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Case Study Presentation
Introduction To Project Management
Sir Abdul Rehman
Shanza Ashraf
Sap Id # 29960
Bs Project & Supply Chain Management
Case Title: The Bean Counter and the
Cowboy
INTRODUCTION
• Working with cohesion and corporation is the most essential thing in a
company with multiple departments.
• Effectiveness is the pivotal point in the working relationships of the
departments.
• Meetings should be held to ensure this relationship is maintained, although a
lack of appreciation of people’s roles from other departments is a common
thing in such companies. Again, distributed project teams interact formally,
which creates another problem by preventing the occurrence of development
stages of the standard team. In this company, Neil and Susan have a definite
explosion of hatred that will affect the effectiveness and company progress.
1. Was the argument today between Neil and Susan the true conflict or a
symptom? What evidence do you have to suggest it is merely a symptom of a
larger problem?
 Certainly, an argument today between Neil and Susan is a symptom of larger
problem that is affecting the productivity and progress of whole project. When
Susan interrupts the meeting before anyone start with an update on the project
task saying that she will be out of town for next 10 days visiting clients, Neil shoots
back saying, “That’s been your excuse for missing half of the meetings so far.” This
tells us that the dislikes and enmity between two has been there for quite some
time. They also look down to each other’s occupation – Susan does not respect
Neil’s job of managing finance and thinks it’s like counting beans and analyzing
every penny with no value deliverable towards business, and Neil considers Susan’s
duty as cowboys in sales and her trips trivial in terms of adding values to the
business.
1. Was the argument today between Neil and Susan the true conflict or a
symptom? What evidence do you have to suggest it is merely a symptom of a
larger problem?
 Since, Neil and Susan are not talking directly to each other, rather sarcastic and
have been trying to avoid each other in meetings tells us that this is symptom of a
larger problem in terms of delivering project in right time effectively and efficiently.
They also hold the major position in the team, one is responsible to bring capital to
the business and other manage the capital and analyze expenses. The way they
have been behaving can jeopardize the whole team and fail the project miserably.
2. Explain how differentiation plays a large role in the problems that exist
between Susan and Neil.
 An organization is built up with different functional department such as Human
resources, finance, development, accounting, management, marketing etc. Each
faculty and department play important role in running a business/organization
efficiently and effectively. It is also very important for each department to respect
each other’s job and importance. Differentiation suggests that as individuals join an
organization within some functional specialty, they begin to adopt the attitudes
and outlook of that functional group (Pinto, 2015). Susan and Neil coming from
different function group lacks respect to each other’s job – Neil calling Susan
“Cowboy” and Susan calling Neil as “bean counter” shows they depreciate each
other’s job and importance to an organization. Neil and Susan’s incapability to
develop an understanding of mutual interdependencies between two departments
– marketing and finance, poor communication, and dysfunctional behavior were
potential source of conflict caused by differentiation
3. Develop a conflict management procedure for your meeting in 30 minutes.
Create a simple script to help you anticipate the comments you are likely to
hear from both parties.
As a manager, it would not be fair as well as ethical to support one side in terms of
conflict management between Susan and Neil, as this will only encourage one party
for conflict and other discourage and demotivate in work enthusiasm. It is important
to figure out what the disagreement is and establish a common goal for both parties
and acknowledge that both parties have agreed upon a solution.
 Manager: I don’t think I should explain why we are meeting today. I just want to
discuss a conflict between you two so that we are not lagging our project
deliverables.
 Neil: I don’t have any personal conflict with Susan. I am just being professional and
trying to explain that everyone is required to do his/her duties as we are working
as a team in same project for common goal.
 Susan: I don’t think I have repeat what I have been saying again and again that my
job is not just to sit around and count pennies. I have responsibility of bringing
business and convince customers and client.
 Neil: She doesn’t have respect towards my work and challenges. She needs to learn
to respect team workers and their important role to this project.
 Manager: Well, I am not very happy with what you both have put upfront in
explaining your work as well as in humiliating your team members job. Since you
both hold a vital functional department of marketing and finance, I would like you
both to understand what role you both carry to complete this project effectively
and efficiently. Beside you two, we have many other important workforces in this
project who have been affected by your attitude and conflicts. I would like both of
you to take responsibility for making these meetings unproductive as well as
wasting time of team members because of lack of respect towards different
functional department. I would suggest Susan to participate in a meeting at least
through call or skype if you are not able to attend meeting in person. And you can
update your work status there. And I want both of you to stop demeaning each
other’s work with terms like bean counter and cowboy immediately. An attitude
you guys are showing in meeting is showing bad influence on whole team and
scope of project.
 Susan: I am fine with attending these meetings through call /skype when I am not
able to attend them in person.
 Neil: I just wanted to be transparent with everyone in meeting so that we can
discuss and update status of project as well as get motivated towards common
goal we are targeting.
 Manager: Alright, I want to acknowledge that we have reached to a understanding
and resolved conflict and see productive updates in next meeting.
4. Which conflict resolution style is warranted in this case? Why? How might
some of the other resolution approaches be inadequate in this situation?
 There are five different ways to manage conflict in the workplace – Collaborating,
Competing, Compromising, Accommodating and Avoiding conflict (McCarthy, 2018). In
the case of Susan and Neil, collaborative approach of conflict resolution style might be
reasonable as both hold a very important functional department. Project managers
need to empower both Neil and Susan and develop a win-win solution. This style is
adequate as the situation is currently a symptom of large problem and important
decision must be made to move forward and make the project and meeting productive.
 Some other resolution approaches may not be adequate in this situation. Neil and
Susan both are very vocal and aggressive in attitude. None of them seems to
compromise as they seem trivial of each other’s job. Similarly, competitive approach
might take longer time as well as can affect project productivity as both stand firm in
their argument. Another approach of resolution is avoiding, which seems to bring more
grudge between Neil and Susan as they will be sarcastic to each other even though they
are not in meeting together. Neil already has an issue with Susan regarding her missing
half of the meetings, and more she avoids meetings and Neil, conflict likely grow worse
as She comes to defend herself attacking Neil regarding his nature of work.
Thank You

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project management.pptx

  • 1. Case Study Presentation Introduction To Project Management Sir Abdul Rehman Shanza Ashraf Sap Id # 29960 Bs Project & Supply Chain Management
  • 2. Case Title: The Bean Counter and the Cowboy INTRODUCTION • Working with cohesion and corporation is the most essential thing in a company with multiple departments. • Effectiveness is the pivotal point in the working relationships of the departments. • Meetings should be held to ensure this relationship is maintained, although a lack of appreciation of people’s roles from other departments is a common thing in such companies. Again, distributed project teams interact formally, which creates another problem by preventing the occurrence of development stages of the standard team. In this company, Neil and Susan have a definite explosion of hatred that will affect the effectiveness and company progress.
  • 3. 1. Was the argument today between Neil and Susan the true conflict or a symptom? What evidence do you have to suggest it is merely a symptom of a larger problem?  Certainly, an argument today between Neil and Susan is a symptom of larger problem that is affecting the productivity and progress of whole project. When Susan interrupts the meeting before anyone start with an update on the project task saying that she will be out of town for next 10 days visiting clients, Neil shoots back saying, “That’s been your excuse for missing half of the meetings so far.” This tells us that the dislikes and enmity between two has been there for quite some time. They also look down to each other’s occupation – Susan does not respect Neil’s job of managing finance and thinks it’s like counting beans and analyzing every penny with no value deliverable towards business, and Neil considers Susan’s duty as cowboys in sales and her trips trivial in terms of adding values to the business.
  • 4. 1. Was the argument today between Neil and Susan the true conflict or a symptom? What evidence do you have to suggest it is merely a symptom of a larger problem?  Since, Neil and Susan are not talking directly to each other, rather sarcastic and have been trying to avoid each other in meetings tells us that this is symptom of a larger problem in terms of delivering project in right time effectively and efficiently. They also hold the major position in the team, one is responsible to bring capital to the business and other manage the capital and analyze expenses. The way they have been behaving can jeopardize the whole team and fail the project miserably.
  • 5. 2. Explain how differentiation plays a large role in the problems that exist between Susan and Neil.  An organization is built up with different functional department such as Human resources, finance, development, accounting, management, marketing etc. Each faculty and department play important role in running a business/organization efficiently and effectively. It is also very important for each department to respect each other’s job and importance. Differentiation suggests that as individuals join an organization within some functional specialty, they begin to adopt the attitudes and outlook of that functional group (Pinto, 2015). Susan and Neil coming from different function group lacks respect to each other’s job – Neil calling Susan “Cowboy” and Susan calling Neil as “bean counter” shows they depreciate each other’s job and importance to an organization. Neil and Susan’s incapability to develop an understanding of mutual interdependencies between two departments – marketing and finance, poor communication, and dysfunctional behavior were potential source of conflict caused by differentiation
  • 6. 3. Develop a conflict management procedure for your meeting in 30 minutes. Create a simple script to help you anticipate the comments you are likely to hear from both parties. As a manager, it would not be fair as well as ethical to support one side in terms of conflict management between Susan and Neil, as this will only encourage one party for conflict and other discourage and demotivate in work enthusiasm. It is important to figure out what the disagreement is and establish a common goal for both parties and acknowledge that both parties have agreed upon a solution.  Manager: I don’t think I should explain why we are meeting today. I just want to discuss a conflict between you two so that we are not lagging our project deliverables.  Neil: I don’t have any personal conflict with Susan. I am just being professional and trying to explain that everyone is required to do his/her duties as we are working as a team in same project for common goal.  Susan: I don’t think I have repeat what I have been saying again and again that my job is not just to sit around and count pennies. I have responsibility of bringing business and convince customers and client.
  • 7.  Neil: She doesn’t have respect towards my work and challenges. She needs to learn to respect team workers and their important role to this project.  Manager: Well, I am not very happy with what you both have put upfront in explaining your work as well as in humiliating your team members job. Since you both hold a vital functional department of marketing and finance, I would like you both to understand what role you both carry to complete this project effectively and efficiently. Beside you two, we have many other important workforces in this project who have been affected by your attitude and conflicts. I would like both of you to take responsibility for making these meetings unproductive as well as wasting time of team members because of lack of respect towards different functional department. I would suggest Susan to participate in a meeting at least through call or skype if you are not able to attend meeting in person. And you can update your work status there. And I want both of you to stop demeaning each other’s work with terms like bean counter and cowboy immediately. An attitude you guys are showing in meeting is showing bad influence on whole team and scope of project.
  • 8.  Susan: I am fine with attending these meetings through call /skype when I am not able to attend them in person.  Neil: I just wanted to be transparent with everyone in meeting so that we can discuss and update status of project as well as get motivated towards common goal we are targeting.  Manager: Alright, I want to acknowledge that we have reached to a understanding and resolved conflict and see productive updates in next meeting.
  • 9. 4. Which conflict resolution style is warranted in this case? Why? How might some of the other resolution approaches be inadequate in this situation?  There are five different ways to manage conflict in the workplace – Collaborating, Competing, Compromising, Accommodating and Avoiding conflict (McCarthy, 2018). In the case of Susan and Neil, collaborative approach of conflict resolution style might be reasonable as both hold a very important functional department. Project managers need to empower both Neil and Susan and develop a win-win solution. This style is adequate as the situation is currently a symptom of large problem and important decision must be made to move forward and make the project and meeting productive.  Some other resolution approaches may not be adequate in this situation. Neil and Susan both are very vocal and aggressive in attitude. None of them seems to compromise as they seem trivial of each other’s job. Similarly, competitive approach might take longer time as well as can affect project productivity as both stand firm in their argument. Another approach of resolution is avoiding, which seems to bring more grudge between Neil and Susan as they will be sarcastic to each other even though they are not in meeting together. Neil already has an issue with Susan regarding her missing half of the meetings, and more she avoids meetings and Neil, conflict likely grow worse as She comes to defend herself attacking Neil regarding his nature of work.