Problem Analysis Paper

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Problem Analysis Final Project: Implementation and Evaluation Plan

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita affected many companies that are part of the oil and gas production industry. One of the biggest problems these companies faced after the storms was the loss and replacement of employees. Energy Logistics (ELI) was no stranger to this problem. Over half of the company facilities were destroyed, and as a result all sales employees were laid off. As the company began to regroup from the storm's damage they were looking to save money while reinstating sales duties within the company. Rather than hiring someone new or bringing back a previous sales person, the management decided to add the sales duties to the already existing duties of a current employee. The individual who was delegated sales responsibilities already had duties that included managing employees and facilities, equipment inventory and maintenance, client relations, payroll, safety regulations and training, monthly reporting, and purchasing. This one employee is now handling the workload of three employees. The question is, was this the correct course of action to take. To decide if this was the best course of action to take, management must first frame the problem. The frame of a problem is the set of assumptions and attitudes with which you approach the problem. Framing a problem involves discovering the problem, then interpreting it. One must rid themselves of all preconceived solutions to enable them to clearly evaluate all alternatives. Consider how others feel about the problem and why. Determine considerable solutions to the problem and evaluate those solutions against the outcome that is being sought. First, what is the problem? The problem that is occurring is that management is putting too much responsibility on one individual. This causes the individual to lose focus on certain aspects and duties of both the management position and the sales position. What was management thinking when they decided to do this? Like many companies, ELI's finances were hit hard by the affects of the storms. In an effort to save money, the management of ELI decided to give the sale responsibilities to someone who was already on their payroll. Once the problem has been defined those that are being affected by it should have the opportunity to voice their feelings and ideas about it. By allowing this, management could discover the root of the problem, and they may get some good ideas for solutions. Examine the problem well, and come up with more than one solution. Evaluate all the alternatives to decide which solution would be the best for the defined problem. Should management have examined some alternative solutions before coming to this conclusion that puts more work on one individual? One obvious solution to the problem would be to hire new sales employees or to bring back the sales employees who were previously laid off. One reason to consider this solution is that is would reduce the amount of stress that the current situation is imposing on the multi-tasking employees. Currently ELI is in the rebuilding phase and its resources are strained and employee moral is low. Should employees continue to handle the work of many it is believed some will look for work else where. With the current situation at hand ELI is working somewhat efficiently, but not very effectively. The concern within the company is as ELI's clients begin to notice the strained system they will begin to question ELI's commitment to safety and proper operating practices. Should ELI's clients begin to look else where for services it could undermine the efforts ELI is putting forth to rebuild its facilities. The strain ELI is putting on their employees has become noticeable by the lack of time spent on important issues. When management had to take on the extra roll of sales it stretched and already strained system. Before management took on this extra...
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