This case study assignment seeks to identify issues related to non-implementation of project management methodologies faced by project managers at Cocable Company. The project in question is a delivery of four custom rapid prototype (RP) machines for Cocable Company by Frank Billings who founded a company in RP design business. The stakeholders of the project are a sub-contractor - Frank Billings; Cocable Company, and customer – GE. In terms of the project life cycle, the problem resulting in a need for change occurred at the planning phase, namely setting requirements.
The first lesson to be learned is to focus more on the scope management as one the knowledge areas in cases when a project’s final product is to be custom-built. In particular, in order to identify requirements, it is important to make sure the measurements are first taken before the machinery arrives . For example, project management methodologies regarding project scope planning defines that the first step is to collect requirement . The case gives an understanding why collecting requirement is a crucial step of project scope planning. Collecting requirement is the process of identifying what are the needs of stakeholders. The lesson learnt from the case is that it is important to collect requirements as it gives the project members a full picture of the project objectives.
The second lesson learnt from the case is to ensure that the stakeholder’s commitment to the project is reflected in a detailed plan, which is agreed upon by all stakeholders. This lesson is similar to the project management methodologies applied to the second phase of the project life cycle project planning . In practice, this lesson would mean a detailed plan where necessary specs are identified. In particular, had the proper measurements been taken, had all measurements been correct then the machinery would have fit and no problems would have occurred. The measurements on the RP machines maxed out around 55 inches wherein the space needed was 62 inches . This seven-inch difference resulted in increased costs of the project due to a lack of measurement and communications.
Due to a lack of organisation at the planning phase of the project, it is the responsibility of Cocable Company to pay for changes in order to build new RP machines that will fit necessary specs . Cocable Company provided Frank with the specs that were not agreed upon with GE. This excludes Frank from any responsibility to pay for changes. GE should not be held accountable for paying for changes as the customer made only one initial request of 62 inches. Contrary, Cocable Company has failed to inquire about needed information from the customer, GE. This resulted in the company’s failing to inform Frank Billings of the necessary specs. The company purchased the product and failed to communicate the proper specs to Frank Billings, who would have designed and manufactured an appropriate RP machine . Therefore, it is the responsibility of Cocable Company to pay for changes, including already manufactured machines, new machines that are to be manufactured, and any costs relating to the delays of the project.
First of all, the project scope should have had a better and more organized planning. The project life cycle should have been executed more properly. No problem occurred at imitating phase, as stakeholders constituted their commitment to the project in the broad terms . The same cannot be said about planning phase, where stakeholders failed to develop an entire detailed plan. According to PMBOK, a project can be regarded successful when it achieves its objectives . However, in this case the objectives of the project were hardly set, as specifications were unclear to Frank Billings. Thus, GE should have articulated the requirements of RP machines in a more comprehensive manner.
The second mistake was made by Cocable Company as it failed to inquire about needed specs. The company should have contacted GE one more time just to verify the necessary specs of RP machines . The company failed to gather the correct measurements, thus forfeiting any chance of the machines being in correct measurement and calibration. Cocable Company should not have communicated Frank regarding the development of RP machines, without having assured the actual requirements needed by GE first . In the future, Cocable Company should ask questions relating to the customer’s needs and place itself in the customer’s situation in order to collect requirements.
In conclusion, mistakes were made that at the planning phase of the project life cycle that could have been avoided, should project management methodologies have been followed. The main cause of project’s failure were poorly identified and imprecise requirements of four RP design machines. If Cocable Company and Frank were diligent in adhering to the project management methodology of setting requirements, then none of the problems would ever happen.
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