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MAN6303 Program Management

tag 0 Download 19 Pages / 4,545 Words tag 28-07-2020
  • Course Code: MAN6303
  • University: Edith Cowan University
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  • Country: Australia

Question:

Case Study

American Shogun

It was in late May 2002 when Jan Vesely, sales manager for Southeast Asia and the Pacific region at International Instruments, Inc., received a call from RisingSun, one of its key accounts in Japan. “They told us that they were interested in our 1001 series monitors if we were able to provide audio capability —a feature that our competitor already had implemented in their product,” Jan said. “Additionally, RisingSun wanted us to deliver the product in 11 months, which was an aggressive time- t o- market goal. Since RisingSun was one of our most important customers, we jumped into action.” International Instruments, Inc. was a global market leader in the field of monitoring systems, and the 1001 series was their main product line of monitors addressing the biggest segment of the overall market.

The audio capability for the 1001 series monitors was previously discussed because, as mentioned, a major competitor had already brought a monitor with audio capability to the market. But Manuel Scriba, the segment manager for the 1001 product line, found the market too small to justify adding the audio feature, but the telephone call from RisingSun changed everything. As recalled by Manuel, “Suddenly the program, named Shogun, would help us to meet our financial, market share, customer relationship, and competitive business goals,” he said. “First and foremost,” he commented, “a new program had to fulfil our business goals. That’s what it is all about— the business goals.”

As for the financial goal, the order was large enough to cover the development and research cost associated with the program and make the desired contribution to the company bottom line. But it was more than that. International Instruments, Inc. was focused on market share and customer relationship as key strategic goals. It was clear that Shogun would support the achievement of these strategic goals. “We had excellent customer relationships before this program, and if an important customer wanted to have the new feature — and the program was financially viable — what else could we do but satisfy them?” asked Manuel. “On top of that,” Manuel added, “Shogun would also provide gain in market share for this monitor product line. Not only could we increase our market share, but we could attain our competitive goal, which was to pre- empt our competitor from gaining more market share in Japan.”

Manuel proposed the new program to Robin Weiland, vice - president of International Instruments, Inc. “We had the chance to increase our market share,” recalled Robin. “It was tough, but feasible. So, the question was no longer, does it make sense? but rather, can we get this done in only 11 months?” The next steps were to assign a program manager and set up the program as soon as possible.

Planet Orbits

With $467 million in total budget and 144 months in duration, Planet Orbits is an ambitious program. Its objective is to build a spacecraft with a photometer for identifying the terrestrial planets in the universe. Scientists believe that this program will eventually help them understand the extent of life on the planets and across much of the universe. “It represents, fundamentally, a breakthrough in science that has the potential to change mankind’ s views about his position and place in the universe,” according to Eric Anderson, the Planet Orbits program manager.

Next week the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) will be held. The review committee is expected to be tough, and Eric knows from experience that the program has to be in excellent shape in order to be granted approval to move to the next phase of development (from definition to the design phase). Eric believes the program is progressing well technically, but is aware of some interpersonal and human relations issues that may be a concern to the committee. Additionally, Eric is concerned that the latest schedule has some serious disconnects with senior management’s delivery expectations. However, he feels that the program core team can push the team sufficiently hard enough to make up any schedule shortfall that they may encounter during the next few development phases. However, these issues could create barriers for a PDR approval decision.

Eric is excited to have the Planet Orbits program finally ready to advance to the next phase of development. He thought to himself, “I t took us almost 10 years to achieve funding approval for this program. When we submitted the proposal to the program selection committee, it required several iterations to finally reach the necessary approval to move forward to actual development.” It has been three years since the program was approved. Eric still feels that the objective of the program fits well with the mission of the space agency - exploring life in the universe.

Eric has been through the status of the program several times already in preparation for the PDR meeting with the committee. However, it may be useful to recap with some of his key team members one more time to ensure all issues and concerns have been properly addressed. Eric reviewed his status documentation in preparation of Charles Wright’s arrival to his office. Charles is the project manager of the local site for the Planet Orbits program. When Charles arrived, they proceeded to review the program again in comprehensive detail.

ConSoul Software

“Wait a minute!” said Bali Balebi, the Silverbow program manager, while passionately waving his hands. “Do I understand you correctly that senior management is saying that my program must hit the release date, and if that requires dropping the two automation features, it is okay?”

“Yes,” responded Christine Smiley, the PMO director, “you understood me. But please calm down. We need cool heads now.”

Bali continued, “So, first we add the automation features despite the program team telling us that the planned program duration of 21 months would only allow for the 8 original features. Now, we are in the integrate phase three months before we get to deployment, and I’m being asked to drop the automation features because we’ r e a month behind schedule? I’m sorry if I’m having a tough time keeping a cool head, but we can’t do that.”

“They are not asking you, they are directing you to remove the features in order to get back on schedule. The delivery date is crucial,” replied Christine. “Again, please calm down and tell me why we can’t drop the automation features. Give me a logical argument that I can take back to senior management. I can’t just go back to them and say we can’t remove the features because the program manager is passionately against it.”

“OK,” said Bali. “Two reasons: First, I have already made an announcement to our lead customers that the automation features will be included in the next release. Second, the features have already been integrated with the other features in the release. It may take longer to back them out and redo the integration than to just continue with the integration as is.”

“Oh, now I understand the problem,” responded Christine. “Let me talk to Matt Short (vice - president of enterprise software), and you sit down with your team and review all possible options to make the original delivery date, both with and without the automation features. Also, call the lead customers who we know plan to purchase the new release. Tell them about the possible delay of the two automation features until the next release and see how they react.”

 

Portfolio Entry 1 –Case Study 1: American Shogun

Review the content in the case study (1), and consider the scenario provided with a view to providing detailed commentary, analysis and synthesis of key concepts against the backdrop of the Standard for Program Management (Version 4). You must refer to scholarly writings to and support your portfolio entry and it must meet the academic standards outlined in the assignment brief, learning outcomes and Unit Plan.

Learning Portfolio Entry 1 Questions 

1. Comment on the overall success of the program in terms of its tangible benefits.

2. What aspects of the program were done well (when related to program management theory).

3. What are the lessons learnt in this case study?

4. What would your recommendations be to improve the program if done again in the future?

Portfolio Entry 2 –Case Study 2: Planet Orbits

Review the content in the case study (1), and consider the scenario provided with a view to providing detailed commentary, analysis and synthesis of key concepts against the backdrop of the Standard for Program Management (Version 4). You must refer to scholarly writings to and support your portfolio entry and it must meet the academic standards outlined in the assignment brief, learning outcomes and Unit Plan.

Learning Portfolio Entry 2 Questions 

1. Summarise the key program management aspects of the case study, noting the key “takeaways” and highlights.

2. How should the earthly issues and the cosmic glory of Planet Orbits be balanced in terms of the success measures?

3. What are the major challenges of the Planet Orbits structure?

4. Explain why soft skills are so important, especially in this case study.

Portfolio Entry 3 –Case Study 3: ConSoul Software

Review the content in the case study (1), and consider the scenario provided with a view to providing detailed commentary, analysis and synthesis of key concepts against the backdrop of the Standard for Program Management (Version 4). You must refer to scholarly writings to and support your portfolio entry and it must meet the academic standards outlined in the assignment brief, learning outcomes and Unit Plan.

  1. Summarise the key program management aspects of the case study, noting the key “takeaways” and highlights.
  2. Explain how project management can be used to achieve business strategy
  3. Which ONE of the three options listed in the case study would you choose and give reasons for the choice (as aligned to the Standard for Program Management).
  4. What are the lessons learnt in this case study?
 
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