The IT Department case shows the prevalence of projects in settings that are perhaps not as obvious (in this case, a large hospital). The case is designed to get students to understand the ubiquitous nature of project-based work in our modern public and private organizations. It also demonstrates career paths and how successful work on projects is often rewarded with corporate success. Projects are not a distraction or a side-line; they are the principal means by which the IT department’s operations are demonstrated.
1. What are the benefits and drawbacks of starting most new hires at the help desk function?
2. What are the potential problems with requiring project team members to be involved in multiple projects at the same time? What are the potential advantages?
3. What signals does the department send by making “project manager” the highest position in the department?
Case Study 2.1 Rolls-Royce Corporation
Rolls-Royce is an example of a case based on new strategic opportunities and an organization’s desire to capitalize on market and technological developments. As one of the premier manufacturers of jet engines of the commercial and military markets, Rolls-Royce is facing an opportunity to “piggy back” off Airbus’s newest airframe design, the A380, an enormous airplane capable of flying up to 750 people. The case also demonstrates the manner in which Rolls-Royce must identify and manage their key stakeholder group for maximum effectiveness.
1. Who are Rolls-Royce’s principal project management stakeholders? How would you design stakeholder management strategies to address their concerns?
2. Given the financial risks inherent in developing a jet engine, make an argument, either pro or con, for Rolls-Royce to develop strategic partnerships with other jet engine manufacturers in a manner similar to Airbus’s consortium arrangement. What are the benefits and drawbacks in such an arrangement?