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This chapter is from the book

Case Study

Chris rushed around the rest of the week trying to finalize the schedule and budget for her meeting with June on Friday afternoon. She was able to meet with the Human Resources manager on Wednesday morning. The manager couldn't just turn over figures to Chris, as Chris had hoped. He needed a day to create either the loaded or the average salary rates. He also wanted to talk to June and see what her expectations were on how realistic the rates needed to be. He promised to get the rates to Chris no later than the close of business on Thursday.

Scheduling the meetings with the executives didn't go as well as Chris had hoped. She was able to set up only individual meetings instead of one joint meeting. That meant that she would have four meetings of at least 30 minutes to get through between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. She wanted to leave Friday morning free to get ready for her meeting with June. She knew that would probably work out; she just didn't have much time to do four meetings instead of one.

On Wednesday morning, Chris walked through the preliminary schedule with the core team and the new team resources. She was amazed at how the dynamics had changed with the introduction of a few new team members. Her core team was kind of quiet, for a change. She was getting used to their storming and performing behaviors. It looked to her that they had stepped back to the forming stage of team development. She made a note to herself to schedule a team-building session next week with all of them; they needed a chance to get to know each other better. And she knew she needed to get them through forming, storming, and norming as fast as possible.

Chris held two of the meetings with the executives on Wednesday. She had a chance to meet with Greg Peterson regarding Bill Ricardo's work on the project. They agreed that Bill's sales quotas would be decreased appropriately when he was tied up with the project. Chris also told Greg that she would provide a review of Bill's work at the end of the project. The project would take up six months of Bill's life, and Chris wanted to make sure that Greg was correctly apprised about the work Bill did. She also knew that if she had appraisal authority, she would have more authority with Bill. She knew Greg wouldn't have a problem with receiving an appraisal from her; she had heard through the grapevine that he seldom did appraisals on his subordinates anyway.

Her next meeting was with Ken Hale, her boss and Carl's boss. Ken was pretty much in tune with project management activities and expected to free up Carl so that his entire workload consisted of the two projects he was working on: VNLE and the VN Web project. He also expected a full appraisal of Carl's work on the project and asked Chris to sit with him when he was doing Carl's final year-end appraisal. He wanted to make sure that Chris's appraisal had equal weight when the final appraisal was completed. Chris was pretty pleased with the outcome of the meeting. Working for Ken was turning out better than she hoped. He also understood project management and accountability and authority really well.

The only setback that Chris had on Wednesday was the fact that Karla, Robin's supervisor, cancelled her meeting and rescheduled it for Thursday. Chris was more concerned about Robin's schedule than that of anyone else. Most of Robin's work was on the critical path of the project, and Chris wanted to make sure that she would be able to get it all done and not be hampered by her regular business activities. Well, she'd have to talk to Karla tomorrow.

On Thursday morning, Chris got an e-mail from the HR manager with the rates shown in Table 11.1. She was really pleased to get the rates earlier than she had been told, but she couldn't work on the budget then because she needed to run off to another meeting. She would have to get back to it later that day.

Table 11.1. Resource Rates for VNLE

Resource Needed

Resource Rate Per Day

Who?

Project manager

$250

Chris Williams

Executive sponsor

$750

June Jackson

Core team

$200 each per day

Bill Ricardo, Robin Good, Tina Johnson, Carol Hinnant, Carl Price, Karen French

VP Sales

$700

Greg Peterson

VP Marketing

$500

Karla Christie

VP Business Development

$500

John Robinson

COO

$650

Sue Kim

CIO

$650

Ken Hale

Business development person

$175

Jacob Liesel

Marketing person

$190 each per day

Cathy Bull, Larry Katherine

Salesperson

$200 each per day

Dale Christenson, Mike Boyd, Becky Rasmussen, Jane Noble

IT person

$190

Bill Cowan

Logistics person

$100

Kim Billing

Marketing materials vendor

$1,000 per assignment

Material R US

Booth construction subcontractor

$5,000 per booth

Sales Specialists

VN Web project manager

$250

Carl Price

Catalog department person

$100

Eva Benjamin

Focus group

$5,000

Focus group—Marketing Concepts

Chris left for her next meeting, with Sue, Tina and Carol's supervisor. Sue was pretty set in her ways in running her department and was not much of an advocate for project management. She said she would do what she could with Tina and Carol's workload, but her people were expected to work overtime whenever there was extra work to do. Sue told Chris that she would make sure that Tina and Carol knew this was her expectation. Sue then excused herself from the meeting to take a quick call. She told Chris she'd be back in five minutes. Sue did come back in 5 minutes but was still on her cell phone and continued to talk for another 15 minutes. She wasted Chris's time for a half-hour, until they finally got back to the discussion of the project and Sue's subordinates. Chris offered appraisal information on the two women, and Sue told her that would be nice and that she'd be glad to look over the feedback. She also stated that she knew what her subordinates were doing and probably wouldn't need anything additional. Chris left Sue's office and mumbled under her breath, "What a waste of time!"

Chris then went back to her desk and answered a couple phone calls and e-mails before she headed to her next meeting, with John. John was very agreeable to what Chris wanted and assured her that he would make his people available for the project. He had heard from June about the importance of the project and knew these new vendors could make or break this new launch. He did have some questions for Chris about the project, though. He and Chris spent the next hour discussing John's questions. Chris made a mental note to update the communication plan on John; he would need a lot more detail to satisfy his communication needs.

Chris got back to her desk after 2 p.m. Her meeting with Karla wasn't until 5 p.m., so she had a couple hours to work on the project schedule and budget. Chris again analyzed the critical path. This time she was looking for the tasks that Carol and Tina had to perform. She knew she had a risk because of Sue's stance about project work and overtime. Tina had two critical path tasks. Carol had none. She decided that she could absorb the risk of the overtime for these two tasks.

Chris then started her calculations for the cost baseline on her project. She was able to get those done fairly quickly. You can see her finished work in Table 11.2. Now she needed to meet with Karla, Robin's boss.

Table 11.2. Cost Per Task for VNLE

Task

Resource Estimate

Duration Estimate

Work Effort

Cost of Task

1.1 Gather previous trade show information

Business development person—Jacob Liesel

5 days

16 hours

$350

1 project manager—Chris Williams

4 hours

$125

6 core team members—Bill, Robin, Tina, Carol, Carl, Karen

4 hours each

$600

1.2 Gather input from other departments

6 core team members—Bill, Robin, Tina, Carol, Carl, Karen

3 days

4 hours each

$600

1 project manager—Chris Williams

4 hours

$125

1 VP Sales—Greg Peterson

2 hours

$175

1 VP Marketing—Karla Christie

2 hours

$125

1 VP Business Development—John Robinson

2 hours

$125

1 COO—Sue Kim

2hours

$162.50

1 CIO—Ken Hale

2 hours

$162.50

1.3 Establish marketing goals

1 core team member—Robin Good

1 day

4 hours

$100

1 VP Marketing—Karla Christie

2 hours

$125

1.4 Determine target audience

1 core team member—Robin Good

1 day

4 hours

$100

1 VP Marketing—Karla Christie

2 hours

$125

1.5 Create draft marketing plan

1 core team member—Robin Good

3 days

8 hours

$200

1.6 Review and revise draft plan with other departments

6 core team members—Bill, Robin, Tina, Carol, Carl, Karen

2 days

4 hours each

$600

1 project manager—Chris Williams

4 hours

$125

1 VP Sales—Greg Peterson

1 hour

$87.50

1 VP Marketing—Karla Christie

1 hour

$62.50

1 VP Business Development—John Robinson

1 hour

$62.50

1 COO—Sue Kim

1 hour

$81.25

1 CIO—Ken Hale

1 hour

$81.25

1.7 Create final marketing plan

1 core team member—Robin Good

1 day

2 hours

$50

1 marketing person—Cathy Bull

2 hours

$47.50

1 VP Marketing—Karla Christie

1 hour

$62.50

1 project manager—Chris Williams

1 hour

$31.25

2.1 Design the booth sales approach

1 core team member—Bill Ricardo

2 days

4 hours

$100

1 salesperson—Dale Christenson

8 hours

$200

1 VP Sales—Greg Peterson

1 hour

$87.50

2.2 Create IT demo requirements

6 core team members—Bill, Robin, Tina, Carol, Carl, Karen

1 day

4 hours each

$600

1 project manager—Chris Williams

4 hours

$125

2.3 Design the trade show experience

6 core team members—Bill, Robin, Tina, Carol, Carl, Karen

5 days

8 hours each

$1,200

1 marketing person—Cathy Bull

8 hours

$190

1 salesperson—Dale Christenson

8 hours

$200

1 VP Sales—Greg Peterson

1 hour

$87.50

1 VP Marketing—Karla Christie

1 hour

$62.50

2.4 Design the marketing collateral

1 core team member—Robin Good

3 days

8 hours

$200

1 marketing person—Cathy Bull

8 hours

$190

1 VP Marketing—Karla Christie

1 hour

$62.50

2.5 Design the booth

1 core team member—Robin Good

3 days

8 hours

$200

1 marketing person—Cathy Bull

8 hours

$190

1 VP Marketing—Karla Christie

1 hour

$62.50

2.6 Determine vendor partnership strategy

1 core team member—Karen French

2 days

4 hours

$100

1 business development person—Jacob Liesel

4 hours

$87.50

1 VP Business Development—John Robinson

1 hour

$62.50

2.7 Determine target vendors

1 core team member—Karen French

5 days

16 hours

$400

1 business development person—Jacob Liesel

16 hours

$350

1 VP Business Development—John Robinson

2 hours

$125

2.8 Review and revise demo requirements

6 core team members—Bill, Robin, Tina, Carol, Carl, Karen

1 day

2 hours each

$300

1 IT person—Bill Cowan

2 hours

$47.50

1 project manager—Chris Williams

1 hour

$31.25

2.9 Design the demo

6 core team members—Bill, Robin, Tina, Carol, Carl, Karen

2 days

4 hours each

$600

1 IT person—Bill Cowan

4 hours

$95

1 project manager—Chris Williams

4 hours

$125

2.10 Determine housing and travel requirements

6 core team members—Bill, Robin, Tina, Carol, Carl, Karen

1 day

2 hours each

$300

1 project manager—Chris Williams

2 hours

$62.50

2.11 Gather marketing materials and booth shipping requirements

1 core team member—Tina Johnson

1 day

2 hours

$100

1 project manager—Chris Williams

2 hours

$62.50

2.12 Determine catering requirements

1 core team member—Tina Johnson

1 day

2 hours

$100

1 project manager—Chris Williams

2 hours

$62.50

2.13 Determine trade show on-site requirements

1 core team member—Tina Johnson

3 days

8 hours

$100

1 logistics person—Kim Billing

8 hours

$100

2.14 Verify that product inventory supports the marketing plan

1 project manager—Chris Williams

1/2 day

1 hour

$31.25

1 Catalog department person—Carol Hinnant

1 hour

$50

3.1.1 Arrange flights and lodging

1 logistics person—Kim Billing

5 days

8 hours

$100

3.1.2 Ship marketing material and booth

1 logistics person—Kim Billing

1 day

2 hours

$40

3.1.3 Make catering arrangements

1 logistics person—Kim Billing

1 day

2 hours

$40

3.1.4 Finalize trade show on-site requirements

1 core team member—Tina Johnson

1 day

2 hours

$100

1 project manager—Chris Williams

2 hours

$62.50

3.1.5 Verify that product inventory supports the trade show plan

1 Catalog department person—Carol Hinnant

1/2 day

1 hour

$25

1 project manager—Chris Williams

1 hour

$31.25

3.1.6 Prototype the booth experience

1 core team member—Robin Good

2 days

4 hours

$100

1 marketing person—Cathy Bull

4 hours

$95

1 VP Marketing—Karla Christie

1 hour

$62.50

3.1.7 Learn and practice the demo

4 salespeople—Dale, Mike, Becky, Jane

5 days

8 hours each

$800

3.1.8 Establish pre-meetings with vendors

1 business development person—Jacob Liesel

3 days

4 hours

$87.50

3.1.9 Build marketing collateral

1 marketing person—Cathy Bull

10 days

8 hours

$190

Materials vendor—Material R US

FF price $2,500

$2,500

3.1.10 Build the booth

1 logistics person—Kim Billing

10 days

8 hours

$100

Booth construction subcontractor—Sales Specialist

FF price $50,000

$50,000

3.1.11 Build the demo

1 IT person—Bill Cowan

5 days

16 hours

$380

1 core team member—Robin Good

8 hours

$200

3.1.12 Test the demo

1 IT person—Bill Cowan

5 days

16 hours

$380

1 core team member—Bill Ricardo

8 hours

$200

3.1.13 Create trade show buzz

2 marketing persons—Cathy Bull, Larry Katherine

30 days

40 hours

$1,900

3.1.14 Verify that the Web site is ready

1 project manager—Chris Williams

1 day

1 hour

$31.25

1 VN Web project manager—Carl Price

1 hour

$25

3.1.15 Verify that the catalog is ready

1 core team member—Carol Hinnant

1 day

1 hour

$25

1 project manager—Chris Williams

1 hour

$31.25

3.1.16 Verify marketing collateral with focus group

1 core team member—Robin Good

10 days

8 days

$1,600

Focus group—Marketing Concepts

7 days

$35,000

3.1.17 Verify the booth build with focus group

1 core team member—Robin Good

2 days

2 days

$400

Focus group—Marketing Concepts

1 day

$5,000

3.1.18 Verify demo with focus group

1 core team member—Robin Good

2 days

2 days

$400

Focus group

1 day

$5,000

3.1.19 Verify the booth experience with the focus group

1 core team member—Robin Good

2 days

2 days

$400

Focus group

1 day

$5,000

3.1.20 Get buzz feedback and make adjustments

1 core team member—Robin Good

15 days

10 days

$2,000

1 project manager—Chris Williams

1 hour

$31.25

1 VP Marketing—Karla Christie

1 hour

$62.50

3.2.1 Verify and correct logistics

1 core team member—Tina Johnson

1 day

4 hours

$100

1 logistics person—Kim Billings

4 hours

$50

3.2.2 Manage the trade show event

1 project manager—Chris Williams

4 days

40 hours

$1,000

1 core team member—Robin Good

40 hours

$800

3.2.3 Staff the booth

4 salespersons—Dale, Mike, Becky, Jane

4 days

32 hours

$3,200

3.2.4 Get feedback for vendor experience during event

1 business development person—Jacob Liesel

4 days

8 hours

$175

3.2.5 Receive > 125 points for trade show

1 project manager—Chris Williams

1 day

1 hour

$31.25

$129,298

The meeting with Karla lasted until 7 p.m. Karla's staff is not very large, so, needless to say, she was hesitant about trying to lighten Robin's workload. The problem was that not too many people can do what Robin does for the organization. Chris discussed the tasks that Robin needed to do and the concept of critical path, and Karla then understood the importance of freeing up Robin for the project work. Karla also didn't understand the appraisal concept. Chris had to explain the concepts of accountability and authority in project management to her. Again, this took a while, but at the end, Karla said she would welcome Chris's appraisal and together the two of them would determine Robin's overall appraisal and her pay raise for that year. Success!

By the end of the meeting, Chris was pretty tired. She decided to go home and get a good night's sleep and attack the rest of the budget in the morning. She also decided that she had better get up early to get everything ready for her meeting with June. What a day!

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