Simulation — Case Study

Kathy, the project manager, obviously did not have the people skills or knowledge of the culture needed to be successful on this project. Had she researched the culture, listened to her team members, and worked with them rather than over them, this project would have been more successful. Also she should implement incentives for the team. The problems facing Kathy are that her team resented her, drug their feet, and caused the project to not meet the deadline. Her team resented her because she pushed them too hard as she did not take her people’s culture, feelings, expectations, and work habits into consideration.
This caused the team to drag their feet, as a short term problem, and cause the long-term problem of ultimately missing the deadline. The decision facing Kathy was how to get the team to work more efficiently. Since Kathy did not take her team into consideration and cause her team to resent her. Without the ability to read people and sympathize with them, it is difficult to effectively manage people. Lacking this ability cause Kathy’s team to resent her and drag their feet.
Had she taken the time to get to know her team and their work habits, she would have known that pushing them without giving them breaks would not have worked. They became bitter toward her and her ethics and caused more problems for her than necessary. Instead of working a round-the-clock schedule, and pushing and demanding the team to work beyond their capability, Kathy could and should have taken different approaches. Above all she should have worked harder to understand her team better and work with them rather than above them, or given them incentives for their work.

Unfortunately, giving incentives can cause people to cheat through their work instead of doing their best, but most people would use the incentives as a means for motivation to do their best and meet the expectations of the project. Working long hours is usually a given when working with close deadlines, but requiring the team to work round-the-clock is a bit much. Kathy could have petitioned to hire more people or extend the deadline. Hiring more people could put the project over budget, but the project could have been completed more efficiently and on time.
Moving the deadline could cause people to relax more, but if given more time to complete from the beginning, it could have reduced a lot of the stress put on Kathy and the team. If I were Kathy, I would take time to understand the people she works with, implement incentives for making deadlines, and petition to hire more people. As soon as she met with her team she should have gotten to know them and taken the time to understand their work ethic. As soon as the team started to fall behind, more people should have been hired to make up the time. The project manager should get their hands dirty and dive in to help make the deadlines.
Cut the project into phases. Say the foundation has to be done by a certain time. Let the team know that if they make that deadline the will receive an incentive, and if the team surpasses that expectation, they get a better incentive. I would make it a dinner if deadline met, and an afternoon off if the team has started the next phase before the deadline of the first phase has come. This would cause the team to want to do better and go beyond their expectations which would cause the project to be complete by the deadline and hopefully within budget.

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