eadership Development Centre (LDC) Case Study Analysis
Leadership Development Centre (LDC) is a Midwestern company which specialized in training of mid-level managers. The firm wanted to launch a training program for senior level managers. The argument behind this move was that this would increase the likelihood of them (senior managers) recommending and approving training for mid-level managers.
Despite mixed feelings from her peers, Pam - the project manager was able to get approval for its implementation. To ensure its success, Pam established three metrics to be used. The first was monitoring the number of participants with the estimation being that the project would need 18 participants to breakeven. Satisfaction would be measured through surveys. Overtime, the program success would be evaluated by establishing whether there were subsequent participants from the same companies attending the program.
Pam estimated the launch costs by examining previous launching and adding an extra $5000. Cancellation of another marketing project provided $20,000 while the rest was to be accessed from the general contingency budget. Project planning went smoothly with some tasks being completed ahead of time. However, four weeks to start of the program, there were only 10 applications thus the program failed to meet expectations. As the project manager, Pam became undecided on whether to proceed with the program or cancel it altogether. The analysis below seeks to provide a deeper analysis of the project with the aim of providing much needed answer on why the project failed as well as providing a recommendation for the way forward.
In my view, Pam should proceed with the program. I would run the program at a loss rather than cancelling it. Cancelling when a lot of effort and resources have been put aside for the same would not be prudent. It may also not reflect well on the reputation of the company and the 10 applicants may be unwilling to recommend the currents program to their juniors. The company will likely incur some losses but if run successfully, the program stands a chance of being profitable in future.
To minimize the loses that will be incurred, some adjustments will have to be made. The first adjustment would to introduce advertisement to increase awareness regarding the new program. New programs require a little more effort for them to succeed. Advertising may attract a few more applicants within the remaining four weeks as well as for future intakes. The success of the first batch would also determine whether we can get more applicants in future. The 10 applicants potentially provide 10 organizations which may be willing to send their mid-level managers for training in future. To improve the chances of that happening, the program would need to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible to make a great impression on the participants.
The program schedule below shows thoughtful consideration to the planning stage and tasks were selected carefully. However, there may have been some tasks that should have been incorporated to increase chances of project success. For instance, there should have been a time frame allocated to gather feedback from interested parties. This would have allowed Pam to answer their questions and clear any doubts they had about the program. Another task would have been scheduling a marketing campaign to increase program awareness among prospective applicants.
Projects do not always go as planned and some may show signs of failure even before their start. The project planning followed standard procedure based on past projects. A deadline had been set, Pam had selected the right people to help with the process and money had been set aside to cover resource needs. However, four weeks to start of the program, the project seemed to be headed for a loss. Pam overlooked one important factor: setting room for change. Projects do not always go according to plan and the best way to save the situation is to have room for adjustments. As stated earlier, when she noted the small number of applications coming along, she should have tried to change the outcome by changing her approach. Changes to be made would have included personal visits to those who made enquiries to try and convince them to complete the application. Advertising would also have helped increase awareness. The project had its own set of strengths and weaknesses.
â€¢ Detailed planning process with even small details being checked out
â€¢ Availability of training facilities and good rapport with hotels for lodging arrangements
â€¢ Timely completion of part of the project plans
â€¢ Relying too much on standard procedures. The project was almost fully based on past statistics especially regarding applications. This proved not to work with only 10 people registering 4 weeks to the start date
Every project is unique in its own way. LDC made the mistake of assuming that the same approach used for previous projects would work well for the current project. Mid-level managers bridge the gap between lower level employees and senior managers. There exists a difference between the two levels of management with senior managers believing that they possess a vast amount of knowledge and experience compared to mid-level managers. They may therefore not be ready to willingly attend a training program as they may tend to believe that it is best suited for their juniors. The fact that LDC specialized in training mid-level managers could have been one of the reasons why most senior level managers were hesitant to enroll for the program. These differences could have been anticipated if Pam had looked deeper on the behavior of senior level managers. They would have realized that senior managers required a little more convincing if they were to join the program.
In conclusion, LDC undertook a project whose chances of success are high if well planned and executed. The success of the mid-level managers training program would imply that a similar endeavor had high chances of being a success. The project manager should however, be ready to make a few adjustments to increase the chances of project success. By slightly changing her approach on how the program should be conducted, Pam and her company will be headed for success.
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