The problem statement of Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc. is that there are bugs in the company’s systems which are causing problems for their customers as well. And there is no communication between the departments.
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Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc
Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc. is one of the biggest trading firms in US; the company has been operating for the last 35 years or so. RPD originally targeted America’s upper echelon – the 2% of American families who hold 80% of the country’s assets — a strategy that served the company well through the early 1990s. The company soon realized that the internet is taking over and they decided to launch an online trading system for their customers. In mid-2005, RPD had to develop a strategic implementation plan, whose major objective was to create, develop, and introduce eRPD, this helped the company to enter on-line trading for the first time.
There were some challenges that were faced by the company, the company soon realized that it had a great deal of bugs in its system and that there was lack of communication amongst its department and that the company need to increase and improvement is performance. And to enhance an organizational improvement, the organization needed to enhance its strategic program for program implementation, and realization of business objectives as we will see in this paper.
Describe the Situation
Issue and Opportunity Identification
There are issues that are being faced by the management Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc. and these issues have been the center of the discussion lately for the management. The first issue that is under the discussion by the management is the technological errors of the company are online trading system. The problem over here is that the customers have filed complaints that they are not able to log in to their accounts (i.e. it take a great deal of time), the system provides sporadic and inaccurate confirmations regarding the trade and indexes and it has massive errors in recording and tracking of entries and information. And it seems that the system is not able to handle significant load at one time and it also seems that there are a great deal of bugs in the eRPD system (David, 2006).
Another issue over here is that there seems to be a communication gap between the top management and the departments and there seems to be miscommunication between the team members of the online trading project. Additional issues that are being faced by the company are that the IT department is under staffed/ unequipped to handle any problems that arise. And finally there seems to be the issue of the budget, it seems that the company is over its budget.
The management aims to improve their eRPD trading system, by improving their technology. The opportunities that have arisen here are that, the company needs to hire more staff that specializes in online trading and are able to handle problems related to the system. This also provides the management the opportunity to train and develop their staff, so that the employees are better equipped for the future. Finally this will also help in improving the performance management of the company along with better allocation of the resources and the staff (whether new or old) and that there will be a use of management tools which will come in handy when organizing the company and its processes. And by improving the technology of the system the company will be able to improve is business.
Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas
The ethical issues, which are represented in this case, are associated with the matters of inner relations within the team. As for the dilemmas, which are provided by these ethical issues, it should be stated that these are the issues of communication. Communication is one of the most common tools of interaction among people. Communication has been around the stone ages or you can say from the very being of time, so that the people can convey ideas to each other there has always been felt the need for communication. The biggest problem that can arise within a team would be the breakdown of communication between the members. Problems like communication breakdown arises because individuals assume, wrongly, that the other person’s attitudes, values, knowledge and beliefs. Breakdown of communication can happen through selecting the wrong channel or medium for delivering a message can create a problem. And another way for communication to breakdown is through semantics. Semantics pertains to the meaning of words and the way they were used. For example, the word effectiveness may mean achieving high production to a factory unit, whereas in human resource it means employee satisfaction (Daft, 1997).
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The solution to this problem is open communication. Open communication is another way through which conflicts within teams can be handled. It basically means that sharing all kinds of information throughout the company, across functional and hierarchical levels. For example, companies like Globe Metallurgical, are opening their financial books to workers at all levels so that they can understand how and why the company operates as it does. Team approaches that bring together different kinds of people of different departments, requires broader information sharing. For example, at Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, this organizes most of its work around projects rather than strict functional lines. The top management says that information is collected and shared is so much detail that the company may be considered transparent. Much of the company’s open communication is dependent on the use of computer technology, which makes sure all employees have an easy access to the information they need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently (Daft, 1997).
Frame the “Right” Problem
Achieving the aims of Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc. has generated a great deal of problems for the management of the company. The problem that Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc, is currently facing at the moment is how to meet the needs and the requirements of their customers regarding their new eRPD system which does online trading and investing for them, the problem on hand is that the system is infected with bugs, which has caused the company to pay $1.7 million as damages to its customer who were not able to login to their accounts. Another problem that the management was faced with that there was no unity within the teams, there was lack of information or mostly there was miscommunication, it seemed that everyone wanted to do the things their way.
Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc. Aspires to be the organization that wants to one of the leading investment firms in US and to do that it would need to meet the needs of its stakeholders, their customers and clients and they would need to deliver projects on time and on budget and to do that they would need to use technology along with team management, they can take their business online and make it a success.
The system that they had created for their online investments and trading is infected with bugs, which had caused a great deal of problems for their customers to login to their accounts. For example, one of their customers Robert Bruce an online investor was not able to login to his account on the day where the stock was seeing the most volatile action in 2006. The customer complained that he was able to login to his account for more than 2 hours; he was not able to get a hold of price quotes or his holdings. When he did login eRPD show low prices which eventually led him to believe that the damage was not significant but after 40 minutes when the system adjusted the low prices, it was already too late for Robert to recover or act in his damages (O’Brien, 2004).
Describe the “End-State” Vision
The end state vision or the goals of Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc are to correct the problems that have occurred and to fulfil the requirements and the needs of their stakeholders, customers, and as well as employees. The end state vision of the company is based on four things they are:-
- Financial objectives: companies like Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc. mostly depend on capital requirements/ investments from people in order to operate. Hence, it is important that the company has financial stability and no such kinds of problems like this (the one that has been mentioned in the paper) happen again.
- Alignment: alignment is bases on the shareholders of the company. Shareholders play a very important role in the company and it is important for the management to appease them. Because each of the shareholder (whether it is an employee, or an investor) has a different criterion of responsiveness due to the different interest it has in the organization. If the shareholders of the company become dissatisfied with the performance of RPD, the organization’s viability is threatened a great deal.
- Customers: customers play an important role in the company and if the needs and the requirements of the customers are not fulfilled the customers would leave the company and would go to another. Hence, it is important the company needs to be more customer focused than ever.
- Globalization: The growing globalization of business also means grater movement of employees among countries. As employees are relocated, human resource specialists and human resource managers are challenged to make adjustments that are fair to the employee and the company while keeping competitiveness in mind.
Identify the Alternatives and Benchmarking Validation
The issue over here is that there is a breakdown of communication among the employees. When there is a breakdown of communication between different departments is teams it causes a great deal of damage to the company. This leads to delays, failure and breakdown of the system, what happened here, and this sort of the problem can damage the reputation of the firm, which it slightly did (David, 2006).
The opportunity the company has over here is that they can train and develop their employees for such problems in the future. Training and development efforts enable the employees to assume expanded duties and greater responsibilities. For most employees, individual learning sessions are a blend of training and development. Human resource development prepares individuals for their future job responsibilities, at the same time it attempts to contend with employee obsolesce, technological changes, affirmative action plans and employee turnover (David, 2006).
The different alternative solutions to the current problem at hand of Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc. are as follows:
- Technical Innovation: Technical innovation is very important for a company, if it wants to have a competitive edge over its competitors. Innovation can be defined as a product or a service that is newly introduced by any company. Innovation is basically the driving force for any organization and it is very important that the whole company is involved in this process, but the hardest part is how to sustain innovation. It is very important to understand the core competencies of the company, the systematic approach and as well as innovative corporate culture of the company. The role of technical innovation in a company is to improve the company’s quality, to create new markets and to improve the production processes (O’Brien, 2004).
- Technological Foresight: Technology foresight is considered to be a process that is involved in a systematic but a long-term of future science, technology, the economy and as well as seeing the future of the society. The strategic research of the company is identified by technology foresight and it also helps by indentifying new and emerging technologies so that it will help the company in its activities and it will be able to gain the economic and social benefits for the company. It has been found that technology foresight promotes to build innovation oriented company (O’Brien, 2004).
- Quality Improvement: The core performance measure for quality improvement would be total quality management. TQM can be defined as concept which focuses on managing the healthcare institution to deliver quality to the patients. This approach basically infuses quality values throughout every activity within the institution with frontline workers intimately involved in that process. This is an approach mostly focuses on continuous improvement of the institution, focuses on teamwork of the staff, focuses on the patient satisfaction and minimum costs charges. TQM works through horizontal collaboration across function and departments of the institution and it extends to include the patients and as well as the suppliers of the institution. Teams are made and trained and are also empowered to make decisions regarding the patients and the institution, these decision help achieve high standards of quality. Forms that really want to improve their quality are urged to get rid of their quality control department and stop inspecting every aspect of their institution. Then this system helps train all the employees in the firm and trust them to take care of the quality (David, 2006).
- Building Strong Communication: Communication is one of the most common tools of interaction among people. In order to address to the various problems and issues that occur or are faced by people, they have a need to send across to other people a message so that they would help him or her, therefore communication became a necessity. Strategy is very important if the company wants to deals with its communication problems. Strategy is considered as the formulation, implementation and evaluation of functional decisions that helps the organization in reaching its stated goals and objectives and in our case would be to overcome the company’s communication issues like breakdown in communication. Once the company has recognized the different elements and has overcome its ethnocentrism, the company is then ready to develop strategies which will solve any future communication problems and it will help the employees to communicate effectively. It can be done through the following:
- The management needs to learn about other cultures, because it would help the management to send and receive intercultural messages effectively.
- The employees have to break through the barriers of language to communicate effectively with each other (O’Brien, 2004).
- The employees would need to improve their writing and as well as oral skills.
Restructuring the HR System: Human resource is a combination of the administrative functions with the performance of the company’s employees and their relations along with the organization’s planning. Due to the industrial and organizational behaviors human resource was developed. The people of the company are usually referred as the human resource. The major functions that are associated with human resource management are recruitment, selection, training and development, orientation, placement, separation, career planning, performance appraisal, salaries and wages, incentives and gain-sharing, benefits, services and security and employee relations and assessment. Human resource management helps the company to achieve the goals and the objectives that have been set out for the employees by the management of the organization. As you all know that human resource activities also make a large contribution to the organization’s success in many ways but the human resource activities mostly support the strategies of the organization. The sole purpose of any human resource department is to support the managers and the employees of the organization and to pursue the organization’s desired goal and objectives. The human resource activities are actions that are taken by the department of any organization to maintain a workforce balance, which is appropriate to the level of organization’s needs (Daft, 1997).
Implementing Teams & Team Leadership: Leadership is becoming an important part of a company and it plays’ an important role in terms of team context. It is a known fact that work teams are gaining popularity, and the role that is being played by the leader is by guiding the team members; is taking a very high importance. It must be remembered that the role that is played by a team leader is quite different from a traditional leadership role (who played the role of the leader in the past). What happens is that the leader teaches the teams everything and then he or she lets them make the decision. The leader or the manager believes that with the help of work teams the firm’s productivity will increase and the performance of the firm will improve tenfold. The use of work teams within the company increases the firm’s potential and provides a lot benefits for the firm as well. A team can be a success only when there is unity among the team members and it is the role of the leader to make sure that the team members are organized and there is no unnecessary conflict among (David, 2006).
Evaluate the Alternatives
The alternatives that have been suggested for the problem are few, but these alternatives will help the company to overcome its problems. Especially the alternatives regarding the technological foresight which will help the company to with dealing with problems like system errors in the future and restructuring the HR system and implementing team leadership in teams, this will improve the performance of the management and the organization tenfold.
Narrowed List of Alternatives
- Technical Foresight, this will help the company identify the areas of strategic research; it will also help the company by keeping it informed about the new emerging technologies.
- Building Strong Communication, this will build trust among the employees and they will be able to communicate with each other more easily. And this will avoid problems like this in the future.
- Implementing Teams & Team Leadership, with team leadership it will help to promote employee relationships with the superiors. The leaders also help the employees of the company work together to help create a horizontal structure of the company, start change and help with improving the performance of the company.
Identify and Asses Risks
It needs to be remembered that any alternative has risks and for efficient implementation of the alternative to the solution, the management needs to identify the risks. All the six alternatives are not without any sort of risks. The alternatives that have been selected for risk assessments are quality improvement, restructuring the HR system and technical innovation.
When talking about technical innovation, there can be risk in it because not all kinds of innovations are good for the company. Wrong sort of innovation can cause the company its time and money.
When we talk about quality improvement it is not without risks either. It can lead to management have expectations which are unrealistically high for the employees, the employees are dissatisfied with other aspects of the organization, and the management of the institution waits for big and dramatic innovations to occur (David, 2006).
And when talking about restructuring the HR System of the company it has some risks as well. Usually when the HR system is being restructured it is faced with two challenges, these challenges are: 1) Internal challenge; these kinds of challenges are organizational challenges. Internal challenges for example would include union, information systems, organizational conflicts between the management and the employees. 2) External challenge; these kinds of challenges exist due to the continuous changing of the environment and the management has no control over it. Change in the institution’s environment actually evolves at different kinds of rates. External challenges would include workforce diversity, technology, economics and government (David, 2006).
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To mitigate these risks, what the management needs to do is to develop and implement a strategic plan which will help to achieve the goals and objectives. The strategic plan will help the company by identifying the risks and opportunities related to the alternatives and it will make the decision making easy for the head of the company and the management would need to create the optimal solution to mitigate the above risks (Daft, 1997).
Make the Decision
It is very important for the management of the company to see and the pros and cons and then makes their decision. Decision for the existing problems is the complete implementing teams along with total quality management. The strategic role that is needed to be applied by the company would be quality control programs, because it will help the company achieve its set target and satisfy their customers as well as it employees inevitably. Quality control programs will make sure that there is:
- Total commitment by the management to quality of the product
- Devoted to prevention and defects (Daft, 1997)
- By the use of feedback the management can focus of product quality measurement
- There is reward quality for the employees to make sure that they remain motivated
- Innovation and continuous improvement in the company’s products.
- Increase in performance (Daft, 1997)
- Quality training of the workers and employees at all levels of the company.
Implementation of teams and leadership is a good way through which the managerial system can be restructured. It is the best way the company can implement leadership in the company so that it helps with the quality of the products, because it is one of the ways the company will be able to empower its employees and this is going to motivate them and hence the productivity is going to increase along with continuous improvement which is going to improve the quality of the company’s products and this is going to satisfy the customer and in return the customer is going to remain loyal to the company. (Daft, 1997)
Developing and Implementing the Solution
The developing of the plan will be done by the project managers and they are the ones who will be developing the long term objectives as well. Long term planning includes strategic goals and plans that extend to as far as 5 years or may be more into the future. Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc. has also established certain long-term objectives for itself and they are working very hard to achieve those objectives and to make their company a successful organization strategically. The objectives are as follows:-
- Aims to provide high quality products and services to its customers
- To train and develop the employees for future changes
- Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc. strives to establish itself in every market niche.
- To ensure that the employees are motivated and empowered (Daft, 1997)
The next stage is the implementation of the plan. Remington Peckinpaw Davis Inc. is one of those companies that meet their customer’s needs in an economic and convenient way and along with a clear and effective communication. When the company is applying implementing plans there are some surprises and disappointments that the company would have to face.
The plan is going to be implemented from 1st of August’09 and will be carried out for the next 8 months; it will end on 1st of April’10. All the factors that can lead to setback in the implementation of business plan will be minimized. The entire implementation plan business development will be as follows:-
In the first stage there will be will be the selection of team member that will be involved with the implementation of the plan. This aspect involves careful selection because there is need to select people with business experience with ability to problem solve situations when the arise unexpectedly.
In the next stage is to set goals that are needed to be achieved. And this is supposed to be done by the head of the oversight committee. And when setting goals it is important to consult the HR professional and implement the innovative principles of HR strategy.
In the third stage actions are needed to be developed. The action plan is going to be developed by the heads. As we know that action plans are made for both the employees and the departments.
In the next stage the progress is going to be reviewed, a periodic progress is important to ensure that actions plans are indeed working. These reviews can occur informally between mangers with their subordinates or teams, these checks will make sure that whether employees and the company are meeting their targeted objectives or not.
The timeline for the implementation plan is as follows:
|Event||Start Date||End Date|
|Setting of Goals & Objectives for Quality Control Programs||1st August’09||10th August’09|
|Selection of the Team Members||11st August’09||25th August’09|
|Distribution of the Work Activities||26th august’09||26th September’09|
|Achievement of the Goals||27th September’09||27th October’09|
|Setting Of Action Plans Regarding Quality Control||28th October’09||28th November’09|
|Carrying Out The Action Plans||29thNovember’09||29th December’09|
|Evaluating The Progress||30th December’09||15th January’10|
|Corrective Actions Are Carried Out||16th January’10||16th Febuary’10|
|Reviewing The Progress||17th Febuary’10||1st April’10|
Outcome is the end result i.e. the outcome of any activity being done at any specific time. the measurement metrics that have been selected by the company are quantitative metrics, why the use quantitative metrics, because it would meet the company’s required specification, plus it would deliver the project on time and it would cost less for the company. The quantitative metrics would include the following:-
- It would help to meet the financial targets of RPD.
- It would be able to cut costs and help the company to meet its targeted goals and objectives
- Improvement in the products and processes (Drucker, 2007)
- Positive outcomes from effective and efficient use of resources
- Customer satisfaction (Drucker, 2007)
- Introduction of new products
- Able to fulfill the requirements in connection with administration, direction, and leadership
- Making judgments and decisions (Drucker, 2007)
Evaluate the Results
The results of the project implementation and the solution of the regarded problems may be evaluated only after the proposed solutions and principles are implemented. The fact is that, this is the only way for the accurate evaluation. Anyway, improvement of poor communication, teamwork and quality improvement will be able to resolve numerous problems linked with cooperation among departments. If the potential of the company will be realized, and the other successful projects will be implemented, the solutions will be regarded as successful and helpful. And when evaluating the results the company would need feedbacks and control. There are three kinds of control and they are annual plan control, profitability control and strategic control. The evaluation of the results would be based on:-
- Customer satisfaction: customer satisfaction can be defined as the satisfaction they receive from using the company’s products and services. The company must also remember and realize the fact that managers can also manipulate their ratings on the customers (Drucker, 2007).
- Costs and benefits: the cut down is the company’s overhead costs would mean that the plan is working and it will help the company to become more efficient (Drucker, 2007).
- Improvement in the Performance of the Employees: the evaluation will help the company in identifying that whether the company’s performance along with its employees is improving or not. If the implementation of the plan is successful then the employees will be motivated and hence their performance would improve and this will improve the performance of the organization (Drucker, 2007).
The business plan shows that the company will be able to achieve its target on time and the efficiency and the performance of the company’s will improve by tenfold. It should be noted that achievement of organizational objective would be difficult to realize without proper identification of business program. It has been identified that there are several alternatives that can help the company by improving its technology and can improve the poor communication. The best alternatives that can help the company are quality improvement and implementing teams and team leadership.
- Drucker, P F (2007), Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. Transaction Publishers
- David, F. R. (2006). Strategic management: Concepts and cases. New York: Prentice Hall.
- Daft, R L. (1997) ‘Management’. The Dryden Press.
- O’Brien, J. A. (2004), Management Information Systems: Managing Information Technology in the Business Enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill
Table 1. Issues and Opportunities Identification
|Issues||Opportunities||Reference to Specific |
|Ill – equipped staff of the IT department which is not able to handle problems||Training and developing the staff so that they are able to any problems that arise in the future.||Training and Development represent a planned effort by an organization to facilitate employees’ learning of job-related behaviors. (Daft, pp. 431- 433).|
|Technological errors (like bugs) within the system have created a great deal of problems for the company’s customers.||Improving the systems technology so that problems like these don’t happen in the future again||IT can be used strategically to improve business performance in many ways other than in supporting reengineering initiatives. (O’Brien, pp. 54)|
|Being over budget can cause a company a great deal of problems||The company can start using management tools which will help the management in creating and maintaining their budget. It will also help to allocate resources fairly within the company.||The budgeting process is an integral part of the planning process and is concerned with how budgets are formulated and implemented within the organization. (Daft, pp. 671 – 673)|
|Competing and changing priorities have led to delays and cost issues||Reducing the project duration is clearly reflected as a need and opportunity in the scenario where the project is running behind schedule||A project cannot be successful unless the priorities are established and agreed to by the various groups involved, particularly the client. (Gray and Larson, pp. 103-105) |
Sometimes there is a need for reducing duration such as when projects get delayed and must be gotten back on schedule (p. 282). There are a variety of techniques to reduce the duration of a project that is running late such as “fast-tracking” (p. 285),”Critical Chain” (p.285), Reducing Project Scope, or Compromise Quality (p. 287).
|Communication and cooperation issues are regarded to be the most essential for the RDP. These problems are the main reasons of delays and failures||Increasing the trust level is the crucial task for solving the problem of miscommunication||Amy project cannot be solved without proper communication and planning, linked with inter-departmental activity. (Ebook Collection: Chapter 8, 2006)|
Table 2. Stakeholder Perspectives and Ethical Dilemmas
|Stakeholder Perspective and Ethical Dilemmas|
|Stakeholder Groups with Competing Values |
List: Group X
|The Interests, Rights, and |
Values of Each Group
|The Ethical Dilemma Based on the Competing Values|
|Michelle Cavanaugh, Chief Operating Officer||The only interest is the workability of the project, and the successful and effective activity of the company||Ethical dilemma is the necessity of uniting the different teams in a single project|
|Harlan Davis, Project Manager||Make the project implementation effective, and allocate as much resources as possible for it||Ethical dilemma is the necessity to share resources for other projects and the general activity of the company|
|eRPD Oversight Committee||workability of the project, and the successful and effective activity of the company||No dilemmas|
Table 3. Analysis of Alternative Solutions
Table 4. Risk Assessment and Mitigation
|Risk Assessment and Mitigation|
|Alternative||Risks and Probability||Consequence and Severity||Mitigation Techniques and Strategies|
|Technical Innovation|| ||The consequences of these risks would be that it will not be able to increase the efficiency of the company and it will not be able to benefit the business.|| |
|Quality Improvement|| ||The severity of these risks would be that The middle management of the institution becomes dissatisfied due to loss of authority and the employees are not motivated and empowered and in return they become dissatisfied and there is a decrease in the productivity|| |
|Restructuring HR System|| ||It can create financial problems for the company. A company loses all the money they have invested in an employee. When an employee leaves the company|| |
| || || |
Table 5. Pros and Cons of Alternative Solutions
|Technical Innovation|| || |
|Quality Improvement|| || |
|Restructuring HR System|| || |
Table 6. Optimal Solution Implementation Plan
|Action Item DeliverableFinal Optimal Solution||Timeline||Who is Responsible|
|Identify the problems on hand||1stAugust’09 – 15thAugust’09||Mark Peter, Chief Information Officer|
|Development of Improvement Plan||15thAugust’09 – 15thSeptember’09||Michelle Cavanaugh, Chief Operating Officer|
|Selection of Teams||October’09||Harlan Davis, Project Manager|
|Setting Goals||November’09||eRPD Oversight Committee|
|Developing Actions||December’09||Michelle Cavanaugh, Chief Operating Officer|
|Corrective Action||December’09||Project Managers|
|Implementation of the plan||January’10||Project Managers|
|Reviewing Progress||April’10||Project Managers|
Table 7. Evaluation of Results
|Increase in growth||By 15% annually||To complete projects completely (100%)|
|Increase in employees performance||By 40%||To empower and motivate them|
|Targeted goals of the company achieved||By 25% annually||Increase in efficiency by 110%|