Landon Care Products organized through departmentation by function or departmentation by product?
1) Investigate the 360 feedback system as a performance evaluation tool. List key advantages and problems associated with this method. There are several names for 360 feedback, one popular name is Multirator, either name will be used interchangeably. There are several advantages and disadvantages for 360 feedback. One advantage is that Multirater feedback has the potential to promote team cohesiveness if done correctly (Vinson, 1996). Employees may want to meet the expectations of their peers as well as their bosses when they know that their peers will be rating them (Vinson, 1996). It is especially useful when working among a diverse group of employees. Multirater feedback may lessen discrimination and bias because the responsibility for feedback involves more people (Vinson, 1996). Although there are several problems associated with this method, therefor one must be careful before using it. One such problem is that people can see their role as a feedback provider as an opportunity to criticize others’ behavior on the job (Vinson, 1996). Can have many other problems that include: conflicting opinions, choosing friends to provide feedback, survey fatigue, and whether it’s truthful (Vinson, 1996).
2) What challenges does Alex face relating to the unity of command principle at Landon Care Products? The project management environment often requires that we work outside the unity of command. Many of the team members and colleagues that Alex is depending on are not direct reports. This challenges Alex’s heavy handed management style. Influence, motivation, and respect will be key in gaining cooperation from team members who are not direct reports.
3) Given Alex’s overall skill set, approach, and personality, will Alex be successful in future projects that are more demanding and require influence over strategic decisions?
One problem with Alex is that he does not seem to have good communication skills. Project managers will have great difficulty in getting project participants to cooperate with them and with each other if they cannot communicate effectively with individuals involved in the project and cannot see other people’s points of view (Verma, 1996). At one point in the paper Alex says “If being pushy and commanding is the only way to get the job done – to get two new products out in one year – then it’s worth it to me. Even if I have to steamroll over someone’s feelings, or ignore the way a colleague would like to handle a project.” Alex should take some classes in communication. Individuals aspiring to be a project manager should take classes that emphasize communication, should have a solid background in mathematics, and soft skills and technical expertise a familiarity with personal computers (Gillard, 2009). Alex does not seem to have a too much technical skills which is another negative. Although he does have an MBA which is a big plus. A potential project manager needs to have “at least a bachelor's degree, although it need not be in a business- or management-related concentration (Gillard, 2009). College degree most frequently held by project managers rated "Most Effective" was either in business or management (Gillard, 2009). Another thing I noticed is that Alex’s work and educational experience has some questions. For example, Alex attended University of San Francisco but dropped out.
4) If you were Alex’s boss, what action would you take based on the 360 feedback and your overall assessment of Alex? Alex has many positives like being entrepreneurial, being able to multitask, and smart. But the problem is that Alex seems to have too many negatives in the communications and emotional intelligence areas. Some negatives are that Alex does not get the team involved to come up with solutions, does not praise others, and hurts people’s feelings. As Alex’s boss I would provide Alex with training on communication and emotional intelligence. After that I would monitor his performance for the next year to see if it improves. If possible I would also provide him with a mentor. Project managers should remember that their role is not just to command, direct, control, and inspect, but also to take responsibility for leading, motivating, administering, guiding, consulting, and above all caring for project team members (Verma, 1996).
5) Is Landon Care Products organized through departmentation by function or departmentation by product? Which departmentation method do you believe would work best for Landon? Landon Care Products organized through departmentation by function. All the product managers and associate product managers are grouped under one function. Although it would be best for Landon Care Products to be organized through departmentation by product. Departmentation by product would allow project managers to have fewer bosses to report to because everyone in the department would be focused on one product. The only problem with this is if the projects are very short. Projects are executed by temporary organizations; consequently, there is little time to plan organizational change, although project organizations do undergo structural modifications as the project life cycle progresses, bringing with it a changing set of organizational needs (Gardiner, 1998). Departmentation by function will also work as long as everyone demonstrates outstanding communication. A project team whose members have learned to communicate effectively at an interorganizational level provides greater opportunity to discuss design, cost, and construction problems openly and honestly (Gardiner, 1998).
Gardiner, P., & Simmons, J. (1998). Conflict in small- and medium-sized projects: Case of
partnering to the rescue. Journal of Management in Engineering, 14(1), 35.
Gillard, S. (2009). Soft skills and technical expertise of effective project managers. Issues in
Informing Science & Information Technology, 6, 723-729.
Verma, V. (1996). Organizing projects for success. The human aspects of project
management. Upper Darby, PA: Project Management Institute.
Vinson, M. (1996, April). The pros and cos of 360-degree feedback: Making it work.
Training & Development, 50(4), 11-12.
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What challenges does Alex face relating to the unity of command principle at Landon Care Products?
Alex has a boss, stakeholders, and several teams including international ones that need to be managed. Alex has pressure to do well on this project while interacting with everyone. There will be problems because projects are often performed to tight programs by a unique and temporary collection of people (Gardiner, 1998). Even though Alex has one boss he is constantly finding ways to meet the needs of other members of the project like stakeholders and teams. Its almost like Alex has multiple bosses. No one in the project organization should have more than one boss to whom he or she is accountable (Verma, 1996). Having one boss helps prevent conflicting orders and instructions (Verma, 1996). Conflicts is what Alex really needs to pay attention to. Trying to meet the needs of multiple team member, stakeholders, and the boss will eventually lead to conflicts as certain needs don’t get meet. This is especially true for projects. Project organizations are more likely to cause high levels of tension than non-temporary organizations due to the inherently higher degree of uncertainty that accompanies them (Gardiner, 1998).