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Chapter 11 Managing Project Teams Outline 1. The Five-Stage Team Development Model 2. Situational Factors Affecting Team Development 3. Building High-Performance Project Teams A. Recruiting Project Members B. Conducting Project Meetings i. The First Project Team Meeting ii. Establishing Ground Rules iii. Planning Decisions iv. Tracking Decisions v. Managing Change Decisions vi. Relationship Decisions C. Establishing Team Norms i. Managing Subsequent Project Meetings D. Establishing a Team Identity E. Creating a Shared Vision F. Managing Project Reward Systems F. Orchestrating the Decision-Making Process i. Facilitating Group Decision Making G. Managing Conflict within the Project i. Encouraging Functional Conflict ii. Managing Dysfunctional Conflict H. Rejuvenating the Project Team 4. Managing Virtual Project Teams 5. Project Team Pitfalls A. Groupthink B. Bureaucratic Bypass Syndrome C. Team Spirit Becomes Team Infatuation D. Going Native 6. Summary 7. Key Terms 8. Review Questions 9. Exercises 10. Case 11.1: Kerzner Office Equipment 11. Case 11.2: Ajax Project 12. Case 11.3: Franklin Equipment, Ltd. Chapter Learning Objectives After reading this chapter you should be able to:
LO 11-1 Identify key characteristics of a high-performance project team.

LO 11-2 Distinguish the different stages of team development.

LO 11-3 Understand the impact situational factors have on project team development.

LO 11-4 Identify strategies for developing a high-performance project team.

LO 11-5 Distinguish functional conflict from dysfunctional conflict and describe strategies for encouraging functional conflict and discouraging dysfunctional conflict.

LO 11-6 Understand the challenges of managing virtual project teams.

LO 11-7 Recognize the different pitfalls that can occur in a project team.
Review Questions 1. What are the differences between the five-stage model of team development and the punctuated equilibrium model? The five-stage model asserts that effective project groups evolve in a predictable manner. They progress from forming, storming, norming to performing and conclude by adjourning once the project is about to be completed. The punctuated equilibrium model argues that groups do not naturally evolve into an effective team over time, but encounter a mid-point crisis which forces members to elevate their performance and establish new roles and norms for achieving project objectives. Within the context of the five-stage model, the punctuated equilibrium model suggests that groups begin by combining the forming and norming phases, then go through a period of relatively low-performance, followed by storming, then a period of high-performance, and finally adjourning. 2. What are the elements of an effective project vision? Why are they important? There are four key elements to an effective vision. First, the vision must make strategic sense. Second, one must be able to communicate it to others. Third, the project leader must have a personal passion to achieve it. Fourth, the vision should inspire others to give optimal effort. The vision must make strategic sense; otherwise others will not see it as appropriate or realistic. One must be able to communicate the vision to others so that they understand it and choose to pursue it. The project manager must have a passion to achieve the vision so that it is seen as being credible and has the full support of the project manager. Finally, visions motivate superior performance and therefore must be a source of inspiration to others. 3. Why should a project manager emphasize group rewards over individual rewards? Because most project work is a collaborative effort, it makes sense that the reward system encourages teamwork. Recognizing individuals can distract from team unity. Because project work is interdependent it can be very difficult to distinguish who truly deserves individual credit. Group cohesion can be undermined if members feel that others are receiving special treatment. Camaraderie can vanish, to be replaced by bickering and obsessive preoccupation with internal group politics. Such distractions can absorb a tremendous amount of energy that would otherwise be directed to completing the project. Individual rewards should only be used when there is clear agreement that a member deserves special recognition. 4. What is the difference between functional and dysfunctional conflict on a project? It can be difficult to discern whether a conflict among project members is functional or dysfunctional. The key is how conflict affects project performance, not how individuals feel. Members can be upset and dissatisfied with each other, but as long as the conflict enhances project performance then it is considered functional. Conversely, if the conflict distracts from project performance by degenerating into personality clashes or creating unnecessary delays in critical project work, then the conflict is considered dysfunctional. 5. When would it be appropriate to hold a formal team-building session on a project? Formal team-building sessions should be used whenever it is believed that such activities will enhance the performance of the project team. This would especially be true at the beginning of a project when the session would help develop a team identity among a group of strangers. Likewise, team-building activities could be used to assimilate new project members once the project is underway. Devoting time and attention to team-building would also be appropriate when the project team is experiencing problems working together or needs to elevate its performance to meet new project demands. The sessions would be useful in identifying and changing dysfunctional behavior as well as re-energizing the team to higher levels of performance. One mistake project managers make is that they resort to formal team-building activities after they realize the team is in trouble. It might be wiser to utilize team-building sessions earlier to encourage collaboration and to prevent small problems from escalating into major problems within the team. 6. What are the unique challenges of managing a virtual project team? There are many challenges associated with managing a spatially separated, virtual team. Two of the biggest challenges are developing trust within the team and effective communication patterns. People tend to find it difficult to trust someone whom they have met one or two times or not at all. Furthermore, unlike when members work side by side and can readily assess the competence and effort displayed by fellow team members, the actions of distant members are not visible. Finally, physical separation prohibits informal socializing that contributes to trust among participants. Reliance on electronic, as opposed to direct communication, can be problematic. Managers not only have to overcome time zone differences and cross-cultural variations, but they are missing visual cues that contribute to effective communication. 7. What can a project manager do to avoid some of the pitfalls of a highly cohesive project team? First, project managers need to be aware that there is a potential downside to a highly cohesive team and be able to recognize the symptoms associated with the pathologies described in the chapter. Second, they can take preemptive action to reduce the isolation of the team by encouraging the maintenance of ties with the rest of the organization as well as with other project stakeholders. Third, they can personally reinforce the connection between the project and the mission and policies of the parent organization. They can also encourage functional conflict and discourage the group from developing a “holier than thou” attitude. They can also use the nominal group technique to encourage the surfacing of dissenting opinions. Finally, they can hold formal team-building sessions to identify and eliminate dysfunctional norms and refocus the team’s attention on project objectives. Exercises 1. The following activities are based on a recently completed group project that you have been involved in. This project may have been a student project, a work project, or an extracurricular project. Analyze the development of the team in terms of the five-phase model and the punctuated equilibrium model. Which model does the best job of describing how the team evolved? The development of a team can be analyzed using both the five-phase model and the punctuated equilibrium model. The five-phase model suggests that teams go through five stages of development: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. On the other hand, the punctuated equilibrium model proposes that teams experience periods of stability punctuated by significant changes or jumps in performance. In analyzing the development of the team, it appears that the punctuated equilibrium model does the best job of describing how the team evolved. The team experienced long periods of stability where they were performing adequately but not reaching their full potential. However, there were specific moments where the team underwent significant changes or jumps in performance. These changes were often triggered by external factors such as changes in leadership, project requirements, or team composition. Therefore, while the five-phase model provides a useful framework for understanding the typical stages of team development, the punctuated equilibrium model better captures the sporadic and irregular nature of the team's evolution, marked by significant periods of stability interrupted by rapid and transformative changes. Analyze the group in terms of the nine situational factors that influence team development. What factors positively contributed to group performance? What factors negatively contributed to group performance? How did the group try to overcome the negative factors? What could you have done differently to overcome these negative factors? To analyze the group in terms of the nine situational factors that influence team development, let's consider each factor and its impact on the group's performance: 1. Objectives and Strategy Clarity: • Positive Contribution: Clear objectives and strategies provided the group with a sense of direction and purpose, aligning their efforts towards common goals. • Negative Contribution: Lack of clear objectives and strategy ambiguity led to confusion and inefficiency within the group. 2. Composition: • Positive Contribution: Diverse skills and expertise among group members enhanced problem-solving abilities and creativity. • Negative Contribution: Communication barriers and conflicts arising from diverse backgrounds hindered collaboration and cohesion within the group. 3. Member Commitment: • Positive Contribution: High levels of commitment and motivation among group members fostered productivity and perseverance in the face of challenges. • Negative Contribution: Low commitment and motivation resulted in procrastination, missed deadlines, and reduced overall performance. 4. Leadership and Structure: • Positive Contribution: Effective leadership provided guidance, direction, and support, facilitating decision-making and conflict resolution within the group. • Negative Contribution: Ineffective leadership or lack of clear structure led to confusion, power struggles, and a lack of direction within the group. 5. Internal Environment: • Positive Contribution: Positive internal dynamics, such as trust, open communication, and mutual respect, created a supportive and collaborative atmosphere within the group. • Negative Contribution: Negative internal dynamics, such as conflicts, distrust, and cliques, created a toxic and unproductive work environment. 6. External Environment: • Positive Contribution: Supportive external factors, such as resources, stakeholder support, and favorable market conditions, facilitated the group's progress and success. • Negative Contribution: External challenges, such as resource constraints, tight deadlines, and market competition, created obstacles and increased pressure on the group. 7. Technology and Infrastructure: • Positive Contribution: Access to appropriate technology and infrastructure improved communication, collaboration, and efficiency within the group. • Negative Contribution: Inadequate technology or infrastructure led to communication breakdowns, delays, and decreased productivity. 8. Goals and Rewards: • Positive Contribution: Clear goals and meaningful rewards incentivized performance, encouraged teamwork, and motivated group members to achieve their objectives. • Negative Contribution: Unclear goals or inadequate rewards demotivated group members, leading to a lack of focus, commitment, and effort. 9. Evaluation and Feedback: • Positive Contribution: Regular evaluation and constructive feedback helped the group identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, enhancing performance and learning. • Negative Contribution: Lack of feedback or ineffective evaluation processes limited the group's ability to assess progress, address issues, and adapt their approach. To overcome negative factors, the group employed various strategies: • Clear Communication: The group prioritized open and transparent communication to address conflicts, clarify objectives, and ensure everyone was on the same page. • Conflict Resolution: They established processes for resolving conflicts and managing differences in opinions or working styles, promoting collaboration and mutual respect. • Leadership Development: The group focused on developing leadership skills among members, providing training, mentorship, and support to enhance leadership effectiveness and ensure clear direction. • Continuous Improvement: They implemented regular feedback mechanisms and evaluation processes to identify areas for improvement and adjust their approach accordingly. To improve their approach, the group could have: • Enhanced Leadership Training: Providing more extensive leadership training and support to ensure all members have the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively lead and manage the group. • Formalized Conflict Resolution Procedures: Establishing formalized conflict resolution procedures to address conflicts promptly and effectively, preventing them from escalating and impacting group performance. • Improved Goal Setting: Refining goal-setting processes to ensure objectives are clear, achievable, and aligned with the group's overall strategy, fostering motivation, focus, and commitment among members. Analyze how effectively the group managed meetings. What did the group do well? What didn’t the group do well? If the group were formed again, what specific recommendations would you make about how the group should manage meetings? The group effectively managed meetings in some aspects, but there were also areas for improvement: What the group did well: 1. Preparation: The group ensured that meetings were well-prepared, with agendas circulated in advance, ensuring all members were aware of the topics to be discussed. 2. Time Management: Meetings were generally conducted within the allocated time frame, preventing unnecessary delays and ensuring productivity. 3. Participation: The group encouraged active participation from all members, allowing everyone to voice their opinions and contribute to discussions. 4. Decision Making: Decisions were made during meetings, and action items were assigned, ensuring that progress was made and tasks were completed. What the group didn’t do well: 1. Follow-up: The group didn't consistently follow up on action items or decisions made during meetings, leading to delays and incomplete tasks. 2. Agenda Focus: Occasionally, the group deviated from the agenda, leading to tangential discussions and wasted time. 3. Meeting Effectiveness: While meetings were generally well-run, some members felt that meetings could have been more focused and productive. Recommendations for improving meeting management: 1. Follow-up Protocol: Implement a follow-up protocol to ensure that action items and decisions made during meetings are followed up on promptly. Assign responsibilities and deadlines for each action item. 2. Agenda Discipline: Stick to the agenda and avoid tangential discussions. If new topics arise during the meeting, table them for discussion at a later time to maintain focus. 3. Meeting Evaluation: Conduct periodic evaluations of meeting effectiveness to identify areas for improvement. Gather feedback from members and adjust meeting processes accordingly. 4. Enhanced Communication: Improve communication between meetings by establishing channels for ongoing discussion and collaboration. This could include the use of project management tools or communication platforms to keep everyone informed and engaged between meetings. 5. Regular Review: Schedule regular reviews of meeting processes and make adjustments as necessary to ensure continuous improvement. By implementing these recommendations, the group can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their meetings, leading to better communication, decision-making, and overall group performance. This exercise is designed to have students apply their own experience to chapter material. We recommend that you use it as a written assignment. Responses will vary depending upon the kind of project they choose to analyze (work, school, or extracurricular). Some students will balk at the assignment claiming that they have no project experience. Upon closer examination this is rarely the case. Most students at a minimum have been involved in group assignments in this or other classes and can use that experience to do the analysis. Students should be encouraged to provide concrete examples to support their analysis and recommendations. A variation which reduces the scope of the assignment is to assign only one of the three sets of questions (a., b. or c.) or have the students choose the most appropriate one, given the project they are analyzing. This exercise can also be used as a group assignment if the focus is a project that the students are currently working on as part of this class. 2. Assume that you have the following decision-making options: (1) make the decision on your own with available information, (2) consult others before making a decision, and (3) call a meeting and reach a consensus, seeking to arrive at a final decision everyone can agree on. Which approach would you use to make each of the following decisions and why? You are the project leader for Casino Night on campus, a charitable event organized by your group to raise money for the homeless. The event was a big success, garnering a net profit of $3,500. Before the event your team researched nearby organizations that support the homeless and to whom the money could be given. You narrowed the choices to the “Chunk of Coal House” and “St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen.” Eventually your group decided that the funds be given to Chunk of Coal. You are about to write a check to its director when you read in the local newspaper that the Chunk of Coal House has terminated operations. What should you do with the money? You are a golf course designer hired by Trysting Tree Golf Club to renovate their golf course. You have worked closely with the board of directors of the club to develop a new layout that is both challenging and aesthetically pleasing. Everyone is excited about the changes. The project is nearly 75 percent complete when you encounter problems on the 13th hole. The 13th hole at Trysting Tree is a 125-yard par three in which golfers have to hit their tee shots over a lake to a modulated green. During the construction of the new tee box, workers discovered that an underground spring runs beneath the box to the lake. You inspected the site and agreed with the construction supervisor that this could create serious problems, especially during the rainy winter months. After surveying the area, you believe the only viable option would be to extend the hole to 170 yards and create elevated tees on the adjacent hillside. You are the leader of a new product development project. Your team has worked hard on developing a third-generation product that incorporates new technology and meets customer demands. The project is roughly 50 percent complete. You have just received a report from the marketing department detailing a similar product that is about to be released by a competitor. The product appears to utilize radical new design principles that expand the functionality of the product. This poses a serious threat to the success of your project. Top management is considering canceling your project and starting over again. They want you to make a recommendation. This exercise is designed to have students choose a decision making method to fit the situation. Students should first privately select what they consider the appropriate decision-making method that should be used. The teacher can poll the class to find out which approach they identified and debate differences in opinion. Casino Night: make decision on your own. You have sufficient information and anticipate no disagreement over the choice. Trysting Tree Golf Club: consult with others. While you have sufficient information to make a decision to insure support for the decision it is wise to share ideas with relevant stakeholders before making the decision. New Product Development: call a meeting a reach a consensus. You do not have sufficient information to make a decision and it is critical that the team support the decision. At the end of the exercise, it is useful to review the conditions in which group consensus should and should not be used. 3. The following activities are based on a current or recently completed group project that you have been involved in. This project may be a student project, a work project, or an extracurricular project. How strong is the team identity on this project and why? The team identity on this project is relatively strong due to several factors: 1. Shared Goals and Objectives: The team members have a clear understanding of the project goals and objectives. We all have a shared vision of what we are trying to achieve, which helps to unify us and create a sense of purpose. 2. Collaborative Environment: There is a strong sense of collaboration among team members. We regularly communicate and work together to solve problems, share ideas, and support each other. 3. Mutual Respect and Trust: Trust and respect are essential elements of our team dynamic. We value each other's opinions and contributions, which fosters a positive and supportive atmosphere. 4. Effective Communication: We have established open and transparent communication channels. Everyone feels comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns, which helps to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. 5. Sense of Belonging: Each team member feels like an integral part of the group. We celebrate our successes together and provide encouragement and support during challenging times. Overall, these factors have contributed to a strong team identity, where each member feels connected to the group and motivated to work towards our shared goals. What could participants do to strengthen team identity? To strengthen team identity, participants could: 1. Establish Common Goals: Ensure that all team members are aligned with the project's goals and objectives. Revisit these goals regularly to keep everyone focused and motivated. 2. Encourage Open Communication: Foster an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Encourage active listening and provide opportunities for everyone to contribute. 3. Promote Collaboration: Encourage collaboration and teamwork by assigning tasks that require cooperation among team members. Utilize team-building activities to strengthen relationships and trust. 4. Celebrate Achievements: Recognize and celebrate both individual and team achievements. This helps to reinforce a sense of belonging and accomplishment within the group. 5. Establish Team Rituals: Create rituals or traditions that are unique to the team. This could include regular team meetings, social events, or other activities that help to build camaraderie. 6. Provide Support: Encourage team members to support and help each other. This could involve offering assistance when someone is struggling with a task, providing encouragement during challenging times, or simply being there to listen. 7. Lead by Example: Team leaders should lead by example by demonstrating positive behavior, communication, and attitude. This helps to set the tone for the team and fosters a culture of respect and collaboration. By implementing these strategies, participants can strengthen team identity, leading to increased motivation, productivity, and overall project success. What kind of informal activities could be used to rejuvenate the team? Why would these activities work? To rejuvenate the team, several informal activities could be implemented: 1. Team Building Games: Organize fun team-building games or activities such as escape rooms, scavenger hunts, or group challenges. These activities promote teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills while providing a break from the routine. 2. Social Events: Plan social events outside of work or project-related activities. This could include team lunches, dinners, or casual get-togethers. Socializing in a relaxed setting helps to strengthen relationships, build trust, and foster a sense of camaraderie among team members. 3. Outdoor Activities: Arrange outdoor activities such as hiking, picnics, or sports events. Spending time outdoors promotes physical activity, reduces stress, and provides an opportunity for team members to bond in a different environment. 4. Creative Workshops: Organize creative workshops or brainstorming sessions where team members can explore new ideas and approaches related to the project or their roles within the team. These sessions encourage innovation, collaboration, and personal development. 5. Team Retreats: Plan a team retreat where members can spend a day or weekend away from their usual work environment. Retreats provide an opportunity for team members to relax, recharge, and reconnect with each other in a more informal setting. These informal activities work because they: • Promote Bonding: Informal activities provide an opportunity for team members to bond on a personal level, strengthening relationships and fostering a sense of camaraderie. • Reduce Stress: Taking a break from work-related tasks and engaging in fun activities helps to reduce stress and prevent burnout, leading to increased motivation and productivity. • Improve Communication: Informal activities encourage open communication and collaboration in a relaxed setting, allowing team members to share ideas, thoughts, and concerns more freely. • Boost Morale: Participating in enjoyable activities together boosts team morale and creates a positive work environment, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction and engagement. By incorporating these informal activities, the team can rejuvenate, strengthen their bond, and return to work with renewed energy and motivation. This exercise was created to encourage students to apply team identity concepts to a real project that they are familiar with. Often it is useful to have students rate the strength of team identity on a scale from 0-10 with 0 being no identity and 10 being a “family.” Strength will be dependent upon how much time they spend together, how important the project goals are, how well they work together and other factors associated with group cohesiveness. Team rituals could be used to strengthen team identity. Informal activities such as bowling, potlucks, miniature golf, and rafting have been mentioned in the past by students. These activities reduce stress and strengthen social ties. Case 11.1 Kerzner Office Equipment Amber Briggs looked nervously at her watch as she sat at the front of a large table in the cafeteria at Kerzner Office Equipment. It was now 10 minutes after 3:00 and only 10 of the 14 members had arrived for the first meeting of the Kerzner anniversary task force. Just then two more members hurriedly sat down and mumbled apologies for being late. Briggs cleared her throat and started the meeting. (Rest of case not shown due to length.) Critique Briggs’s management of the first meeting. What, if anything, should she have done differently? Given the time constraint and late start, Briggs probably accomplished as much as she could in this meeting. However, a more experienced project manager would have been better prepared to motivate the project members and would have developed some ideas ahead of time to get the project started so the team did not have the frustration of starting with a blank slate. At the same time, one might question how the other members felt upon leaving the meeting. First, many of the members seem less than enthusiastic about the project. Second, the members do not have a good idea about how they are going to accomplish the project and what kind of involvement it will require from them. She should have anticipated the meeting times dilemma and avoided the jousting by simply requesting the schedule information up front. What barriers is she likely to encounter in completing this project? Amber Briggs is likely to encounter several barriers in completing this project: 1. Attendance and Punctuality Issues: The late arrival of team members to the first meeting suggests a potential issue with attendance and punctuality. Incomplete attendance can disrupt progress and hinder effective communication and collaboration. 2. Lack of Commitment: The tardiness of some team members may indicate a lack of commitment to the project. If team members are not fully committed to the project's objectives and timelines, it can lead to decreased motivation, productivity, and overall project success. 3. Communication Challenges: Poor communication among team members can also be a barrier to completing the project. If team members do not communicate effectively or share information in a timely manner, it can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and conflicts. 4. Coordination and Collaboration Issues: Incomplete attendance at the first meeting may indicate potential coordination and collaboration issues within the team. If team members are not actively engaged or working together effectively, it can impede progress and achievement of project goals. 5. Leadership and Direction: The late start to the first meeting may also reflect a lack of clear leadership or direction within the team. Without strong leadership and direction, the team may struggle to stay focused, motivated, and on track to meet project objectives. Addressing these barriers will be essential for Amber Briggs and the Kerzner anniversary task force to successfully complete their project. She may need to implement strategies to improve attendance, enhance communication and collaboration, and provide clear leadership and direction to ensure the project's success. What can she do to overcome these barriers?
Barriers Solutions
1. Large task force (14 members) Break the task force into subgroups around major tasks
2. Members not selected based on skill and expertise Clarify involvement, supplement expertise with outside input, delegate carefully
3. Low or indifferent commitment on the part of some members toward the project Build enthusiasm by personal example, developing a shared vision, and top management support
4. Spatially separated Find a common meeting place, develop e-mail list, create a project Web page, establish communication protocols
5. Limited, part-time involvement Assess individual availability and assign tasks accordingly
6. No experience working together on event projects Provide strong direction and create opportunities to get to know each other
What should she do between now and the next meeting? She needs to meet with individual members and get some sense of the kind of contributions they can make to the project both in terms of time and ability. She should test some of her ideas about how to organize the project when talking to members and revise those plans as she acquires new information. She needs to develop a master plan for the project which includes a list of milestones, a breakdown of major tasks, and how the team will be organized to complete the project. She should seek the advice of people outside the organization who have experience organizing such events. She needs to schedule a longer second meeting to present and revise the master plan. She needs to request an administrative assistant who can handle details. She should persuade Tubbs to attend at least part of the next meeting to communicate the importance of the project to the team members. For those members who seem less than enthusiastic about working on the project or who have limited time to devote, she might also want to consider discussing a replacement with their managers. Case 11.2 Ajax Project Tran was taking his dog Callie on her evening walk as the sun began to set over the coastal range. He looked forward to this time of the day. It was an opportunity to enjoy some peace and quiet. It was also a time to review events on the Ajax project and plot his next moves. (Rest of case not shown due to length.) This case is designed to illustrate the challenges of rejuvenating a project team after a series of setbacks. How effective has Tran been as a project manager? Explain. Tran has not been effective as a project manager in the Ajax project. Several factors contribute to this conclusion: 1. Lack of Proactive Planning: Tran appears to be reactive rather than proactive in managing the project. He is using his evening walks to review events and plot his next moves, suggesting that he may not have a well-defined plan or strategy in place. 2. Setbacks: The mention of "a series of setbacks" indicates that the project has encountered multiple challenges or failures under Tran's leadership. A successful project manager should be able to anticipate potential issues and mitigate them before they become significant setbacks. 3. Failure to Rejuvenate the Team: The case is designed to illustrate the challenges of rejuvenating a project team after setbacks. Tran's failure to effectively rejuvenate the team suggests that he may not have the necessary leadership or communication skills to motivate and inspire his team. Overall, Tran's lack of proactive planning, inability to prevent setbacks, and failure to rejuvenate the team indicate that he has not been effective as a project manager on the Ajax project. What problem(s) does Tran face? Beyond falling further behind schedule, the team is dishearten and losing faith in their ability to successfully complete the project. There is potential for in-fighting, and blame games. Motivation is low since the prospects for bonuses are perceived as unattainable. How would you go about solving them? Why? To solve the challenges faced in rejuvenating the Ajax project team after a series of setbacks, several steps can be taken: 1. Identify Root Causes: Conduct a thorough analysis to identify the root causes of the setbacks. This may involve reviewing project documentation, conducting interviews with team members, and analyzing past project performance. 2. Communicate Openly: Foster open communication with the project team. Encourage team members to share their concerns, ideas, and suggestions for improvement. Transparency and open dialogue can help rebuild trust and morale within the team. 3. Reassess Goals and Objectives: Review the project's goals and objectives to ensure they are still relevant and achievable. If necessary, adjust timelines, budgets, or scope to reflect any changes in project requirements or constraints. 4. Develop a Plan: Develop a clear and comprehensive plan for moving forward. This should include specific actions, timelines, and responsibilities for addressing the project's challenges and achieving its goals. 5. Provide Support: Offer support and guidance to team members who may be struggling or feeling demotivated. This may involve providing additional training, resources, or assistance to help team members overcome obstacles and perform at their best. 6. Celebrate Progress: Recognize and celebrate small victories and milestones along the way. Positive reinforcement can help boost morale and motivation, and keep the team focused on achieving the project's objectives. 7. Monitor Progress: Regularly monitor project progress and performance. This will help identify any new challenges or issues that arise and allow for timely intervention and corrective action. By taking these steps, Tran can effectively rejuvenate the Ajax project team and set the project back on track for success. Open communication, clear planning, support for team members, and proactive monitoring are essential for overcoming setbacks and achieving project objectives. Case 11.3 Franklin Equipment, Ltd. Franklin Equipment, Ltd. (FEL), with headquarters and main fabrication facilities in Saint John, New Brunswick, was founded 75 years ago to fabricate custom-designed large machines for construction businesses in the Maritime Provinces. Over the years its product lines became strategically focused on creating rock-crushing equipment for dam and highway construction and for a few other markets that require the processing of aggregate. FEL now designs, fabricates, and assembles stationary and portable rock-crushing plants and services its own products and those of its competitors. (Rest of case not shown due to length.) Trade and popular publications often describe strategies for improving organization performance in the most positive light, representing them as a panacea for all the ills and problems an organization or project team might experience. However, the problems in adopting and implementing these strategies are rarely presented. Yet, there is no shortage of publications on the benefits and effectiveness of team-building and conflict-management interventions. Because interventions are complex and have associated minefields, it is important that managers approach them with some amount of caution. This case offers students the opportunity to consider a difficult situation for successfully executing a team-building intervention. Based on real events, FEL describes an impossible situation where Jobe is expected to help two people who have had a long-standing hatred for each other work well together. Given that Perry has a positive outcome associated with not cooperating with Rankins (Rankins will be fired), Jobe is not likely to be successful. Nevertheless Jobe is not interested in being associated with a failure early in his tenure at FEL. Students should be encouraged to approach FEL with a focus on analyzing whether team-building would be appropriate. While the answer is obviously no, they should consider how the dynamics of the situation would doom such an intervention to failure. These dynamics include in particular Gatenby’s naive expectations about what team building can do and his belief that his upward mobility rides on the success of Project Abu Dhabi. The case outlines the early steps of team-building interventions. It describes the consultant and his beginning approach to collecting information from the principal parties involved in Project Abu Dhabi. It is a classic case of the consultant being ordered, as the text says, “to fix my team for me.” Evaluate the criteria FEL uses to assign managers to project teams. What efficiencies do these criteria create? What are the resulting problems? The criteria include the skill and expertise of the manager as well as his or her availability to work on a project given other commitments. Such an arrangement creates cost efficiencies because it increases the chances that all managers will have work to do that can be billed to a customer. In addition, it evens out the workload across people over time by reducing the extent to which a manager is overworked at one point in time and underworked at another. However, the arrangement does not take into account the compatibility of various team members in the workplace. Why is it even more important that project team members work well together on international projects such as Project Abu Dhabi? Working in a very different culture creates a number of problems for effective teams. There the constant challenges of understanding and communicating with the host nationals as well as the difficulties of learning customs and expected behaviors. Attention must be paid to not offending the host nationals and to developing an effective working relationship with them. Dysfunctional conflict among team members often becomes apparent to the host nationals, creating confusion and opening up opportunities for them to take advantage of the situation. Cross-cultural projects are difficult to manage even when the project team members work well together. Discuss the dilemma that Jobe now faces. Jobe is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. He left his previous employer to become an internal facilitator at FEL, but Gatenby’s expectations for him are clearly unrealistic. And Gatenby has a personal stake in Project Abu Dhabi’s success. This is clearly a case of what the text calls dysfunctional conflict, and Perry and Rankins clearly interfere with each other’s ability to perform. FEL cannot perform on this contract if the status quo is maintained. Arbitrating, controlling, or accepting the conflict are not viable alternatives in this situation. Five years of animosity between Perry and Rankins is not likely to go away. Moreover, the structure and outcomes Gatenby created for Perry and Rankins are not going to work: while both have goals to cooperate with each other, there is a payoff for Perry if he does not cooperate with Rankins. What should Jobe recommend to Gatenby? This is going to be difficult. Jobe wants to be a successful facilitator early in his FEL tenure and knows that Project Abu Dhabi as currently staffed is not likely to perform up to standards. But he also recognizes Gatenby’s stake in the success of the project. Jobe needs to educate Gatenby on the limitations of team-building – Gatenby has already experienced their successes and should be reminded of them. And Jobe needs to explain why the history between Perry and Rankins and the payoff to Perry for not cooperating work against success at Abu Dhabi. The dynamics of the present situation exceed Jobe’s (or anyone’s) skills to create effective teamwork. Convince top management that Project Abu Dhabi requires an exception be made to its staffing policy and request that compatibility be added to the criteria in future projects. Do not begin Project Abu Dhabi with Perry and Rankins on staff. The two-month trial period is unworkable and unlikely to succeed. Reassign Perry or Rankins or both, assuming both have contributed well on other projects. Do not fire only Rankins because of his inability to work with Perry since both have contributed to the problem. Firing Rankins would only send the message that there is a payoff to being stubborn. Perry also needs to be held accountable and should not be reinforced for blaming everything on Rankins Solution Manual for Project Management: The Managerial Process Erik Larson, Clifford F. Gray 9781259666094, 9780078096594

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