Q How can we resolve these problems that youve mentioned

A. "I wish I knew!" Quasar Communications, Inc.

Quasar Communications, Inc. (QCI), is a thirty-year-old, $350 million division of Communication Systems International, the world's largest communications company. QCI employs about 340 people of which more than 200 are engineers. Ever since the company was founded thirty years ago, engineers have held every major position within the company, including president and vice president. The vice president for accounting and finance, for example, has an electrical engineering degree from Purdue and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard.

QCI, up until 1986, was a traditional organization where everything flowed up and down. In 1986, QCI hired a major consulting company to come in and train all of their personnel in project management. Because of the reluctance of the line managers to accept formalized project management, QCI adopted an informal, fragmented project management structure where the project managers had lots of responsibility but very little authority. The line managers were still running the show.

In 1989, QCI had grown to a point where the majority of their business base revolved around twelve large customers and thirty to forty small customers. The time had come to create a separate line organization for project managers, where each individual could be shown a career path in the company and the company could benefit by creating a body of planners and managers dedicated to the completion of a project. The project management group was headed up by a vice president and included the following full-time personnel:

• Four individuals to handle the twelve large customers

• Five individuals for the thirty to forty small customers

• Three individuals for R&D projects

• One individual for capital equipment projects

The nine customer project managers were expected to handle two to three projects at one time if necessary. Because the customer requests usually did not come in at the same time, it was anticipated that each project manager would handle only one project at a time. The R&D and capital equipment project managers were expected to handle several projects at once.

In addition to the above personnel, the company also maintained a staff of four product managers who controlled the profitable off-the-shelf product lines. The product managers reported to the vice president of marketing and sales.

In October 1989, the vice president for project management decided to take a more active role in the problems that project managers were having and held counseling sessions for each project manager. The following major problem areas were discovered.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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