A Manager’s Dilemma: Who Gets the Project?

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A Manager’s Dilemma: Who Gets the Project?

Background
CMT is a leading innovator in the telecommunications industry with a culture that emphasizes on problem solving and meeting the customer expectations. It has a new hardware product under development with associated software which entails development of a CD-ROM self study course for the customers of the new product. Two managers of the Company: Seamus, in-charge of technical publications department, and Jeremy, responsible for the software training department, are aggressively competing for the opportunity to tackle the new project. Each manager brings needed expertise to the project: Seamus and his department provide technical expertise and close working relationship with technical manuals development engineers while Jeremy and his unit offer experience in course development and presentation. The competition for the new project has led to open animosity between the two managers, setting hurdles to the possibility of a joint undertaking between the departments. To complicate the situation even more, the Director of Software Support, Henry Matthews, took a vacation and assigned Dave Peterson, Manager of Customer Software Support and peer to both Seamus and Jeremy, to make the decision.

Time Context
Following the success of the development of CD technology in the late 1970’s, the use of CD-ROM technology and CD-ROM drives was introduced in 1985. By the early 1990s most computers sold included CD-ROM drives. In view thereof, it is believed that the challenge faced by Dave Peterson associated with the development of CD-ROM self-study course happened between 1985 and early 1990s when the use of CD ROM drives became popular. View Point:

The case was analyzed using the view point of another Director of CMT.

Central Problem:
Inefficiency in decision-making due to possible lack of skills, time and/or prioritization.

Objective:
To increase CMT’s bottom line by 3% during the next semester through execution of the new project using CD-ROM technology for training.

Areas of Consideration:
Strengths
CMT has a culture of encouraging individual initiatives and respect for technical expertise •CMT welcomes conflicts as part of company life which provides opportunities for job enrichment and advancement •CMT has able and adequately skilled employees who excel in their respective fields and can handle development of new projects •CMT is a leading innovator in the telecommunications industry •CMT has 10 solid years run of the field which enabled it to gain market share and establish brand identity •CMT continues to be profitable with annual revenue of $50 million

Weaknesses
CMT is often faced with frequent conflicts and job stress •CMT officers have the inclination to get too personal and disrespect one another when conflict goes out of hand •The Director of Software Support has the tendency to prolong the decision making process and delegate significant decision making to his subordinates

Opportunities
CMT’s introduction of new product entails additional and new market share equating to increased number of customers, volume sold, and profit •The development and implementation of CD-ROM self-study course will boost customer relations and brand identity •Internally-developed study course will enable CMT to maximize its gross margin

Threats
Untimely decision-making may hamper the development and implementation of the new project •Deferred product introduction in the market may force CMT to come in at a lower price and entails opportunity costs and bad reputation to the company •Unfavorable decision to either one of the lobbying managers may give rise to more disagreements and non-cooperation among departments

Alternative Courses of Actions:
1.Appoint Seamus to Lead the New Project
Seamus and his staff have the expertise in providing technical and user manuals gained from their close working relationship with...
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