Managing a project is one of the most complicated tasks in terms of the number of tasks to handle, the range of responsibilities to manage and the amount of possible conflicts to address being truly huge. However, by splitting the process of project implementation into several phases, one will be capable of making the specified issue more manageable.
As a result, the outcomes of the project may be improved significantly or, at the very least, analyzed thoroughly to retrieve essential information about the emerging issues and the ways of avoiding them in the future. As the analysis of the HighLEARN project management shows, several crucial mistakes have been made on certain phases, yet the issue can be addressed by reconsidering the leadership strategy and changing the existing information management approach.
The idea of integrating the latest technological advances with the traditional approaches to promote learning opportunities is quite harmless. Moreover, the specified step could have opened a plethora of new opportunities for the organization in terms of information management and communication among staff.
Because of the need to upgrade the company’s services in accordance with the latest requirements, a company must carry out consistent and regular staff training sessions (Estrom & Estrom, 2012); therefore, the project, which was aimed at integrating the latest technological innovations into the organization’s communication framework, was a welcome change of pace (Moszkiewicz & Rostek, 2011).
Another crucial stage of project management, planning of the High LEARN Project was performed in a rather skillful manner, as the schedule of the key stages to be carried out can be defined as rather accurate and elaborate. The fact that the key stakeholders were listed along with the evaluation of their power and support (labeled as either high or low) shows that the project managers have adopted a very responsible approach towards planning HighLEARN.
In addition, the identification of the potential stakeholders’ attitude towards the implementation of the project (i.e., marking the stakeholders under analysis as a strong supporter, a regular one and a neutral observer) shows that the planning of HighLEARN was conducted in an appropriate manner.
The flaws in the overall management of the Hightower Global Solutions project come out in full blue in the course of its execution. Indeed, a closer look at the subject matter will show that the specified stage was the point, at which the project started falling apart. It would be wrong to claim that there has a certain aspect of the project that turned out to be implemented in a particularly poor manner; instead, every single stage of the project completion evidently lacked a certain element.
The latter can be defined as the motivation of the participants involved; as the study showed, the people involved in the project were barely interested in its outcomes, which must be the key problem regarding its execution.
Studies show that the lack of motivation will inevitably lead to a significant drop in performance quality no matter what tools are used for keeping a project efficient: “The result shows that there are significant effects between variables incentives (salary, job security, working group, and achievement) and performance (quality and quantity of work, level of attendance, and time management)” (Aisha, Hardjomidjojo, & Yassierli, 2013, p. 608).
Although the issue of motivation is rarely mentioned as a part of the project management process, it still remains an essential part thereof, as it helps maintain the efficacy of teamwork high.
Another issue that must have affected the implementation of the project in a negative manner concerns the control over the execution. As the case study shows, there was little to no monitoring of the training process, in the course of which the staff was supposed to acquire new skills. As a result, the effects of the training were miniscule.
It could be argued that the staff members should have been responsible enough to assume the role of active learners and acquire the necessary skills in an appropriate manner. However, one must bear in mind that the skill of active and consistent learning, as well as the quality such as responsibility, particularly, the corporate one, have to be promoted by the company leader (Michalache, 2013).
Indeed, recent studies (Pearson, Seyfang, & Jenkins, 2013) show that the principles of CSR, which promote responsible attitude towards one’s professional roles and tasks and is defined as “the companies’ (more moral) obligation to protect and improve the state of society, both now and in the future through social actions, ensuring fair and sustainable outcome for the various stakeholders involved” (Michalache, 2013, p. 131), may assist the company manager in upgrading the staff’s skills.
Seeing that the case study does not feature any attempts of the managers to introduce the employees to the principles of the CSR, it can be assumed that the executing stage of the project management was very flawed. Particularly, no significant basis was created for executing the project; as a result, the essential processes thereof started falling apart before any tangible effects could be noted.
The strategy designed for monitoring and control of the HighLEARN project can be listed among the obvious advantages thereof. Indeed, a closer look at the chart provided by the company’s analysts will show that the project’s actual costs never exceeded the planned ones, which is quite an accomplishment, given the unpredictability of the expenditures in the specified case.
The specified phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that the company is well aware of what resources it has at its disposal. Moreover, the project managers clearly have a very good grasp of what areas need funding to propel the HighLEARN project and make it viable.
However, there are a few dents in the financial aspects of the project functioning, which may lead to questioning HIghLEARN’s actual existence. Particularly, one must admit that the project managers have been defaulting on their payments for quite a while. The maturity of some of the debts that the organization currently has signals that changes have to be made to the company’s financial policy. Additionally, the firm could have reconsidered its insurance strategy to be able to handle the debt issue in an adequate manner.
Moreover, the aforementioned issue concerning debts points at the poor use of the company’s financial resources. Although the latter were allocated in a reasonable manner at the first stage of the project implementation, the further steps clearly required corrections to be made to the company’s financial policy. The project members, however, disregarded the change to alter the existing financial strategy, which resulted in a steep increase in costs and, thus, significant financial complexities.
The closure of the project can also be defined as somewhat flawed, as it clearly lacked a certain sense of completion and satisfaction. According to the evidence provided in the case study, the participants of the project did not feel that the key goals of the project were accomplished and that the effects of the strategies used were positive.
Indeed, the study displays rather low rates in acquiring and training new skills that the staff was supposed to have by the end of the course. The above-mentioned outcomes can hardly be considered unexpected; quite on the contrary, the constant hiccups in the project management, which the managers were experiencing throughout the process, were clearly the sign of the flaws in the very design of HighLEARN.
While being a generally positive idea, which may have led to a range of outcomes that would have been favorable to the company and its staff, the poor execution thereof has created additional problems for the organization, triggering severe financial issues. The case in point, therefore, can be viewed as a prime example of the necessity to comply with the tenets of the project management theories.
Moreover, the specified scenario displays the need to address the emerging issues at every stage of the project implementation, therefore, following the five stages principle. In addition, the need to carry out a proper allocation of the existing resources can be considered one of the key lessons to be learned from the scenario in question.
Unless every single opportunity and threat are identified, a project is bound to face a consistent risk. The promotion of a more cohesive leadership approach and the integration of the CSR principles into the workplace environment, therefore, are strongly advised in the above-mentioned case.
Aisha, N., Hardjomidjojo, P., & Yassierli, A. (2013,). Effects of working ability, working condition, motivation and incentive on employees multi-dimensional performance. International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology, 4(6),605–609.
Estrom, E., & Estrom, P. E. (2012). Learning outcomes of a work-based training programme: The significance of managerial support. European Journal of Training and Development, 38(3), 180–197.
Moszkiewicz, J. & Rostek, K. (2011). Functional enhancements to project management information systems. Foundations of Management, 3(1), 47–66.
Pearson, R. O., Seyfang , R., & Jenkins, G. (2013). Corporate responsibility and labour rights: Codes of conduct in the global economy. New York City, New York: Earthscan