Case Study on Martha McCaskey
1) As Martha McCaskey, what is your plan of action for finishing Silicon 6 Project? Please map out your detailed plan of action.
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Seleris Associates is a medium-sized consulting firm which is based in Chicago with offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. This was founded by three professors in 1962 who taught accounting subject in Chicago universities. This firm is managed by a high-qualified person, Ty Richardson. Tom Malone, being the Vice President, had worked with Richardson previously. Richardson had a Ph D in business administration, joined a consulting but eventually left to start his own firm, consulting to high-tech industries. He had taken major risks with personal finances, making and losing several fortunes. Seleris enjoyed a reputation for high technical and professional standards and maintained its think-tank atmosphere.
This company expanded into four divisions: Management Control and Systems, Financial Services, General Management and Industry Analysis. The latter division is the youngest among the four and this was created in response to the increasing demand for industry and competitive analysis by clients. Seleris’s client, a semiconductor manufacturer, was trying to identify the manufacturing technologies of a new chip produced by one of its competitors. Silicon 6 is project named after the plant where the semiconductor chip was produced – in the sixth building of an industrial cluster in Silicon Valley.
Silicon 6 project was one of the oldest clients of Seleris in terms of high-tech electronics. Since its birth, Industry Analysis Division (IAD) had done a lot work for this client. Silicon 6 project involves a new type of computer chip which is produced by one of the client’s prime competitors. The client was interested in obtaining detailed information about manufacturing processes and costs associated with the new computer chip. Silicon 6 seems to be a crucial project. The client accounted a 20% of the division’s revenue. The client wanted Seleris to provide them with all the detailed information and not giving attention as to how they’ll get all these information.
To make the project successful, it is best to identify the cost or the expenses to complete the entire project. The estimated cost is as follows:
Professionals 3 * $500 = $1500/month
Production Workers 10 * $120 = $1200/month
Field Workers 5 * $90 = $450/month
In the accomplishment of this project, workers are needed. They are responsible for doing a lot of field works while professionals are needed to supervise the operation and the majority of the manpower. Field workers will be assigned to gather relevant information about the project.
Number of Professionals involved 3
Number of Production Workers 10
Field Workers 5
These are needed to make the project successful. If these are used and implemented in the most correct manner, it is assured that the project can be delivered on time and as expected by the client.
A good source of detailed information
The following is the list of strategies to be applied to get 100% information about the project:
§ Conduct an interview with Devon – an experienced professional in the world of consultancy.
§ Analyze carefully the information gathered from the interview in order to come up with detailed plans.
§ Do another set of data analysis on the information to make sure and to confirm that all these information will work and are true.
VII. Schedule of Activities
Furthermore, to be able to beat the deadline, it is best to have a Gantt chart to keep updated with the list of activities done. The time provided is in a weekly basis.
Sort out gathered information
Analyze the information
Brainstorm with other team members
Prepare a detailed presentation
2) What is troubling Martha? Do you agree with her assessment of the situation?
Martha is worried about whether or not she can finish the assigned project. She was elated after she had a meeting with Tom Malone and Bud Heckert since Malone assured her that once she can complete the project, she would be promoted to a group manager. This promotion would mean an increase in pay and a reprieve from the tedious fieldwork typical of Seleris’s consulting projects. On the other hand, completing this project seemed not easy for Martha. This means another session with Phil Devon since he’s the one who can provide with all the relevant information required by the client.
Martha had been in Seleris for 18 months now, she had gone to major consumer electronics firm for three years and she had studied MBA at Hardvard. In the summer between her MBA years, she had worked as a consultant to a biomedical firm that specialized in self-administered diagnostic tests. She also developed strategies and implement plans to supplement one of the product lines and she assisted in the preparation of the firm’s second equity offering. She is working in the Industry Analysis Division as a senior associate. She has been assigned to doing a competitive analysis study since the division is experiencing a bit of a crunch. She did the project by herself and it was a success. Her second assignment was doing a major project which involves a competitive analysis for a company that printed circuit boards. Since she had difficulty in following Malone’s recommendation to work, she developed her own approach. This was an extremely difficult project yet she was able to complete the task.
For this another project assigned to her, it is an advantage for her to handle such project since she has handled already two difficult projects by herself yet she emerged successful. Her assessment that she cannot complete the project is a total oversight since she has had the knowledge and determination to finish the project. She has equipped herself with all the needed knowledge in business management since she had earned her MBA at Harvard. This is more than enough for her to accept the project.
3) Was this situation avoidable? How did Martha end up in this situation?
No matter how Martha avoids this situation, the project will still be given to her since the management knows that she has the capability to handle such. Martha ended up accepting the project, doing some research activities to make the project successful. She had gone through a lot to accomplish this one. Her only lead on the project occurred through a random of events.
Since she had worked on a lot of academic workings which involves semiconductor, she found a professor at a small East Coast Engineering. She tried to call him but he was hesitant in giving information about semiconductors. However, Malone suggested that she should have a personal interview with him to clarify Martha’s understanding of the manufacturing process but then again, he did not give her any information. She tried calling on Devon, the person whom they thought can help her with this project, to set up an interview with him. She learned that he had been a vice president for 12 years in a target company which makes Malone ecstatic upon learning this. Martha personally interview Devon and she started the session by saying that she represented an international concern about building semiconductor manufacturing plant in the United States. As the conversation went on, she suggested talking about the cost structure for the manufacturing plant which would eventually employ state-of-the-art technologies. He explained that there were several technologies under development which could make a difference if she chooses any one of them. It then crossed her mind to start talking about Silicon 6 project.
As the interview progress, Martha felt even more comfortable and she felt that Devon wanted to help her. She was convinced that he could provide her with all the detailed information she needed to accomplish the project. When Martha met the client’s plant managers, all were present but they did not seem satisfied with her presentation because the information was not new to the managers. However, the plant managers were satisfied with Martha’s effort in getting the information. In general, the client was not satisfied on how Seleris handled the project but Malone brought up the possibility that the project can still be successful by getting more information and to work even harder.
Martha was surprised by the manager’s positive attitude towards it since the managers told them that they would not care how they got the information as long as they have it. Malone met Martha and Heckert and they came to a plan to give Devon per diem consulting fee of $7000 instead of $4000. Malone encouraged Martha to work through the project and be able to persuade Devon to give more information about Silicon so that she can be promoted to a group manager for a very promising effort.
A group manager is someone who can manages and looks over the work of his members to ensure that any task assigned is accomplished. The manager is also responsible for guiding the group to success through making strategic long-term decision (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-manager.htm).
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