Smith Financial Corporation

Topics: Communication, Management, Lotus software Pages: 5 (1762 words) Published: November 9, 2010
Smith Financial Corporation

Smith Financial Corporation Case Study
On February 10th 1997, Frank Miller assumed the position as the director of data management in Smith’s Information Services department. He was hired to fill a vacancy that was available for more than one year as well as help restructure and reorganize Smith’s Information Services department (Hattersley and Mcjannet, 54). The primary function of the Data Management Group at Smith Financial was to manage the distribution, storage, capture and flow of data throughout the company. Before Miller, this position was left vacant and needed someone to take charge as well as help the company move in a different direction than the current one. Frank Miller was definitely had the experience for the position. He had worked as a consultant for more than ten years and his primary focus was data management with various publications on that subject in industry trade magazines. Frank Miller also had a great deal of experience using Microsoft products that he made sure was current. On paper, Miller was a great candidate for a position that required someone to handle data management as well as offer an educated opinion on how the company can change their current software to something newer and more productive. After being hired, his first tasks was to evaluate the existing software and then present his finding to first to the senior management and then to all members of the IS organization. This was the beginning of a major issue that Smith Financial overlooked in Frank Miller. While Miller was a highly experienced individual and fit perfectly for the vacant position, his communication skills with coworkers and staff needed much improvement. There were numerous instances that we will examine to study how Frank Miller may have sustained his position if he acted in a manner differently than how he did. Smith Financial Corporations currently used a Lotus based Software that Frank Miller was opposed to. When asked to evaluate the software currently in use, Miller did not have a strong background on Lotus software and assumed that Microsoft made a better product for benefit of the company (Hattersley and McJannet, 56). Making assumptions about a certain product without a great deal of research and knowledge can have detrimental effects ( Not only did he assume that Lotus was a bad product, he was not considerate of his coworkers who believed that Lotus was a good product. His assumptions led to the resignation of a long time Smith Financial employee who felt that he did not see a need for himself at Smith in the near future. Miller was not considerate of his fellow employees who invested a great deal of time in the current software. He did not show appreciation towards them. Following the departure of the lead Lotus Notes developer, Miller sent an email stating that “he is the thorn in your side” and bashed the current software. Miller began his career at Smith Financial Corporation on the wrong foot. There is a common saying that your first impression is a lasting impression. According to the actions of Frank Miller, his first impression was one that was quite negative. Miller could have offered the same opinion in a more professional manner if he changed a few small things. For example, if we look back at his assumptions of the Lotus software, he would have come off completely different if he took into account the opinions of the employees who spent so much time with the software. Those employees are much more experienced with the software than Miller was and could have offered honest answers that may have either proven Miller right or wrong about the software without them feeling as if their job was threatened. Furthermore, Miller would have built a different perspective of himself in their minds. His openness to listen to other ideas and admit that he is unknowledgeable in a certain subject shows his willingness to cooperate...
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