Moss and McAdams Accounting Firm In the Moss and McAdams Accounting Firm also know as M and M, Bruce Palmer has just been promoted to account manager. He has been assigned to lead and manage the Jacksonville Audit. Zeke Olds has been assigned as one of the five accountants on the Jacksonville Audit and is known as an innovator in regards to problem solving. The firm operates under a matrix organizational structure which requires Palmer to share his valuable resource, Zeke Olds, with a team that is being managed by Ken Crosby.
Crosby is responsible for managing special consulting projects and has requested that Olds also be assigned to his Springfield project. Over the course of about two months, there were several issues between Palmer’s and Crosby’s teams with having to share Olds. Ultimately, it resulted in Olds being reassigned to work on the Springfield project full time instead of be shared between the two teams. This paper will examine what response a project manager should provide if faced with the same issues Palmer faced within the case.
Secondly, this paper will examine what Palmer could have done to avoid losing Olds. In addition, this paper will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of operating under a matrix organizational structure. Finally, this paper will examine what the management of Moss and McAdams can do to more effectively manage situations like what occurred in case. Doing Things Differently Over the course of six weeks of having to share Olds between the Jacksonville Audit and the Springfield project, Palmer experienced several issues with Crosby.
At the initial phase of the project, both Crosby and Palmer agreed that Olds would dedicate his mornings working on the Springfield project and his afternoons would be dedicated to working on the Jacksonville project. From the onset, Crosby continually continue to disregard the agreed upon terms of the work schedule. If I were Palmer there are several things I would have done differently in an effort to not lose Olds, but more importantly, decreasing the impact upon my projects schedule. I would have definitely added having to share Olds as a risk factor in regards to meeting my projects baseline deadline and cost.
In addition, additional time would have been added into my baseline schedule to reflect having to share Olds. All of these risks would have been communicated to upper management and to Sands to ensure that they were aware of the cost and time impact with having to share Olds. If management insisted on moving forward, I would have negotiated with Sands and Crosby that Olds be assigned to the Springfield project in exchange for adding two accountants onto the Jacksonville Audit. Basically, the Jacksonville audit appears to require accountant auditing skills.
Olds has a reputation for being an innovative problem solver and his skill set seemed to be better suited for the Springfield project. The requirement for my project is to conduct and audit which accounting skills is key and should be able to be performed by other accountants at the firm. By adding 2 additional resources to my team to replace the one resource, I may be able to complete the project in less time and save money. Escape the Inevitable Palmer possibly could have possibly done several things to avoid losing Olds.
However, given Olds skill set and his apparent ability to come up with innovative solutions, it is possible that the Olds would still have lost interest in conducting an audit as opposed to working on the special consulting project team. However, if it Olds was a vital resource for the Jacksonville Audit, Palmer could have possibly reduced the
This would have brought to light the potential negative impact to the Jacksonville audit which still would ultimately impact Moss and McAdams. Palmer could have gotten greater commitment from Crosby and ask for some type of penalty or consequence each time there is no adherence to the agreed upon work schedule. Living in a Matrix According to Gray and Larson (2008), a matrix type of organization is one in which a hybrid organization form of a project management structure is placed directly over the functional order of the normal business operations.
Typically, this type of organizational structure has two chains of command and the project participants have to report to two separate chains of command. This type of structure is designed to use resources efficiently. It is also intended to provide an optimal solution while being able to accomplish multiple projects at the same time. According to Gray and Larson (2008), there are several advantages and disadvantages to this type of organizational structure. The advantages of this type of structure are that it allows multiple projects to go on at the same time by sharing resources.
It also allows the project managers to focus on coordinating and integrating different units or resources that can be integrated into several functions within the organization. Also, at the completion of a project, it is easier for project participants to transition from one team to another. Lastly, it allows greater flexibility by allowing the sharing of resources. According to Gray and Larson (2008), there are several disadvantages to operating under a matrix organization.
One of the disadvantages of a matrix organization are infighting between project teams because of having to share resources. Another disadvantage is that is it can be stressful for team members with having to report to more than one chain of command. In addition, it can slow projects down as a result of having the teams to agree on items that impact multiple functional areas. Effective Management The management at M&M definitely has their hands full with operating under a matrix umbrella. Palmer experienced several issues with attempting to manage his project.
The Moss and McAdams firm could have done a few things to help out in his situation. My first recommendation is that they implement a project management office instead of having Sands to operate within this capacity. Her role is that of office manager and I don’t believe with her other duties that she can effectively manage assigning personnel to different teams. In addition, the project management office would ultimately see the percentage that resources are actually being allocated to a project.
Overseeing cost and time is something that the project management office can oversee and provide insight to each project team. According to CIO. com out of four hundred and fifty people were surveyed about the benefits of the formation of a project management office (PMO). Thirty seven percent of those surveyed reported a sixty five percent success rate increase with the usage of a PMO. It is my belief that this firm would greatly benefit from the implementation of a project management office.
In addition, they could implement some type of policy in regards to team members that are not being team players. Management should step in to help out in these types of situations. Ultimately each project team is combined together to make up one firm which is Moss and McAdams. Conclusion Overall this was a great case to review. It provided a lot of insight into possible things a project manger may be faced with. It was pretty obvious that Palmer definitely reacted later rather than sooner.
In doing so, his delayed reaction impacted his project timeline and cost while Crosby continued trucking right along. It appears that identifying a problem quickly and working to resolve it quickly can be a key that either makes a project success or failure. References Gray, C. , and Larson, E. (2008). Bus517: Project management: The managerial process: 2009 custom edition (4th ed. ). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. Why You Need a Project Management Office. (2003). Retrieved from CIO. com: http://www. cio. com/article/29887/Why_You_Need_a_Project_Management_Office_PMO