Evaluating Functional Employee On Project

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8-1 Beta Company has decided to modify its wage and salary administration program whereby line managers are evaluated for promotion and merit increases based on how well they have lived up to the commitments that they made to the project managers. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach?

8-2 How should a project manager handle a situation in which the functional employee (or functional manager) appears to have more loyalty to his profession, discipline, or expertise than to the project? Can a project manager also have this loyalty, say, on an R&D project?

8-3 Most wage and salary administrators contend that project management organizational structures must be "married" to the personnel evaluation process because personnel are always concerned with how they will be evaluated. Furthermore, converting from a traditional structure to a project management structure cannot be accomplished without first considering performance evaluation.

What are your feelings on this?

TABLE 8-4. CODE OF ETHICS FOR PROJECT MANAGERS

PREAMBLE: Project Managers, in the pursuit of their profession, affect the quality of life for all people in our society. Therefore, it is vital that Project Managers conduct their work in an ethical manner to earn and maintain the confidence of team members, colleagues, employees, clients and the public.

ARTICLE I: Project Managers shall maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct.

a. Accept responsibility for their actions.

b. Undertake projects and accept responsibility only if qualified by training or experience, or after full disclosure to their employers or clients of pertinent qualifications.

c. Maintain their professional skills at the state -of-the-art and recognize the importance of continued personal development and education.

d. Advance the integrity and prestige of the profession by practicing in a dignified manner.

e. Support this code and encourage colleagues and co-workers to act in accordance with this code.

f. Support the professional society by actively participating and encouraging colleagues and coworkers to participate.

g. Obey the laws of the country in which work is being performed.

ARTICLE II: Project Managers shall, in their work:

a. Provide the necessary project leadership to promote maximum productivity while striving to minimize costs.

b. Apply state-of-the-art management tools and techniques to ensure schedules are met and the project is appropriately planned and coordinated.

c. Treat fairly all project team members, colleagues and co-workers, regardless of race, religion, sex, age or national origin.

d. Protect project team members from physical and mental harm.

e. Provide suitable working conditions and opportunities for project team members.

f. Seek, accept and offer honest criticism of work, and properly credit the contibution of others.

g. Assist project team members, colleagues and co-workers in their professional development.

ARTICLE III: Project Managers shall, in their relations with employers and clients:

a. Act as faithful agents or trustees for their employers or clients in professional or business matters.

b. Keep information on the business affairs or technical processes of an employer or client in confidence while employed, and later, until such information is properly released.

c. Inform their employers, clients, professional societies or public agencies of which they are members or to which they may make any presentations, of any circumstances that could lead to a conflict of interest.

d. Neither give nor accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, payment or service of more than nominal value to or from those having business relationships with their employers or clients.

e. Be honest and realistic in reporting project cost, schedule and performance.

ARTICLE IV: Project Managers shall, in fulfilling their responsibilities to the community:

a. Protect the safety, health and welfare of the public and speak out against abuses in those areas affecting the public interest.

b. Seek to extend public knowledge and appreciation of the project management profession and its achievements.

8-4 As part of the evaluation process for functional employees, each project manager submits a written, confidential evaluation report to the employee's department manager who, in turn, makes the final judgment. The employee is permitted to see only the evaluation from his department manager. Assume that the average department merit increase is 7 percent, and that the employee could receive the merit increases shown in the following table. How would he respond in each case?

Project Manager's Evaluation

Merit Increase, %

Credit or Blame to

Reason

p.m.

Fct. Mgr.

Excellent

5

Excellent

7

Excellent

9

Average

5

Average

7

Average

9

Poor

5

Poor

7

Poor

9

8-5 Should the evaluation form in Figure 8-4 be shown to the employees?

8-6 Does a functional employee have the right to challenge any items in the project manager's nonconfidential evaluation form?

8-7 Some people contend that functional employees should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the project manager after project termination. Design an evaluation form for this purpose.

8-8 Some executives feel that evaluation forms should not include cooperation and attitude. The executives feel that a functional employee will always follow the instructions of the functional manager, and therefore attitude and cooperation are unnecessary topics. Does this kind of thinking also apply to the indirect evaluation forms that are filled out by the project managers?

8-9 Consider a situation in which the project manager (a generalist) is asked to provide an evaluation of a functional employee (a specialist). Can the project manager effectively evaluate the functional employee on technical performance? If not, then on what information can the project manager base his evaluation? Can a grade-7 generalist evaluate a grade-12 specialist?

8-10 Gary has been assigned as a part-time, assistant project manager. Gary's duties are split between assistant project management and being a functional employee. In addition, Gary reports both vertically to his functional manager and horizontally to a project manager. As part of his project responsibilities, Gary must integrate activities between his department and two other departments within his divison. His responsibilities also include writing a nonconfidential performance evaluation for all functional employees from all three departments that are assigned to his project. Can Gary effectively and honestly evaluate functional employees in his own department—people with whom he will be working side by side when the project is over? Should the project manager come to his rescue? Suppose Gary is a part-time project manager instead of a part-time assistant project manager. Can anyone come to his rescue now?

8-11 The following question was asked of executives: How do you know when to cut off research? The answers given: That's a good question, a very good question, and some people don't know when to cut it off. You have to have a feel; in some cases it depends on how much resource you have and whether you have enough resources to take a chance on sustaining research that may appear to be heading for a dead end. You don't know sometimes whether you're heading down the wrong path or not; sometimes it's pretty obvious you ought to shift directions—you've gone about as far as you can or you've taken it far enough that you can demonstrate to your own satisfaction that you just can't get there from here, or it's going to be very costly. You may discover that there are more productive ways to get around the barrier; you're always looking for faster ways. And it depends entirely on how creative the person is, whether he has tunnel vision, a very narrow vision, or whether he is fairly flexible in his conceptual thinking so that he can conceive of better ways to solve the problem. Discuss the validity of these remarks.

8-12 In a small company, can a functional manager act as director of engineering and director of project management at the same time?

8-13 In 1982, an electrical equipment manufacturer decentralized the organization, allowing each division manager to set priorities for the work in his division. The division manager of the R&D division selected as his number one priority project the development of low-cost methods for manufacturing. This project required support from the manufacturing division. The division manager for manufacturing did not assign proper resources, claiming that the results of such a project would not be realized for at least five years, and that he (the manufacturing manager) was worried only about the immediate profits. Can this problem be resolved and divisional decentralization still be maintained?

8-14 The executives of a company that produces electro-optical equipment for military use found it necessary to implement project management using a matrix. The project managers reported to corporate sales, and the engineers with the most expertise were promoted to project engineering. After the first year of operation, it became obvious to the executives that the engineering functional managers were not committed to the projects. The executives then made a critical decision. The functional employees selected by the line managers to serve on projects would report as a solid line to the project engineer and dotted to the line manager. The project engineers, who were selected for their technical expertise, were allowed to give technical direction and monetary rewards to the employees. Can this situation work? What happens if an employee has a technical question? Can he go to his line manager? Should the employees return to their former line managers at project completion? What are the authority/responsibility problems with this structure? What are the long-term implications?

8-15 Consider the four items listed on page 137 that describe what happens when a matrix goes out of control. Which of these end up creating the greatest difficulty for the company? for the project managers? for the line managers? for executives?

8-16 As a functional employee, the project manager tells you, "Sign these prints or I'll fire you from this project." How should this situation be handled?

8-17 How efficient can project management be in a unionized, immobile manpower environment?

8-18 Corporate salary structures and limited annual raise allocations often prevent proper project management performance rewards. Explain how each of the following could serve as motivational factors:

a. Job satisfaction b. Personal recognition c. Intellectual growth

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Project Management Made Easy

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