Case Study 1: Prioritizing Projects at D. D. Williamson (Chapter 2)
Read the case titled: “Prioritizing Projects at D. D. Williamson” found in Chapter 2.
Write a four to six (4-6) page paper in which you:
Each of the following questions must be answered in the paper
1.Analyze the prioritizing process at D. D. Williamson.
2.Suggest two (2) recommendations to improve the prioritizing process.
3.Create a scenario where the implemented process at D. D. Williamson would not work.
4.Project five (5) years ahead and speculate whether or not D. D. Williamson will be using the same process. Justify your answer.
5.Use at least four (4) quality (peer-reviewed) resources in this assignment.
Your assignment must:
The following formatting must be followed
•Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
•Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN ACTION
Prioritizing Projects at D. D. Williamson One of the most difficult, yet most
important, lessons we have learned at D. D. Williamson surrounds project
prioritization. We took three years and two iterations of our prioritization process
to finally settle on an approach that dramatically increased our success rate on
critical projects (now called VIPs, or “Vision Impact Projects”).
Knowing that one of the keys to project management success is key
management support, our first approach at prioritization was a process where our
entire senior management team worked through a set of criteria and resource
estimations to select a maximum of two pro- jects per senior management
sponsor-l 6 projects in total. Additionally, we hired a continuous improvement
manager to serve as both our project office and a key resource for project
facilitation. This was a great move forward (the year before we had been
attempting to monitor well over 60 continuous improvement projects of varying
importance). Our success rate improved to over 60 percent of projects finishing
close to the expected dates, financial investment, and results.
What was the problem? The projects that were not moving forward tended to
be the most critical-the heavy-investment “game changing” projects. A review of
our results the next year determined we left significant money in opportunity “on
the table” with projects that were behind and over budget!
This diagnosis led us to seek an additional process change. While the criteria
rating was sound, the number of projects for a company our size was still too many
to track robustly at a senior level and have re- sources to push for completion.
Hence, we elevated a subset of projects to highest status-our “VIPs.” We
simplified the criteria ratings-rating projects on the level of expected impact on
corporate objectives, the cross-functional nature of the team, and the perceived
likelihood that the project would encounter barriers which required senior level
support to overcome.
The results? Much better success rates on the big projects, such as design
and implementation of new equipment and expansion plans into new markets. But
The Global Operating Team (GOT) now has laser focus on the five VIPs,
reviewing the project plans progress and next steps with our continuous improve-
ment manager in every weekly meeting. ll’a project is going off plan, we see it
quickly and can move to real- locate resources, provide negotiation help, or change
priorities within and outside the organization to man- age it back on track.
Certainly, the unanticipated barriers still occur, but we can put the strength of the
entire team toward removing them as soon as they happen.