI department should be trained to use the first segment of the new technology.
Issue Two: Communication gap and barrier in Ken Private Limited
One of the main issues in the Digitization Project was the gap and barrier in communication between the Filipino and the Indian team. The main reasons behind this issue were physical separation and differences in culture, status as well as language. The Filipino team was hesitant towards the use of the new technology platform that was being implemented by the Indian technical team. The Filipino team members were unable to understand the use and application of the new technology platform, to the project as well as their team. The team members did not express their concerns and shared their doubt with the project manager. They continued to express their thoughts among the team members only. This widened the communication gap and led to project delay. Later on the team found that there were technical flaws and errors that led to the stop of the production process. This made the team think that the new technology was not needed and would lead to inefficiency in the operations of the organization. The project manager had conducted a meeting with the managers of the five departments of the Filipino team along with few team members. It has been seen that nobody was willing to express their concerns about the technical issues. A DCC department team member murmured about the technological errors. The employee had also mentioned that the Indian team was not paying much attention to the needs and concerns of the production team. The premature evaluation about the importance of the new technology that was done by the production team also led to the communication barrier.
It has been seen that the employees were not comfortable in sharing their thoughts and concerns with the project manager which led to the close of the meeting. This clearly showed that there was status issue where the employees were not ready to open up in front of the project manager because of the high position attached to his designation (Lyons & Kuron, 2014). This showed that their existed a communication gap between the team members and the project manager. Later on the project manager overheard a conversation between managers of the DCC and IPI department. The project manager came to know that the technical team was not responding to the production team quickly and they did not have a supportive attitude towards the production team. This showed that the technical team was not cooperative and there was a communication gap. Later on the project manager heard from the technical team that the production team was not patient and were resistant towards the use of new technology. This clearly showed that there was lack of cooperation between the two teams. Both the teams had different perspectives. This can be caused due to semantic issues and block due to cultural differences (Lee, Trimi & Kim, 2013).
Communication training: Ken Private Limited should conduct communication training for the project team members (Bovee, Thill & Raina, 2016). They should arrange for video conferences where the Filipino and the Indian team can communicate and overcome the cultural as well as the physical barriers. This will also help the employees to develop their communication skills.
Linguistic knowledge: There exists language barrier between the Filipino and the Indian team. Both the teams should be trained to use simple language for communication between each other (Moran, Abramson & Moran, 2014). The team members should not use jargons and dialect in an inter team conversation.
Informal relations: The project manager should encourage both the teams to maintain an informal relation as well. They can be encouraged to wish one another in any festival and celebration. This will help to increase the effectiveness of the communication process by building healthy relationships (Goetsch & Davis 2014). The formal communication process will also improve. The Filipino team will not hesitate to share their doubts and concerns regarding any technical issue.
Employee orientation: Ken Private Limited should conduct an orientation program for all the project team members and the team managers before starting the project. This will help the team members of the Filipino to understand about the need of new technology. This will also help the teams to know each other (Penn & Watermeyer, 2012).
Selection of proper communication channel: The teams should know to use proper media while communicating with each other. They should know that video conference will be effective in case of any emergency query and issue. In case of regular communication E-mail will be sufficient. The members of the teams should be trained to be good listeners.
Issue Three: Lack of understanding of customer needs
Lack of understanding of the client needs is another main reason behind the problems of the Digitization Project. The Digitization project was delivered after four months, but Ken Private Limited had delivered digitized newspapers for only two years. Dogma International was infuriated and had demanded high quality digitized newspapers within two months. The client had given a warning to end the contract if their demand was not fulfilled. This made Saiyumn Savarker to fly to Philippines to analyse the issue. Initially he met with the project manager and QA to collect the details about the issue. Later on he had arranged a meeting with the client to find out more regarding the problem. He got to know from the client that they were not satisfied with the quality of the image. The image quality was of great importance to the client because it played a major role in attracting the readers.
The project manager informed that they were not aware of the fact that the client needed high quality images as well. The client had even told the project manager that nobody from the team had ever asked for their feedback. This showed that the project team did not understand the needs and expectations of the client. The project team did not consider the opinions of the customers (Yi & Gong, 2013). This prevented the project team from understanding the requirements of the client, Dogma International.
Gain insights: The project manager of Ken Private Limited should conduct a general meeting with the client before starting the project. This will enable the project manager to gain an insight into the likes and dislikes of the client (Smith, 2012). The history of the client should be considered while undertaking and developing a project for the client. Gaining insight of the customer choice is extremely important for the project team to deliver a project that satisfies the needs of the client.
Feedback: The client should be involved in the project development process so that they can give feedback (Sashi, 2012). This will help the project teams to develop a project according to the expectations of the client. The project team will be able to modify any feature in a quick and effective manner. The feedback should be taken in the form of E-mail, forms, usability tests and customer interviews (Roberts & Grover, 2012). This feedback mechanism should continue till the delivery of the project. This should be an on-going process for the purpose of continuous improvement.
This report concludes that the major issues that prevented the Digitization project to be a success are lack of customer understanding, communication barrier and gap between both the technical and production team and the resistance towards new technology. The Filipino team that was responsible for content processing and production were resistant towards advanced technology. This report said that the Filipino team was comfortable with little use of advanced technology. They did not understand the need as well as the value of adopting advanced technology. This was one of the main issues of the Digitization Project. It has been recommended that encouraging participation of the Filipino team in sharing their opinions and training, educating them about the use of the new technology would help to overcome this issue. The next issue was communication barrier. There was status barrier between the Filipino team and the project manager and this made the team hesitate regarding sharing their concerns about the technical issues. There was communication gap between the Indian and the Filipino team. This was may be due to cultural differences as well as physical barrier. It has been recommended that an employee orientation plan, communication training, correct selection of communication media and building informal relationships will help to resolve such issues. The next main issue that has been identified is the lack of customer understanding. The project manager and the project team did not understand that the aesthetics were of huge importance to the customer. It has been recommended that getting customer insights and continuous feedback from the customers could help Ken Private Limited to understand the customer needs and expectations in an appropriate manner.
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