1 . If you were Palmer at the end of the case, how would you respond? If I were in Palmer’s position, I would accept Sands and Olds choice and move on as the bottom line is to work towards accomplishing the organization’s goals. Considering the toll the situation had on Olds, it would be only fair to grant his wish and ensure that things get back right on track. In addition, I would also persuade Sands to find someone who has a skill set close to Olds, so that the slipping schedule can be brought back on track and ensure that the project is completed successfully.
I would also convey my message that I did not appreciate a key resource being pulled mid way to work on another project to the senior management so that this situation can be avoided If possible in future.
2. What, if anything, could Palmer have done to avoid losing Olds? Palmer should have engaged In a conversation with the Project Sponsor to explain the importance of having Olds on the Johnsonville Project, which may have encouraged Crosby to look for another suitable employee.
Considering the basic nature of the Johnsonville project and the high profile status of Crosby’s project, it akes more sense for Olds to move to Crosby’s project keeping the company’s goals In mind. In addition, Crosby seemed to be relationship oriented, indeed he gave his team some rewards such as lunch at a good restaurant, game of golf, tickets to the baseball games.
In contrast, Palmer refused to let Olds leave early for a baseball game which might have soured his relationship with Olds.Palmer should have had a dialogue with Olds when he saw that there was tension at home due to Olds’ after hours and tried to come up with a solution. For example, bringing in a junior employee to help Olds in the not so critical tasks so that he did not feel verburdened, try to understand/accept the fact that Auditing was not the area where Olds wanted to work and find someone with comparable skills to replace him.
3. What advantages and disadvantages of a matrix type organization are apparent from this case?Advantages of a matrix organization include: o Efficient utilization of resources: Resources are shared as one account manager managed 8-12 clients and had senior and staff accountants assigned to his,’ her project. Also, Sands took care to assign staff to multiple projects under the same account creates accountability and better coordination amongst team members and elps to keep the team focused on project goals. Easier post-project transition: Once the Johnsonville assignment is complete, Olds can get back to his functional group or continue to work on Crosbys project if it has a longer timeline.
Flexibility: Due to the matrix structure of the organization, both Crosby and Palmer could use Olds’ expertise on their projects and the account managers had control over their projects. Disadvantages include: o Emergence of conflicts: Since Crosby wanted to use Olds who was already assigned to work on Palmer’s project, it created issues in Palmer’s project such as falling behind on schedule. Also, the issue became personal when Palmer obliged to allow Olds to work extra time for Crosby and when Crosby did not return the favor.The dysfunctional conflict escalated Olds was consistently late to work on Palmer’s o Creation of a stressful environment: It became stressful for both project. Palmer and Olds as palmer was worried about the project falling behind schedule and Olds was facing tension at home due to extra work hours. Olds was unable to focus as he had to switch gears constantly between consulting and auditing.
4. What could the management at M&M do to more effectively to manage situations like this? First, management has to identify the skill gaps that are critical for the successful completion of demanding projects.In this case, the skills of Olds were highly required across multiple projects. To fill the gap, the organization has to hire professional who have skill sets similar to Olds. In addition, it is essential to establish the importance of the project to the firm’s success as well as the percentage of core work that the projects involve. This will dictate who and how to allocate resources, both human and physical, to ensure successful of the projects. Open and timely communication is essential to resolve any conflict.
While Olds should have voiced his concern at the beginning of the conflict, it was also the Office Manager’s responsibility to ensure that personal assigned to various projects are performing in a safe environment. Palmer should have also voiced his concerns when conflicts started. Overall, avoiding to voice concerns will result in the creation of conflicts which will amplify overtime. Thus, it is important to set a tone where a culture of communication. Finally, it is essential that upper management be on the same page when it comes to resource allocation. This will avoid this kind of situations.