Why Project Fails Ciba Vision

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CIBA vision is a leading manufacturer of contact lenses. They are recently confronting organisational restructuring and launching new R&D initiative to develop products to prevent threat from J&J in the low-cost running business model. However, the project was not successful due to several reasons. In this report, the factors that caused the project failure will be discussed and analysed.

1. Poor administrative management

CIBA vision generally could not manage effectively with several projects, due to the poor quality of planning, implementation, failure in monitoring and controlling the processes.

1.1) Quality of planning / Implementation

Project failure can be prevented with good quality of planning based on deliverable based work breakdown structure. CIBA Vision's current structure are limited in the productivity due to its own inhibition to the massive multi-year project code-named "Godzilla". The senior management team carried on with the project with no clear strategy in terms of developing products. It was unclear who is responsible for which task and hence become eventually losing capabilities in production engineering in both R&D and manufacturing sectors. Even though the project was aimed at lowering manufacturing costs, however, it just highlighted the weakness of company.

1.2) Failure in monitoring and controlling the processes

Efficient and effective monitoring is essential to projects to succeed, nevertheless, it is unlikely for Project Manager (PM) to control the entire operation cycle from manufacturing to sales. Due to the lack of a consistent monitoring at an overall level of the R&D and manufacturing, the project could not be efficient and the quality may not be guaranteed. A Project Manager needs to be trained in these techniques for preventing project failure.

2. Political problems

According to Elaine Axby (2012), politics is “the means by which people acquire and leverage power to get things done their way”. Any interaction that involves a group will include politics. It is usual for the projects to be political which has both positive and negative effects on the organisation. However, in this case, the effects on the organisation turned out to be rather negative.

2.1) Negative team spirit

CIBA Vision encountered a thorny problem due to the opposing opinion on the plan held by the R&D division and the marketing sector within the company. In this case, the R&D group did not see any potential on new technology, crucial skills that manufacturing department should have obtained, and middle managers within marketing were not dedicated to a daily disposable product. The problem of structure and negative spirit on the plan evoke a suggestion of an autonomous team as a solution. The response to this suggestion also mirrors the status of the cooperation at CIBA Vision.

2.2) Not everyone supports project

In projects, “the needs of any person that is integral for the project success must to be met, especially when they may have a high impact on the project (E, Axby, 2012)”. Regarding the specific case of CIBA Vision, its senior management decided to carry on with the project without taking much consultation from the research groups into consideration. Furthermore, the lack of support from R&D when the Excelens process became a disaster, they still had another project to work on. However, some discussions with the research groups might be necessary with the aim of finding out what their opinions are like for this project.

2.3) Conflicting objectives

Each project must have one objective. According to Kerzner (2009), the objectives of the project must be shared and communicated to all project personnel, managers and at every level of the organisation. The R&D and manufacturing team did not necessarily share their goals. It is clear that a number of separate divisions did not work for this company as...
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