A project is a temporary attempt designed for the production of a unique product having a well defined start and end. It is so undertaken for meeting up the unique objectives and goals of an organization that will bring benefit to the organization. The main challenges of the project are time, budget, quality and scope along with integration of the important inputs and technical skills to give a successful output within a specified time (Cantarello et al. 2012). The project manager is solely responsible for the successful completion of the project that is a part of the organization. On the other hand, the line manager is solely responsible for the overall success of the organization.
This assignment deals with the creation of partnership between project manager and line manager of Ducor Chemicals, the major authority of project manager or line manager on negotiations for resources and the solutions to the irresolvable conflicts over staffing between them. In addition to this, the necessity of external intervention of the customers, process of removal of the customers and negotiation of project manager for derivable or people are also discussed.
Ducor Chemicals was given a twelve month research and development contract by one of their most significant clients for creation of a new product. It was further said by the client that if Ducor will be successful enough for the project, the client will go for a long term production contract that will bring a good profit to the company for the subsequent years. For that reason, the project manager and line manager were engaged in a conversation for assigning the best scientist for the project. According to Indelicato (2012), the line manager and project manager need to enter a partnership for the success of the project. The project manager of Ducor Chemicals is primarily focused on the best interest of the project that is assigned to the individual. This is because, the promotion, salary and future opportunities of the project manager are totally dependent on the success of this project. When asked for the best scientist, the project manager relied that all the scientists were good but based on the project timings, he have determined to allocate John Thornton.
According to the project manager, he had already worked with Thornton for three months and had faced hurdles regarding that. On the words of the project manager, Thornton is arrogant and unpleasant and his behavior demoralized the spirits of the rest of the team and so wants Thornton to be replaced by some other senior scientists for the project. This is because, having a past experience of working with this client, the project manager knows that the clients call once for a month’s meeting where the senior scientist have to face the clients. Thornton complained the clients regarding some of the tests that were meaningless leaving the clients angry. But, the line or lab manager threw water on the expectations of the project manager by saying that he will talk to John for changing his arrogant nature and negative attitude while dealing with the clients.
Mir and Pinnington (2014) commented on the fact that the project manager is fully responsible in achieving the objectives of the project within the given time, quality standard and budget. The project manager requires both no human resources and human resources for completing the project successfully within the specified time period. But, the line managers are responsible to allocate the resources for the project. The project manager told about that he/ she is solely focused on the success of the project. To this the line manager replied that the relationship between the line manager and project manager is a partnership where both have their individual opinions on the project (Sikora and Ferris, 2014). The project manager is only responsible to see the success of the project which is a small part of the whole organization.
The success of this project will obviously bring success to the organization but it is a part of fulfillment of objective of the organization. Lock (2014) had a view that the line manager is responsible for supporting numerous projects at time and has to make unbiased decisions regarding the preeminent interest of the total organization. According to the line manager, providing benefit to one of the projects of the company is not at all a wise decision and can hamper the whole system of the organization. By seeing the tenure of the project, only Thornton could be freed and engaged to this project. If the project manager is paid for the success of a project of the organization, then the line manager is paid for making wise company decisions that will bring success to the entire company. So, both the managers need to go for a partnership that will bring success to the project as well as to the company through adjustments and proper collaboration (Cantarello et al. 2012).
Li et al. (2014) commented on the fact that the project manager needs to negotiate with the line managers for accumulating the resources in time in order to complete the project in time and within the given budget. The project manager needs to negotiate with the line managers for getting the needed resources on time and for achieving harmonization and co operation between the work of the project and the work of the department. Moreover, for getting technical and managerial assistance as well as solving the project related problems, the project manager needs to converse with the line manager. According to Lock (2014) it is to be remembered that the project management and the success of the project is dependent on the relationship between the line manager and project manager. The project manager is only accountable for the successful accomplishment of the project but the line manager is totally responsible for making wise decisions for the company to make all the projects successful for the ultimate success of the company.
On the other hand, Sikora and Ferris (2014) had an opinion that the line manager has the responsibility of all the projects in the organization. The line manager has to take care of all the requirements of all the project managers and so personal favor to a project or its manager becomes difficult for the line manager. Favoring one project manager can lead to upsetting the whole resource management program of the entire organization. In this case study, it is seen that the liner manger has understood the problem that the project manager and senior scientist John Thornton had. Still for the sake of time adjustment and nature of the project he assigned Thornton to the project manager. In contrast, Korhonen et al. (2014) had commented on the fact that the project manager when spoke about the interest of the project, the line manager told him that he sees the interest of 20 such projects and had to assign the resources strategically for the best outcome of the company as well as of the project.
According to Sikora and Ferris (2014) it is correct from the side of the project manager that he/she should negotiate more with the line manager since he/ she is responsible for the success of that particular project. But it is also need to be focused that if each of the project managers will be claiming the line manager for the best resources according to their need and wants, it will become impossible for the line manager to keep a coordination of the resources as well as for the completion of all the projects in time. So, Li et al. (2014) had a view that considering both the problems from both the managers, it can be said that the line manager should have more sayings in the negotiation as because; he/she is handling the entire organization with the unbiased decisions.
Staffing is an essential part of an organization since it determines the reputation of the company by providing both quality services and products to the clients. For the management, allocating the right staff members in the right positions is equally important and essential (Cantarello et al. 2012). As seen in this case study the line manager and project manager are having a small conflict regarding the staffing of John Thornton into the project. Due to his bad attitude and unpleasant behavior, the project manager is having a problem to work with him. Previously he had worked with Thornton and found that due to his negative attitude and sarcasm, a demoralized atmosphere gets created within the team which becomes tough to the project manager in maintaining his/her sanity. But the line manager told the project manager that Thornton is the best scientist to this project regarding the time and nature of the project.
This somehow led to a small conflict between the project manager and the line manager. Daly et al. (2010) commented on the fact that though this situation becomes irresolvable, but still this conflict needs to be handled tactfully. This is done to maintain the harmony between them for the completion of the project that will ultimately bring success to the company to an extent. The project manager will need the best resources for the successful completion for his/ her single project; the line manager is responsible for the successful completion of all the projects of the organization to make the company successful. On the contrary, Si and Li (2012) commented that it is very obvious that the project manager can have some issues with a certain employee either for his behavior or attitude. As a result, he/she complains the line manager for the replacement of the staff member from the project. But the line manager is also bound to make unbiased decisions for the company. So, according to the time and requirement of the project; the line manager tries to suggest the best suited staff to the project. Now if each of the project managers is going to have problem with one or the other staff members, then the line manager cannot allocate the staff members properly according to the requirement of the project. This may lead to the failure of the projects and the ultimate failure of the company (Li et al. 2014).
According to Korhonen et al. (2014) the line manager is not only responsible for the completion of a single project but is responsible for handling all the projects within the organization. So, the line manager can talk to the staff members with whom the project managers are having problem and can solve the problem by interacting with them regarding their change in attitude and arrogant behavior. This will obviously help the project manager in handling these tough staff members easily and the conflict between the managers regarding staffing can be handled to an extent (Daly et al. 2010).
In this case study, it is seen that the external client has already worked with Ducor Chemicals previously. The project manager also had to handle Thornton beforehand and for his bad attitude and arrogance, the team spirit of the previous project was destroyed to an extent. The external client also knows about the behavior of Thornton since during the previous project, the client conversation with Thornton was not at all pleasant. Though the project was a success but still the external customer didn’t had a good rapport with Thornton. So, on the basis of this incident, the project manager wanted some other senior scientist in the project. But, the line manager clearly told him that this wouldn’t be possible and it is unnecessary to give him threatens regarding involvement of the external client.
According to Korhonen et al. (2014) there is no necessity to involve the external customer in allocation of the project staffing within the organization. The external customers are only there to receive their products for which they have contracted the company. The external customers will know nothing about the capability and capacity of the staff members and the availability of these staff members required for production of that product. (Cantarello et al. 2012) commented that though these external customers faced a bad interface with Thornton, still their work was done and the project was a success. So, irrespective of the kind of person the employee is, the project manager can take Thornton into his project for the successful completion of the project that will give success to the company. Involving the external customer into the project staffing may cause the leakage of important documents of the company, so to avoid such kind of mishap the company shouldn’t involve the external customers.
In addition to this, according to Sikora and Ferris (2014) the external customers will need such kind of staffs within the organization that will be having a good rapport with them as well as accomplish the task in time. But the availability of the human resources that will be best suited for the project regarding time and capacity may not match. So, involvement of external customers is not needed rather the line manager can easily allocate the resources properly in the project where it is essential.
Si and Li, (2012) commented on the fact that it is essential to monitor the performance of the staff members occasionally and periodically to see their capacity and capability to work as well as their betterment in their performance. An employee not working according to the requirements and expectation of the project and the company needs to be removed from the organization. This is because, that employee is providing a negative impact on the other employees either by demoralizing them or provoking them.
According to Li et al. (2014) this gives a negative impact on the results of the project and ultimately the reputation of the company is at a stake. As a result, it becomes a necessity to remove that employee from the organization for the sake of reputation of the company and motivate the other employees to perform well.
Removing the employees who are not performing according to the desired expectations cannot be done at a time. Daly et al. (2010) had a view that the organization needs to be methodical to the approach. Initially the employees need to be consulted with regarding their problem that they are facing to keep up to the expectations of the organization. If required, proper training, counseling and essential assistance is given to the employees for improvement of their performance. Moreover, regular performance is measured by the managers to see the improvement in the performance of the employees (Dinsmore and Cabanis-Brewin, 2014).
If the problem is solved by that time and the performance of the employee becomes good, then it is all right with the organization. But if the conversation doesn’t work, then warning needs to be given to the employee. If the employee turns out to be a god performer by that time, no termination is required. But failure of this warning can lead to termination of the employee (Si and Li, 2012). In this way, the employee who is underperforming or not performing well according to the expectations and requirements of the organization, the employees can be removed.
According to Daly et al. (2010) for a project manager both the people and deliverables are necessary for the ultimate success of the project. While working in a team, it is desired that the team members should have harmony and good relations with each other for the completion of the project and that too successfully. This is because; the project is a team work where the involvement of all the team members is essential and important. So the project manager needs people in the team those are well behaved and have positive attitude towards others. In this case study, it is seen that Thornton has a negative attitude as well “loose cannon” mouth but is technically strong and sound. To him the job given by the customer is nothing and is successful in accomplishment of the job in time.
In addition to this, McPhail et al. (2012) commented on the fact that the project manager also need to give positive and successful deliverables to the customers on time. This is essential since it increases the customer database as well as customer reliability on the company. Though Thornton has bad behavior, still he is quiet an experienced scientist and can deliver the product according to the requirement of the customer. So, the project manager needs to think twice before negotiating the senior scientist to have a replacement (Cantarello et al. 2012).
It is necessary for the project manner to remember that, for the proper deliverables of the company, he/ she needs to adjust with a bad tempered or a bad attitude person for the sake of the company reputation and project completion. This is because; according to Lock (2014) the customers are only focused on the successful delivery of the product rather than dealing with the ill tempered employees. Though it will be tough for the project manager to handle people like Thornton, still due to his excellent technical knowledge, he needs to be included in the project for its success. So, the project managers need to be more focused on the delivery of the products in time and on the quality of the product rather than the people getting engaged in the team for the accomplishment of the job (Li et al. 2014).
Throughout this assignment it is dealt with the case study of Décor Chemicals regarding the project contract of a customer. This assignment has focused on the partnership of the project manager and line manager regarding the project interest and the interest of the company. Moreover, the sayings of the project manager and line manager is discussed and is seen that the line manager have more sayings during the negotiations. In addition to this, the handling of the irresolvable conflicts between the line and project managers is also discussed along with the unnecessary interference of external customers on the project staffing. Moreover, the procedure of removal of the employee’s not meting up the expectations of the company and the negotiation of project manager regarding people or deliverables are also discussed vividly.
Dinsmore, P. and Cabanis-Brewin, J. (2014) The AMA Handbook of Project Management, New York: AMACOM
Lock, D. (2014) The essentials of project management, Surrey: England: Gower
Cantarello, S., Filippini, R. and Nosella, A. (2012) “Linking human resource management practices and customer satisfaction on product quality”, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(18), pp.3906-3924
Daly, T., Anne Lee, J., Soutar, G. and Rasmi, S. (2010) “Conflictâ€handling style measurement: a bestâ€worst scaling application”, International Journal of Conflict Management, 21(3), pp.281-308
Indelicato, G. (2012) “The Complete Project Manager: Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills”, Project Management Journal, 43(6), pp.113-123
Korhonen, T., Laine, T. and Martinsuo, M. (2014) “Management Control of Project Portfolio Uncertainty: A Managerial Role Perspective”, Project Management Journal, 45(1), pp.21-37
Li, Y., Zhang, G., Yang, X. and Li, J. (2014) “The influence of collectivist human resource management practices on team-level identification”, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, pp.1-16
McPhail, R., Fisher, R., Harvey, M. and Moeller, M. (2012) “Staffing the global organization: “Cultural nomads”, Human Resource Development Quarterly, 23(2), pp.259-276
Mir, F. and Pinnington, A. (2014) “Exploring the value of project management: Linking Project Management Performance and Project Success”, International Journal of Project Management, 32(2), pp.202-217
Si, S. and Li, Y. (2012) “Human resource management practices on exit, voice, loyalty, and neglect: organizational commitment as a mediator”, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(8), pp.1705-1716
Sikora, D. and Ferris, G. (2014) “Strategic human resource practice implementation: The critical role of line management”, Human Resource Management Review, 24(3), pp.271-281
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