MS Project Scheduling and Salvaging a Project

MS Project Scheduling and Salvaging a Project

HRM 517 Managing Human Resource Projects

Scheduling and Salvaging a Project

The Project Manager appointed a team to revamp the employee compensation and benefits package. Unfortunately, the project began to have critical issues such as eight (8) weeks off track, and the team members began to become discouraged. As a project is undertaken to be implemented, a standard for the level of quality is set. Quality Assessment visits by consultants or by peer reviews were initiated throughout the project to ensure the level of quality of both inputs and outputs were as they should be (Project planning & procurement, 2017). Additionally, several members of the team were consistently late with deadlines as well as your budget was depleted quicker than expected. The team leader is tasked with addressing these critical issues with the project and getting the team and the project back on an aggressive track. Ideally, the project manager needs to communicate with the team by email to explain what was happening to the project in a memo. The memo should contain the bad news about the issues with the project and how, as a team, to begin to restructure. A memo to the project team should resemble the following:

Oahu Luxury Estates, Inc.

FROM: Mary Grace Tidwell, Project Manager

DATE: September 10, 2017

SUBJECT: Revamping Employee Compensation and Benefits Project

According to the recent market research and analysis our company invested in, the revamping of the employee compensation and benefits project has begun to show not so promising results. As most of you know, the project is eight (8) weeks off track. This is what happens next. As a team, we will begin to find ways to be reprioritized priorities and get back on track. These issues are not new to a team of professionals as yourself. The way back is to come together as a team to address all issues so that we can provide the product the company has entrusted us to deliver.

That said, as your team leader on this project, it is my job to help get everyone back to improving performance on this project. Therefore, I am proposing that we all meet to develop a plan to rectify this budget depletion situation. Before we meet, please review the attached company’s 2017 budget. Also for your review, included at the end of this memo is the detailed Work Breakdown Structure. Carefully, analyze these documents so that we can address all issues as well as your input. I am asking for your support to help me pull this through, for I cannot fix this alone. I need your full cooperation to help me revamp this project as soon as possible. Again, before we meet, I suggest that each team carefully review the budget and ensure that your budget section is on track. Finally and foremost, if there is anything I can do to help move your section forward, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If needed, I can meet with your team in advance to discuss methods to correct any and all section issues.

Please keep in mind that failure is not option. As a team, we must do our diligence to fix this budget crisis. This project is very important to the well-being of every employee in this company in addition to the overall success of this enterprise. So please know that what we are doing is very important. Thank you in advance for your hard work, and I look forward to working with you on this very significant project.

Oahu Luxury Estates

Task ID Task Description Dependency Start Finish
  Title: Revise Compensation & Benefits Package   11/17/2017 12/1/2018
  Project Plan:      
1 Determine Team Assignments 10 11/17/2017 11/17/2018
2 Memo to Project Team 10 11/17/2017 11//17/2018
3 Project Team Kick-off Meeting 10 11/17/2017 11/17/2018
4 Determine Count of Current Employees 1 11/17/2017 11/17/2018
5 Determine Count of Employees Retiring in 3 years 1 11/17/2017 11/17/2018
6 Determine Count of Senior Property Project Mgrs. 1 11/17/2017 11/17/2018
7 Determine Count of Personnel needed to hire 1 11/17/2017 11/17/2018
8 Consult with Fidelity Brokerage Rep for 401(k) 3 11/18/2017 11/18/2018
9 Consult with Blue Cross rep for Healthcare 3 11/19/2017 11/19/2018
10 Consult with MetLife rep for Life Insurance 3 11/19/2017 11/20/2018
11 Consult with Project Team 3 11/20/2017 11/20/2018
12 Consult with Technical Team 3 11/21/2017 11/21/2018
13 Consult with American Express Travel Agency 3 11/21/2017 11/21/2018
14 Project Status Report 1 11/24/2017 11/24/2018
15 Project Team Meeting 10 11/24/2017 11/24/2018
16 Consult with Union representatives for surveys 3 11/25/2017 11/25/2018
17 Consult with Senior Property Project Managers 3 11/25/2017 11/25/2018
18 Program Team Conference Call 10 11/26/2017 11/26/2018
19 Thanksgiving Break 10 11/27/2017 11/27/2018
20 Consult with CEO, CFO, & HR Director 10 11/27/2017 11/27/2018
21 Project Status Report 10 11/30/2017 11/30/2018
22 Project Team Meeting 10 11/30/2017 11/30/2018
23 Program Report to Auditor 3 12/01/2017 12/01/2018
24 Project Team Meeting 10 12/08/2017 12/08/2018
25 Consult with IT Team to Order Training Software 3 12/09/2017 12/16/2017
26 Update Employee Manuals 3 12/10/2017 12/24/2018
27 Plan Hiring Event 3 12/15/2017 12/29/2018
28 Implement Revised Compensation & Benefits Pkg. 10 01/02/2018 01/01/2019

Attachment: Copy of Oahu Luxury Estates’ 2017 Budget

According to Adams (2017), when presenting bad news to team members, “Face the bad news squarely in your memo, explain what happens next, and you will go a long way toward a reasoned acceptance of this negative situation” (p. 3).

Some of the most perplexing duties of a project manager is that of managing a team and keeping them focused on the project. As noted by Ferris (2017), “Things are then made even more difficult if you are faced with the situation in which a team member is performing badly” (p. 1). It can be reiterated that even experienced project leaders often find this aspect of a project to be extremely difficult. It is the job of the project manager to address any member of the team who is not motivated or underperforming his or her task. This not uncommon in a project this size. A team that works diligently together can overcome many obstacles. A major factor is to keep everyone involved, letting them know that they are a vital part of the team, whatever obstacles occur. The team manager can remedy this state of affairs with two choices, to get rid of the underperforming team member or to help them become better performers. Moreover, the team manager should recognize the benefits of each team member and can make the best decision for the project. Assuming that the team member is a valuable asset the project, the project manager should take the following steps:

Each team member will be unique in their performance and should be dealt with individually. So if a team member is not performing well, the reason may not be his or her incapability. The best thing to do would be to separate them from the team for a one on one conversation, especially to discuss personal issues with the project and how you can assist. This honest approach can be comforting and rewarding to the project as a whole. Bottom line, the success of the project is of the utmost importance.

  • Offer Them Support. The greatest thing you can do to somebody who is struggling in the job is to offer them support for the future.
  • Have a Conversation with Them. Only by talking to your team members can you expect to understand what they require from you and why they aren’t performing their best.
  • Be Honest with Them. You should avoid trying to shield someone in your team by lying to them about how badly or how great they are performing their job (Ferris, 2017, p. 6).

During a major project such as the one at Oahu Luxury Estates, the project manager may come across budget overruns or project delays at some point. Knowing how and when to address issues such as the project being off track, discouraged team members, missed deadlines, budget overruns, and sponsor concerns are vital to a project manager. Locating and implementing the best recourse for getting this project back on track is tantamount. The best thing a project manager can do is stop to evaluate the core issues, and take steps to get the project back in line. A few suggestions for the Oahu Luxury Estates project include:

By taking these critical steps to manage the schedule, budget, resources, scope, risks, and issues, the project can be redirected to ensure delivery within the budget time, and schedule agreed to with all stakeholders.

  • Re-schedule. At the beginning of the project, you will have decided to deliver the project within a stable timeframe.
  • Gear up. If you have sufficient revenue in your Financial Plan but deficient resources, then you need to apply more personnel, equipment or supplies to complete the jobs laid out in your Project Plan.
  • Find the money. “Anything can be done with cash.”
    • Reset the scope. During the life of a project, it’s easy to forget what the precise scope of the project was initially, as defined in the Terms of Reference.
    • Carefully manage risks. Your project may be operating within the original scope, budget and schedule set—but new risks and items may prevent your successful delivery (How to get projects back-on-track, 2017, pp. 7-8).

As demonstrated in this paper, the task of a project manager can be volatile; even the most well-developed scope and schedule can be thrown off course (Project falling behind schedule? 2017). The unpredictable may include issues such as in this case, the project being off tract, discouraged team members, missed deadlines, depleted budget and stakeholders’ concerns to a project manager. But with a dedicated team, the team manager can work through any unseen obstacles confronted by this project. Further, when the project began to develop issues, the best thing for a project team manager to do is stop to evaluate the core issues, and take the appropriate actions to get the project back on track.