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Assignment 1: Prioritizing Projects at D. D. Williamson (Case Study from Chapter 2)Due Week 3 and worth 240 pointsRead the case titled: “Prioritizing Projects at D. D. Williamson” found in Chapter 2.Write a six to eight (6-8) page paper in which you:Analyze the prioritizing process at D. D. Williamson.Suggest two (2) recommendations to improve the prioritizing process.Create a scenario where the implemented process at D. D. Williamson would not work.Project five (5) years ahead and speculate whether or not D. D. Williamson will be using the same process. Justify your answer.Use at least four (4) quality (peer-reviewed) resources in this assignment.Your assignment must:Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:Assess organizational strategies that contribute to effective project management of human resources.Use technology and information resources to research issues in managing human resource projects.Write clearly and concisely about managing human resource projects using proper writing mechanics.Prioritizing Projects at D. D. WilliamsonOne of the most difficult, yet most important, lessonswe have learned at D. D. Williamson surrounds projectprioritization. We took three years and two iterations ofour prioritization process to finally settle on an approachthat dramatically increased our success rate oncritical projects (now called VIPs, or “Vision ImpactProjects”).Knowing that one of the keys to project managementsuccess is key management support, our first approachat prioritization was a process where our entire seniormanagement team worked through a set of criteria andresource estimations to select a maximum of two projectsper senior management sponsor—16 projects in total.Additionally, we hired a continuous improvementmanager to serve as both our project office and a keyresource for project facilitation. This was a great moveforward (the year before we had been attempting tomonitor well over 60 continuous improvement projectsof varying importance). Our success rate improved toover 60 percent of projects finishing close to the expecteddates, financial investment, and results.What was the problem? The projects that were notmoving forward tended to be the most critical—theheavy-investment “game changing” projects. A reviewof our results the next year determined we left significantmoney in opportunity “on the table” with projectsthat were behind and over budget!This diagnosis led us to seek an additional processchange. While the criteria rating was sound, the numberof projects for a company our size was still toomany to track robustly at a senior level and have resourcesto push for completion. Hence, we elevated asubset of projects to highest status—our “VIPs.” Wesimplified the criteria ratings—rating projects on thelevel of expected impact on corporate objectives, thecross-functional nature of the team, and the perceivedlikelihood that the project would encounter barrierswhich required senior level support to overcome.The results? Much better success rates on the bigprojects, such as design and implementation of newequipment and expansion plans into new markets.But why?The Global Operating Team (GOT) now has laserfocus on the five VIPs, reviewing the project plansprogress and next steps with our continuous improvementmanager in every weekly meeting. If a project isgoing off plan, we see it quickly and can move to reallocateresources, provide negotiation help, or changepriorities within and outside the organization to manageit back on track. Certainly, the unanticipated barriersstill occur, but we can put the strength of theentire team toward removing them as soon as theyhappen.A couple of fun side benefits—it is now a developmentopportunity for project managers to take on a VIP.With only four to six projects on the docket, they comewith tremendous senior management interaction andfocus. Additionally, we have moved our prioritizationprocess into our functional groups, using matriceswith criteria and resource estimations to prioritize customerand R&D projects with our sales, marketing, andscience and innovation teams, as well as IT projectsthroughout the company. The prioritization processhas become a foundation of our cross-functionalsuccess!Following are excerpts from the spreadsheetD. D. Williamson used to select and prioritize our VIPprojects last year. Exhibit 2.15 shows the five criteriaused to prioritize the projects. Exhibit 2.16 shows howassociate time when assigned to a project is not availablefor other projects. Projects can also be limited bythe amount of funds. Finally, Exhibit 2.17 definesterms used in project selection.48 Part 1 Organizing Projects49EXHIBIT 2.15PROJECT PRIORITIZATION FOR D. D. WILLIAMSONPROJECTS (REDUCED FOR EXAMPLE)Qtr tostartprojectProjectnumberProject list —continuousimprovementand innovationLevel ofdifficultyAchievesalesrevenueof $XXX,XXX, XXXWeight Weightedcriteria—salesDriveadditionalsalesin naturalcolors of$X, XXX,XXXWeight Weightedcriteria—naturalcolorsAchievereturn oncapitalemployedof XX%Weight Weightedcriteria—ROCERepeatabilityof project—otherlocationsWeight Weightedcriteria—repeatabilityRisk ofprojectbarriers tocompletionWeight Weightedcriteria—barriersTotalrating1 Powderpackagingequipmentinstallation8 5 40 1 5 5 9 4 36 5 3 15 5 3 15 1111 Design andinstall “newprocessingequipment” inChinaoperation8 5 40 1 5 5 10 4 40 9 3 27 9 3 27 1392 Implement expansionplansfor new products(X)9 5 45 10 5 50 8 4 32 8 3 24 8 3 24 1752 Install “newenvironmentalscrubber”4 5 20 3 5 15 10 4 40 10 3 30 10 3 30 13550EXHIBIT 2.16ASSOCIATE TIME ASSIGNED TO PROJECTSPROJECT LIST—CONTINUOUSIMPROVEMENT ANDINNOVATIONTOTAL ASSOCIATEAVAILABLE HOURSFOR PROJECTSTED MARGARET ELAINE BRIAN ANN GRAHAM EDIE CAMPBELLAssociate “improvement” hrs for quarter: 120 120 120 120 120 120 120 120Total associate hrs committed: 80 120 60 180 0 60 40 60Total hoursexceeding available quarter?40 0 ?60 60 ?120 ?60 ?80 ?60Powder packaging equipment installation 60 60Design and install “new processing equipment”in China operation60 40Implement expansion plans for new products(X)80 120 60 60Install “new environmental scrubber” 60EXHIBIT 2.17TERMS USED IN PROJECT SELECTIONDEFINITIONS OFKEY TERMSProject Ownership Defines the functional area with primary responsibility for the projectGlobal vs. Local Global projects will be implemented or impact on more than one location in the year defined;otherwise projects are defined as localPrioritization The five weighted criteria on worksheet one were used to put projects in rank order—used toassign resources and identify the cut offCI Project An improvement effort which is not part of an associate’s daily work requirementsTeam Charter The plan for completing CI projects, often in seven-step format for problem resolution, thoughformats vary according to project type and complexity. Includes the plan for communicatingprogress and resultsProject Roles The defined roles on an improvement team—not all teams will have all roles, but each projectwill have at least a project manager and sponsorProject Manager (PM) The owner of a project—will be expected to charter the team, ensure the forward movement of theproject, and report on progress, completion of the project, and closure/celebration of successes andlearnings. Also responsible for the communication plan within the charter. Must be a leadershipprogram graduate, and typically a functional manager, either global or localSponsor (S) Typically a senior manager/GOT member—responsible for ensuring assignment of appropriateresources, clearing any barriers, and otherwise championing the projectTeam Member (TM) An associate who has a significant contribution to make to the improvement effort, often arepresentative of an involved function. Attends all team meetings and shares responsibility forcompletion of the projectSubject Matter Expert(SME)An associate with needed knowledge for project outcome—may not be significantly affected bychanges. Attends only when knowledge is required, but commits to sharing knowledge when it isneeded.Level of Difficulty The estimated human resource effort that will be required to complete a project (estimated on aper quarter basis)Level 1 Low investment of hours required (may require capital); solution is known and implementation ofsolution is predictable; likely only 2–3 people involvedLevel 1 projects—estimated hours for resource allocation: PM: 10 hours; S: 2 hours; SME:5 hoursLevel 2 Medium investment of hours required; may require upfront measurement and multiple solutions,but solutions and implementation are still expected to be simple. Probably requires 3–5 teammembersLevel 2 projects—estimated hours for resource allocation: PM: 60 hours; S: 15 hours; TM: 30hours; SME 15 hoursLevel 3 High investment of hours required; trying to solve complex and/or ongoing problems. Likely to involvea behavior change in others—solutions or implementation outcomes may be unknown or lesssimple. Likely a team of 4–8 people, perhaps cross-functional/cross locationLevel 3 projects—estimated hours for resource allocation: PM: 120 hours; S: 30 hours; TM: 60hours; SME: 30 hoursSource: Elaine Gravatte, Chief People Officer and North American President, D. D. Williamson
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