Before beginning work on this week’s discussion forum, please review the link “Doing Discussion Questions Right,” the expanded grading rubric for the forum, and any specific instructions for this week’s topic.
By Saturday, August 22, 2015, respond to the assigned discussion questions and submit your responses to the appropriate topic in this Discussion Area.
Respond to the assigned questions using the lessons and vocabulary found in the reading.
Team Building and Ignoring Risk
1. Team building is an important aspect of managing a project team. Identify the right time to begin the team-building process. Justify what you believe to be the best approach for building a project team.
2. Ignoring Project Risk: Scenario: A new executive education course was proposed and approved by the once dynamic, but now visibly ailing, Vice President (VP) for human resources. Consultants were employed to gathered requirements across all company units. A matrix clearly delineated gaps in the executives’ understanding and application of the subject area was created. The course idea was widely applauded as a necessary step for executive development in the fast-paced enterprise. A course outline had been completed and approved when the sick VP for human resources had suddenly retired. After a few weeks, a new VP for human resources was hired. The new VP was unconvinced that the course was necessary. Her charge was to cut costs and streamline the human resources department to fit the new image of the company.
Result: The course was watered down from a week of dynamic, intensive training to a few insignificant handouts and, after a budget cut, was discontinued before implementation.
• Evaluate the scenario. Was this result foreseeable? Why or Why not? Explain what you think could have been done to enhance the risk readiness for this project.
• Choose some techniques that the team could have used in this situation to identify both internal and external risks to project success. Justify your choices. Describe the techniques for evaluating the likelihood of each risk and its impact on the project if it occurs.
• Evaluate which elements should be part of a written plan to deal with high potential risks and elements that might have major consequences for a project.
3. Communicate for Project Success: Scenario: A major enterprise-level business process development project was initiated. Early in the project, it was clear that each constituent business unit had different needs. An active executive sponsor pushed for a steering committee representation from all business units. The team began by gathering requirements across business units. All levels of the organization were represented—executives, middle managers, and frontline workers. Requirements were translated into specifications and communicated to the business units. Prior to steering committee meetings, decision makers received detailed information on the project’s status and progress in meeting requirements.
Result: The team developed a broad approach toward developing a new process with an enterprise-level core that allowed customization among the business units. The project achieved the desired results and received customer acceptance at the business unit level. The executive sponsor (also the primary customer at the enterprise level) was applauded for his business acumen, while the direct project sponsor continued on her path for promotion from the assistant VP to being the VP of the organization.
• Analyze the critical factors in the success of this project.
• For a project like the one described above, explain the key components of a project communication plan.
Justify your answers with examples and reasoning. Comment on the postings of at least two peers.
The final paragraph (three or four sentences) of your initial post should summarize the one or two key points that you are making in your initial response.
Your posting should be the equivalent of 1 to 2 pages (500–1000 words) in length.
Submit your posting to the W3: Assignment 1 Discussion Area by Saturday, August 22, 2015.