SELLING EXECUTIVES ON PROJECT MANAGEMENT 4
It is normal for many companies and organizations to have petprojects which are supported by a few members of executive teams. Inmost cases these types of projects do not follow the due diligence inproject approval. The continuity of a pet project in an organizationdepends mostly on the authority an executive(s) have to influenceproject’s implementation (Camillus, 1986). The case study of theLevon Corporation is a good example of what happens in manyorganizations.
Why executives didn’t listen to their employees
One of the reasons why the two executives were notwilling to listen to their counterparts was because they wanted tostand out from the rest or their colleagues in the company. One ofthese could be rising up in the company’s hierarchy throughpromotion. This is why they were courageous enough to sponsor the petproject with cash from their functional areas.
It has been alleged that if these two executives weresuccessful in these projects they could have more power than therest. The urge for more authority over their colleagues made themignore their advice and push on with the project. Their status andinfluence could rise as well, whether there was promotion or not.They could have more say in the running of their functional areas, ifnot the whole company.
The other reason could be greed. This could be supported bythe fact that there were clear reasons from all corners including theconsultant’s that the pet projects could not succeed. Theirestimate was that they could recover the cost of their R&D in theshortest time possible. This belief could not allow them to stop theprojects even after the second gate review meeting which proposed thecancellation of the project.
The executive could also have feared the competitive biddingthat Levon Corporation would be subjected to, if they listened totheir colleagues. This incompetence was based on the widening gapbetween Levon Corporation and other players in terms of projectmanagement understanding, where it was lagging behind. In additionthe income stream was very low. These issues could have knocked theproject down, if they listened to their colleagues.
They could also felt humiliated if the project wascancelled yet they had already sponsored it. This could be soembarrassing tops them, bearing in mind they were among the senior inthe executive.
The executive listened to the consultant since they hopedhe could give positive indications on why the project was tocontinue. They also hired the consultant to do the SWOT analysis(Freeman, 2010) for the Levon Corporation in relation to the petproject.
Strategies That I Could Have Taken
One of the strategies I would use is to have the executiverepresentatives participate in my research. Involving them in myinvestigation and presentation would act to convince the whole teamthat it wasn’t necessary for the project to continue.
In addition, I would have a case study of similarproject carried out by another company which was in the samesituation as the Levon Corporation. The result of the pet project inthe case study would have made the executive think twice on thefeasibility of the project.
The consultant did not clearly bring out the impacts of theprojects on the executive, and more so, on the company. I wouldemphasize on this and let the executive see the bigger picture of theproject failure. This could be done by illustrating using figures(Tebbit et al, 2007).
Although neither of the two could have been sacked but theyfaced the humiliating effect of having their bonuses deducted toclear the $ 2 million.
Camillus, J. C. (1986). Strategic planning and management control:Systems for survival and success. Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books.
Freeman, R. E. (2010). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tebbit, K., & Great Britain. (2007). Review of management andservices of the House of Commons: Report. London: Stationery Office.