Case Study 1: Prioritizing Projects at D D Williamson

Prioritizing Projects at D. D. Williamson

HRM 517 – Managing Human Resource Projects

Analysing the prioritizing process at D.D. Williamson

D.D. Williamson, an organization that was successful in many ventures, but lacked the ability to manage projects successfully. Critical or time sensitive projects that required above average attention would be abandoned, and as a direct result the organization would miss opportunities, or under certain circumstances where they attempted to recover the project, they would exceed the budget tremendously. In observation you notice that there is a breakdown in communication throughout the organization, which hindered the organization in being able to successfully determine which projects were most important. After 3 years of investigating throughout the organization of systems and processes, key leaders realized the absences of an accurate system in place for determining the level of importance in each of their projects.

According toKloppenborg, Nkomo, Fottler, and McAffee (2012), D.D. Williamson would have best benefited from utilizing a project management team. A project management team is soley responsible for the effectiveness and success of a project. This includesidentifying the scope of the project, cost, and taken ownership of the schedule from implementation to manifestation.

D.D. Williamson would have benefited from having developed a well-rounded project management team, or several teams if they wanted each project managed independently. Each team would have managed the project based on the urgency of each project, the allocated budget, and the practical details concerning the timing (Kloppenborg, Nkomo, Fottler, and McAffee, 2012, p. 41). Another key ingredient that would have saved the organization a lot of time would have been to select team leaders to manage each project in addition to opening up the environment for effective communication. According to Walker (2002), effective communication helps group members become more engaged in the specified project, builds trust, motivates, and inspires team leaders to successfully complete projects on time. The goal of effective communication is to clarify the issues at hand and avoid any delays especially in time-sensitive projects.

Recommendations to Improve the Prioritizing Process

There are various recommendations that could assist the organization in improving their process of prioritizing projects. Stanleigh (2013) states that approximately 68% of organizations do not have a systematic approach to prioritizing projects within their respective organization, and as we have learned this was the issue at D.D. Williamson. Recommendations that could assist D.D. Williamson includes, creating a systematic approach to prioritizing projects, incorporating aproject management team, rank level of importance, and finally be sure to have the approval from executive management to proceed.

According to Kloppenborg, Nkomo, Fottler, and McAffee (2012) to ensure projects align financially a tool called scoring card should be utilized. The score card analyses variables that will increase or decrease the survival rate of the project. Most often projects can be prioritized based the weight system of importance. For example, what projects have the highest rate of return, what is the required deadline for the client, and what was agreed upon in the charter? Score models are useful in making sure that projects make sense from the prospective of cost and return. In many ways this particular model mirrors that of a SWOT analysis, which is the planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in a project.

Failed Scenario at D.D. Williamson

A fictitious scenario at D.D. Williamson would be where the organization is going through an organizational restructure, and employees who remain have little to no training in project management. In order to successfully move the project forward there is a need for understanding of the project life cycle. BothKloppenborg, Nkomo, Fottler, and McAffee (2012) agree that in order for a project to succeed the team must to be able to understand how the project was selected, initiated, planned, executed, and finalized. Upper management is demanding projects be completed by untrained employees because they have been with the organization longer and understand the daily process work flow. These are employees who may not know the importance of the budget, the criteria selected in the charter, deadlines, etc.

This will create many costly hurdles for D.D. Williamson to overcome. Everything may not be loss even in this circumstance, there may still recover. The organization would have to incorporate tenured, project managers to train, and develop new teams to complete the life cycle of pending project. In all fairness it would take a group of individuals who are driven, compassionate and eager to succeed.

Speculation on Whether D.D. Williamson will Use the Same Process

Forward thinking of whether or not D.D. Williamson will be using the same process depends on several factors. On a five-year plan it appears that D.D. Williamson would continue to be successful as long as they continuously strive for process and system improvements. For example, if they continue to assess and learn from each successfully completed project, this would strengthen their success rate. Using proven strategiesis one key to success. The goal for D.D. Williamson is to move forward with the understanding of never losing focus on the business that is most important to the organizations success. In this case their business would entail completing their assigned projects on time. The measure of success will be to look at the timeline of completion for each project, along with the allocated budget. Anytime an organization can complete their projects on time, within budget is a sign of success.

The variable’s that D.D. Williamson should be more concerned about is not becoming too complacent. Organizations that choose to employ shortcuts, rush through projects, and who are completely financially driven, will fail time and time again. In addition, D.D. Williamson needs to avoid delaying any projects where the charter has specific deadlines, and all parties have agreed to the terms. In more recent times there have been too many occurrences wherecharters have been formed and deadlines or contractual obligations have not met. According to Walsh (2010) organizations can be held liable if specific promises were made, or a change in the contract was made, and not communicated to the client. D.D. Williamson appears that they will continue to be successful as long as they are mindful of the past, and continue to prioritize their projects successfully.


Kloppenborg, T., Nkomo, S. M., Fottler M. D., McAfee, R. B. (2012) Human resource

project management (2nd ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Stanley, M. (2013). Optimize organizational performance. Retrieved


Walker, K. (2002). Effective communication. Retrieved


Walsh, D. J. (2010). Employment law for human resource practice: 2010 custom edition

(3rd ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning