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    LRH Financial Conflict and Delay in Project

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    You are a project manager in the human resources department for a global investment management firm, LRH Financial. You are currently updating your benefits administration to an external company; this is expected to be a minimum 5-year operational commitment. As part of this move, you are revising your benefits options, updating the employees on the changes, revamping the intranet to include self-service benefits administration, and redeploying about 20 human resources benefits staff to new positions with the human resources department. The vendor that will be taking over benefits administration operations has not yet been chosen. Due to a lack of resources in the information technology department, a vendor will be used to update the intranet and train employees on the new self-service functionality. It is not yet clear how the redeployment of the benefits staff will be completed. In the past, this type of activity has been handled by a boutique management consulting company.
    You just met with your boss, Pat, the Vice President of Human Resources. Pat emphasized that you will have responsibility for all the contracting, negotiating, and vendor management activities. You will need to work closely with purchasing and accounts payable as you complete these activities.
    You told the communication vendor about the conflict and the delay in the project. The vendor is very concerned that it will be penalized according to its contract because it will be unable to meet the dates specified and the graphics are not available. The vendor asked you to sit down with it for a few hours in the next day or two to reschedule the dates and deliverables. The vendor will then craft a revised statement of work (SOW) for you to sign and resubmit to the legal and purchasing departments. The vendor has said it will not do any further work until the new statement of work is in place (but the vendor has not cancelled any of the upcoming working sessions).
    You are hoping the situation with the intranet vendor will be resolved without any impact to the project schedule, eliminating the need to make changes to any vendor's statement of work. If all goes well, it will take about three weeks to get the changes made, approved by legal, approved by the vendor, and implemented by purchasing. It will require a significant amount of time from you, as well. Even if you can make the time in your own schedule, you know that it will be very difficult to get time from legal to work on the communication vendor's issue because legal is busy with the intranet vendor situation. You also know that this vendor had bad experiences working with LRH before. This vendor was threatened with penalties because it missed deadlines. The delays were caused by mismanagement on LRH's side, not by the vendor. To resolve the conflict, the vendor had to forfeit a significant amount of fees. You know that is why the vendor has said the things it has said.
    Prepare an e-mail to the vendor describing how you will move ahead with the contract and what actions you would like them to take next. Discuss your reaction to the vendor's past litigation experience, and decide what you will do to avoid a similar situation.

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    Solution Preview

    To The Vendor,

    I am proposing that we move ahead with the contract and launch our communications campaign from the next week. The new communications campaign is important for our LRH Financials and it cannot be postponed any further. There is a need to put together the campaign with the resources at our disposal and make the most out of the time shortages that we face.

    You have pointed out that there are two shortcomings that prevent you from commencing the work. One is the ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution talks about the global investment management firm. It then discusses the conflict and delay in the project.