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The present case study is about a Canadian based company called “Franklin Equipment, Ltd. (FEL)” that specializes on creating rock-crushing equipment for different industries. The case study focuses on company’s Abu Dhabi Project and the issues related to it.
First of all, it is required to evaluate the criteria used by the company for assigning managers to a specific project. FEL uses two major criteria to assign project managers – expertise and availability of a manager based on their involvement in other projects. Therefore, if a manager has one project ending he/she will most likely be assigned to a new project. This approach has both positive and negative aspects. On one hand, such a way of assigning managers keeps personnel continually involved in some kind of project. This is beneficial for the company because it keeps its employees busy; and this is also beneficial for managers because they have a certainty of having another project to work on when they finish the current one. However, such an approach may cause some problems. One of the possible issues may be the situation where the assigned managers for one project do not work well in a team or have negative past experiences together. This might seem like a minor problem but in fact it affects the whole team and significantly worsens group dynamics. Moreover, it would be more efficient to give managers some freedom of choice so that they can choose projects where they can perform most productively.
The second question is about the importance of good relationship between team members, especially in international projects. Projects like Abu Dhabi have greater need for a well-built team of professionals because there is much more uncertainty and high-stakes decisions involved. International projects are usually more valuable to companies as they are connected to the expansion of market, increased revenues, and internationally known brand. Therefore, it is necessary to achieve best results in such projects. A good team of managers where every person is an expert in his/her field is a first step to a successful outcome. While being important such international projects as Abu Dhabi are also extremely risky and sometimes have vague guidelines as to what has to be done. That is why competent managers are crucial there. They have to be internally motivated and passionate about their work in order to overcome lots of obstacles while completing the project. If there is one team member who doesn’t want to be on the project, he/she will drag the team down and sabotage the whole process.
Because of the situation at hand in Project Abu Dhabi Jobe, an internal team consultant, has a moral dilemma. He knows that two of the team members hate each other and another one doesn’t want to take part in the project. Moreover, top management of the company decided to fire design engineer Rankins if the conflict is not resolved. The operations manager Perry doesn’t like Rankins and he knows about management’s decision to fire him in case of continued conflict. As Perry is not interested in working with Rankins, there is a great risk of his unwillingness to work on the issue. In fact, he may try to escalate the conflict even more. On the other hand, Ranking doesn’t know about this decision and this is not fair. Jobe obviously deals with a dilemma whether to tell Rankins about this situation or not.
Finally, there is a question asking what Jobe should advice the project manager of Abu Dhabi Project. Considering all the information above it is logical to conclude that Jobe has to advice the project manager to resolve the issue in his team. An open discussion is needed between two managers who don’t like each other with the project manager in charge. The design manager wouldn’t like to be fired, so he has to do his best to reconcile with Perry (the operations manager). Perry also has to try to cooperate with his colleague if he wants to finish the project successfully. One strong incentive can be the fact that no one wants to have a failed project in their resume, so everyone has to work hard to succeed.