The Blue Spider Project, Essay Example
A1. Gary Anderson was selected as a project manager because he was considered the best engineer in the department and was an expert researcher. In addition, other program managers had mainly worked on production-type projects while Henry Gable wanted someone who would be an R&D type because the project manager would be working with an R&D type from Lord Industries. Thus, the new project manager had to be someone who understood technical aspects of the project and could also explain them to Gary. Moreover, Gary had been pursuing an MBA, thus, it is possible that Henry Gable might have thought Gary represented the best of both worlds, being proficient in technical aspects of the project as well as having business background.
A2. While Gary did have the technical expertise to meet the technological requirements of the project, he had poor soft skills such as leadership, communication, planning, monitoring, and organizing. Gary often failed to keep his subordinates updated on the project’s process which led to waste of resources and time. One example is design material which was changed without informing the subordinates who kept experimenting with the original design material. Communication breakdowns were frequent, both with Lord Industries as well as within the Parks Corporation’s team working on the Blue Spider Project. Similarly, there was no planning involved and numerous departments such as engineering and production would often complain that they are told of changes at the last minute and are forced to reschedule their entire plans. Gary also did a poor job of leading his subordinates most of whom were frustrated and gave up the idea of project’s success quite early. Gary also lacked financial management skills and took no steps to create a budget or manage costs.
A3. Gary was trying to handle more responsibilities than he could effectively. Instead of effectively dividing time between working on technical aspects of the project and providing leadership, Gary would take things to the extreme and would either fully commit himself to research or leadership but not both at the same time. This was leading to frustration among his subordinates as well as Lord Industries who would often be unable to reach Gary when needed. He was also dealing with issues as they emerged and didn’t have any contingency plan. But it was not entirely Gary’s fault either because he was not getting the required support from Henry Gable. In addition, Gary was not provided adequate resources for the project, most notably, human capital which is also one of the reasons he would often find himself overworked.
A4. There are several strategies Gary could have adopted to make the project more successful. First of all, he should have delegated more to his subordinates and focus more on leading the project such as planning, organizing, monitoring, communicating, and motivating. Gary should also not have started the project without a proper plan. A plan would have helped Gary identify resources needed to effectively complete the project. In addition, the plan would also have improved cooperation among the departments since they would exactly know what they were supposed to do and there would be no surprises involved.
Gary should also have done a better job of not only communicating with Lord Industries but also his subordinates. Effective communication would have kept his subordinates motivated and prevent wasteful activities. In addition, communication with Lord Industries might also have resulted in more cooperative attitude from Lord Industries’ management.
Time is precious
don’t waste it!