Project Management Scenario
You are a manager at Lectocomp Electronics Manufacturing Company, a company that produces a number of different computer boards used in various products produced by their customers. At the company’s quarterly meeting, the head of marketing described a new product to be introduced in the first quarter of the next fiscal year, approximately twelve months from now. The product will be a device used in different medical products. As a result, any work done on that product falls under various government regulations. This regulation aspect is new to Lectocomp Manufacturing. This product will open new markets for the sales channel, lay the foundation for add-on products, and generate new revenues. You have only seen preliminary sketches of the new product, but you are very excited by it.
The project will require participation from most of the company’s departments: design, engineering, production, purchasing, shipping, sales, and marketing departments. Lectocomp Manufacturing uses another company to produce the prototype boards; the final boards will be manufactured in-house. Although this is a "mission-critical" project, no additional staff will be added. People will be expected to balance their project responsibilities with their day-to-day work (including other projects). The project manager is to be selected from the engineering department. This is a first, as the project managers normally come from the marketing department. A project of this scale has never been managed by an in-house person before. Historically, a project manager/consultant has been brought in. You were hired as an engineer with Lectocomp three months ago, and this week, you were told that you have been selected to be the project manager. In your prior job, you were a project manager for most of the company’s large initiatives—most of which were quite successful.
You have experience in manufacturing and medical products but have not done any product work since you started at Lectocomp. You have been involved in some engineering clean-up activities and have not worked with many people outside your department yet. The company has not historically had strong processes to follow nor has communication been a core competency. However, six months ago, a new CEO was brought on board who has focused on improving the organization’s skills in those areas. She is the leader who has insisted on managing the project internally. She is also somewhat familiar with the regulated environment and requires that you follow all the strict, formal processes that will need to be implemented as the project progresses. She is in the process of interviewing candidates for a new quality manager position. This manager will be responsible for implementing the required processes, controls, and metrics; you will be working closely with that person.