Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    Harrison-Keyes Project Management Problem Solution

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    Using the Problem Solution Template, develop a 3,000-4,500-word paper in which you propose a solution to help Harrison-Keyes move from a standard publishing format to an e-book format. Remember that your solution needs to focus on the project management concepts covered in the course (see the mind maps in Weeks One through Three on your rEsourceSM course page). Be sure to incorporate appropriate citations from your readings and research.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 15, 2020, 4:08 pm ad1c9bdddf


    Solution Preview


    Thanks for choosing to work with me on your solution.

    Below and attached are the comprehensive answers (same answers in 2 different formats) to your questions on Harrison-Keyes. I hope this will help you in your studies.

    Please Note: Remember that this is a study guide and to use it as such. You still need to put the paper in your own words. This means you can summarize, and paraphrase the information in this guide to fit your needs but I would advise that you do not turn it in word for word as your own work or you risk plagiarism.

    This study guide is well over the word count that you need so you can edit it down easily to suit your needs and also to fill in your tables which I have left blank as the contents of the study guide cover that.

    OTA # 105428

    Problem Solution: Harrison-Keyes Inc.

    Problem-solving and decision-making are basic components of daily business interactions. When delving into the process of decision-making today, major decision makers within a firm must possess a sound decision-making methodology. Over time, top managers have discovered that traditional decision-making processes may lack vital elements of critical thinking for effective and timely decision-making. Therefore, effective business leaders have adopted increasingly thorough and aggressive approaches to outlining alternatives, evaluating those defined alternatives, defining solutions, and assessing risk associated with the defined solutions.

    Harrison-Keyes, Inc. is a century-old company that specializes in publishing scientific, technical and business books and journals, professional and consumer books, textbooks, and other educational materials for all levels of study. During that century, Harrison-Keyes has shifted its focus from publishing the works of well-established authors to publishing business, scientific, and technical materials. In the process, Harrison-Keyes has established itself as prominent company in the publishing industry; however, recently increased competition has caused profits to decrease, a new CEO to be hired, and the adoption of a new strategic approach. This new, wide-ranging strategy focused on e-publishing, promises to impact many groups associated with the organization. The effects may not be all positive, but the ultimate goal of the strategy is to improve the organization. Senior leadership's new strategy also has its ethical implications as well. This paper describes Harrison-Keyes' current challenges, putting them through the 9-step problem solving model outlining alternatives, evaluating those defined alternatives, defining solutions, and assessing risks associated with the defined solutions with the ultimate goal of implementing a solution plan that will guide the company through this challenging phase toward market leadership and improved profitability.

    Describe the Situation

    Over the course of a century, Harrison-Keyes claimed a substantial share of the publishing market by responding to customer demands as evidenced by its shift to publishing scholarly and business information in the mid-1950s. In recent years, however, the entire industry has begun facing difficulties. Low-cost retail superstores are competing at higher levels than ever before, distribution channels are consolidating, and discounters are cutting into profits. In response to these challenges, Harrison-Keyes' Board of Directors has hired a new CEO, Meg P. McGill, who has developed a new strategy for the company centered on e-book publishing. Her strategy entails producing digital versions of printed books and other works of the company's current authors.

    Despite the best efforts of the entire organization to implement McGill's e-publishing strategy, initial results have been less than stellar. Quite a few issues have arisen that indicate that Harrison-Keyes was not adequately prepared for its venture into e-publishing. In response, the Harrison-Keyes Board of Directors elected to fire CEO Meg McGill and hire William Guardo as her replacement. Mr. Guardo is in favor of more traditional publishing methods and is not a huge proponent of e-publishing; however, he is willing to give e-publishing a chance if the company can deal with certain issues that concern him.

    Issue and Opportunity Identification

    Harrison-Keys long history of success is in jeopardy as the company risks losing not only its reputation but also its market share to other publishing companies. The newly appointed CEO, William Guardo, does not like the idea of the online store begun by the previous CEO. In fact, he has given the leadership team 30 days to accomplish the implementation plan or he will relocate funds and resources into other projects. Guardo has over 30 years of experience in the publication business; however, he has very little experience in the high-tech arena putting the new store out of his comfort zone and knowledge base. However, Guardo does bring Harrison-Keyes the opportunity to use his extensive expertise and vast list of contacts to effectively apply to the e-store project.

    Jan Peters, Senior Vice President is eager to be promoted and this is the perfect opportunity for her to do so by helping the new CEO learn all the aspects and planning of the online store and by helping achieve a successful implementation that meets all the company's stated goals. This is a serious challenge as she faces a very rigid timeframe; only 30 days to accomplish this and she must keep the same budget that was originally planned. It appears that everything is against the successful implementation of this project but the possibility to overcome the challenges and succeed presents Jan and the rest of the implementation team with the opportunity to earn respect and recognition in the company. More importantly, however, a successful implementation plan will afford the company the chance to it needs to become known in the industry as the team that was able to fix a project that everyone else thought was a lost cause and propel the company toward market leadership and improved profitability. Despite the fact that during the major book campaign launch a great number of resources were used and a poor marketing strategy was employed, therefore causing a slow start for the store, sales grew to 3 million dollars, thus proving that this project could indeed be profitable as only a third of the projected budget of 2.4 million dollars has been used and already is throwing positive results.

    To achieve successful implementation, the project team will need to find a new company to which it can outsource the task to digitalize the books that will be sold in the online store. Working with the previously chosen vendor for this task, Asia Digital Publishing has been a challenge for the implementation team since the beginning. The time zone difference and the differences in the work cultures between the two compnaies have already negatively impacted the completion of tasks related to the online publishing project and many deadlines have not been met. The dropped deadlines are a serious issue as they have damaged the company's reputation in some industry publications and upset potential investors and shareholders who have seen the price of Harrison-Keyes stock drop sharply. As a result the company now has to use more resources than it originally planned to achieve the completion of this project and this is having a negative impact on the budget. Due to an unfortunate natural disaster that has destroyed India's southern state of Tamil Nadu, Asia Digital Publishing has ceased all operation and this has put Harrison-Keys in the spot once again as there was never a back-up plan in place in case of an emergency. Harrison-Keyes can see this as the an opportunity to either renegotiate the terms of its contract with ...

    Solution Summary

    This is a 3,000-4,500-word problem solution for Harrison-Keyes using project management concepts.