Managing Project Changes:
Why is change management a necessary component of project management?
Consider the given case study, critically analyse and identify key issues that could lead to any necessary changes in the project.
What processes or strategies do you think would work best to perform the identified change requests from the case study?
The Lyle Construction Project
At 6:00 P.M. on Thursday in late October 1998, Don Jung, an Atlay Company project manager (assigned to the Lyle contract) sat in his office thinking about the comments brought up during a meeting with his immediate superior earlier that afternoon. During that meeting Fred Franks, the supervisor of project managers, criticized Don for not promoting a cooperative attitude between him and the func- tional managers. Fred Franks had a high-level meeting with the vice presidents in charge of the various functional departments (i.e., engineering, construction, cost control, scheduling, and purchasing) earlier that day. One of these vice presidents, John Mabby (head of the purchasing department) had indicated that his depart- ment, according to his latest projections, would overrun their man-hour allocation by 6,000 hours. This fact had been relayed to Don by Bob Stewart (the project purchasing agent assigned to the Lyle Project) twice in the past, but Don had not seriously considered the request because some of the purchasing was now going to be done by the subcontractor at the job site (who had enough man-hours to cover this additional work). John Mabby complained that, even though the sub- contractor was doing some of the purchasing in the field, his department still would overrun its man-hour allocation. He also indicated to Fred Franks that Don Jung had better do something about this man-hour problem now.
At this point in the meeting, the vice president of engineering, Harold Mont, stated that he had experienced the same problem in that Don Jung seemed to ignore their requests for additional man-hours. Also at this meeting the various vice presidents indicated that Don Jung had not been operating within the established standard company procedures. In an effort to make up for time lost due to initial delays that occurred in the process development stage of this project, Don and his project team had been getting the various functional people working on the contract to “cut cor- ners” and in many cases to buck the standard operating procedures of their respective functional departments in an effort to save time. His actions and the actions of his project team were alienating the vice presidents in charge of the functional departments. During this meeting, Fred Franks received a good deal of criticism due to this fact. He was also told that Don Jung had better shape up, because it was the consensus opinion of these vice presidents that his method of operating might seriously hamper the project’s ability to finish on time and within budget. It was very important that this job be completed in accordance with the Lyle requirements since they would be building two more similar plants within the next ten years. A good effort on this job could further enhance Atlay’s chances for being awarded the next two jobs.
Fred Franks related these comments and a few of his own to Don Jung. Fred seriously questioned Don’s ability to manage the project effectively and told him so. However, Fred was willing to allow Don to remain on the job if he would begin to operate in accordance with the various functional departments’ standard operating procedures and if he would listen and be more attentive to the com- ments from the various functional departments and do his best to cooperate with them in the best interests of the company and the project itself.