The Royal Hotel Case Study describes a situation where a junior consultant has architected a hotel maintenance management and issue tracking solution for a boutique hotel client. Blake, the consultant, identified a hotel maintenance management package which included a Rapid Response issue logging module, Preventative Maintenance module and the Reporting Module. Blake left the engagement prior to the completion of the change and has been called back because the system has been month balled a few weeks after go live.
The hotel GM and Blake’s boss are extremely unhappy. The Cast of characters
Blake Cantera > An MBA student with two weeks consulting training. The architect of the solution on his first engagement Royal Hotel GM > A no nonsense, old school hotelier, running a boutique business hotel in New York. The GM wants to eliminate situations where guests discover maintenance issues. Director of Housekeeping > Not a champion for the system and does not take ownership for the maintenance issues at the hotel Director of Maintenance > Roll has a natural conflict with housekeeping – did housekeeping report the issues and maintenance lose it, or did housekeeping just not report it?
Director IT Espresso Vendor > Potentially oversold the solution as a panacea Jack Scarso > A colleague of Blake’s with similar experience, who is held in low esteem. Jack was assigned to implement the solution when Blake was transferred off. Jack received virtually no handover. Fancy Consultants Boss > The kind of boss who provides little support and mountains of expectation and appears to take little or no responsibility for the issues. Issues with the solution and approach
The implementation of the Espresso system would classify as a second order change which impacts Technology, Process and People and requires careful planning on how to overcome the End Users resistance to change which could dramatically impact the adoption of the system. The GM is an “Old School” hotelier however the proposed solution is a very “New School” solution; relying on digital logging, reporting and electronic task tracking rather than relationships and hierarchy for effectiveness, this suggests some ultural challenges that would appear not to have been addressed. The staff who are required to interact with the system will undergo process and cultural changes The way that housekeeping report issues changes – instead of waiting until the end of the shift they now report issues using the phone as they come across them. Maintenance teams are now being tracked using the sidekick and bar code system, to ensure stations are visited. Additionally reporting has been implemented to identify top performers and motivate staff.
As such attention to managing the people dimension to ensure that the change is adopted is critical to the success of the initiative In-experienced change implementor acting without supervision or guidance. Change in key resources during the implementation with little effective transition or handover. Limited or no executive or general management oversight or support of the implementation from FC, the Royal Hotel or the Vendor. What should Blake do? Firstly, Blake needs to ensure that the Espresso System has the comitment of the full management team.
After all, these are the people who let the system get mothballed so quickly. This means assembling the stakeholders and seeking their commitment to the success of this initiative – this is not just Blakes’ problem and Blake can’t fix it by himself – the system needs to be owned. Next Blake needs to understand what the current situation is which will involve clarifying the following Why did the employees stop using the system Why did the Directors of Maintenance and Housekeeping let their employees stop using the system? What needs of the employees did the old system better suit?
How was the bar coding of maintenance points deployed? Did the management team receive the new reports and were their requirements catered for with the reporting tools? How were job changes managed and assigned – for example monitoring the Command Centre? Infrastructure – did the solution integrate with existing infrastructure – were the reports accessible? Were the sidekick units adopted? Through this process of analysis Blake can produce a post implementation review and and action plan for system design modifications, change management, training and re-release.