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Problems and Effective Team Management

I am working on a project and need help and direction. Thank you.

Scenario: The Production Department of a prominent web-based training company has consistently been behind on their production deadlines, and Production Manager Jody Crinkle has been charged with correcting the problem by turning out projects on time. The Production Department can reasonably design a web-based training module for any corporate client within a two-month time frame. Yet on average, modules are taking two months and three weeks to reach design completion, making clients impatient and dissatisfied.

Jody's Production Department is composed of 14 members, including:

4 writers
2 editors
4 multimedia designers
2 technology designers
2 project managers

Each time a project scope (a document containing project requirements) is handed over to her department, Jody tasks two writers, one editor, two multimedia designers, one technology designer, and one project manager to each project.

Jody has made several key observations lately. Last Monday, as she was walking past the Production Department, Jody noticed that several of her staff, specifically the writers and multimedia designers, were surfing the web. She passed by four different times that day, and each time she noticed employees were still web surfing. A project, due Wednesday, was already far behind schedule, and the client was becoming impatient.

Jody thought she structured her command group to be as efficient as possible, but apparently that's not the case. She had established the following roles and responsibilities among group members for any given project:

? Two writers prepare the script and storyboard for a module.
? One editor reviews and approves script and storyboard.
? Two multimedia designers and one technology designer work together to turn the script and storyboard into a final interactive and dynamic online module.

Throughout the process, the project manager tracks the progress of each stage of the project, yet is not responsible for setting deadlines-the writers and designers do that. Jody thought having the team set the deadlines would be good practice for them.

Jody knows it's a bit unconventional to assign two writers and two multimedia designers to each project, but she figured it would help them get the job done faster. Apparently she was wrong. In fact, it's come to light in weekly department meetings that team members have seemed confused about where their co-writers or co-developers are at with important project milestones.

Question 1: What problems are evident in Jody's situation? What are the possible causes for the late deadlines and poor performance? Compose a 100- to 150-word answer specifically describing the problems and causes you identified. Be sure to root your answers in concepts from Organizational Behavior.

Question 2: Once you have identified the problems and their causes in Jody's management situation, brainstorm about what you would do if you were Jody to improve the performance and decision-making of your team, and devise several solutions for Jody that could get her group back on track.

Compose a 100- to 150-word analysis outlining your own suggested management solutions for Jody. Be sure to root your answers in concepts from Organizational Behavior.

All help will be appreciated.

Solution Preview

Hello,

Let's take a closer look at the two questions, which you can consider for your final response.

RESPONSE:

Question 1: What problems are evident in Jody's situation? What are the possible causes for the late deadlines and poor performance? Compose a 100- to 150-word answer specifically describing the problems and causes you identified. Be sure to root your answers in concepts from Organizational Behavior.

The first problem seems to be that the project manager tracks the progress of each stage of the project, yet is not responsible for setting deadlines. This makes it difficult for the manager to track progress when the writers and designers are responsible for setting the deadlines.

Second, Jody's decision to deviate from tradition could be also be a problem, mainly assigning two writers and two multimedia designers for each project. Like the old adage goes, "too many cooks spoil the food." One needs to wonder why the two writers and two multimedia designers are observed surfing the web instead of working on the ...

Solution Summary

Based on the scenario, this solution identifies and describes the problems, including their potential causes and how to improve the performance and decision-making of the management team.

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