September 10, 2008
Case Study on OB Problem Sharing
Conflict on Project Delivery Schedule
A self-financed Engineering Unit of a multi-disciplinary consultancy organization experienced consecutive profit losses in the past years. In a monthly meeting three months before the fiscal year end, the top management abruptly requested the Unit Head, John, to confine its fiscal loss to a certain limit this year, as it appeared that the Unit would suffer another big hit again. In effect, this imposed a great challenge on John to achieve this aggressive business goal within such a short period of time.
After dissemination this information to the Unit, John quickly devised a series of strategic actions to meet the top management’s request. Among these actions, John required his subordinate engineers to submit their projects’ schedule with an aim to determine how many projects would be completed before the fiscal year end, in order to calculate how much sales revenue could be realized. All engineers subsequently submitted their projects’ schedule and strived to finish all projects on or before the fiscal year end.
During the next Unit’s weekly meeting, John tried to clarify every project schedule with its responsible engineer. Dave, the recognized poor performing engineer, was giving John a hard time in the meeting due to his unsatisfactory performance and impassionate act. After finished with Dave, John went on to ask Peter, an engineer being considered as a cooperative and competent engineer, about his project progress. John was astonished by Peter’s comment that his project would need to take more time than expected to finish, i.e. the project would have to be completed after the fiscal year end.
John was disappointed by the fact that the schedule was originally proposed by Peter himself only a few days ago, and was totally disproved now. As such, John angrily demanded an explanation from Peter about the delay. After an uneasy...
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