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Harrison Keyes Gap Analysis

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Gap Analysis: Harrison-Keyes

A global publisher of print products, Harrison-Keyes specializes in scientific, technical and business books and journals, professional and consumer books, textbooks and other educational materials for all levels of study. The company holds about 22,700 active titles and publishes about 2,000 new titles each year.

Over a century old, Harrison-Keyes was founded in 1899 and made its early money publishing the works of literary giants. Throughout the years, the companyÐ''s focus shifted to meet demand and by the mid-1950s, it was regarded as a leading publisher of business, scientific and technical information.

In recent years, Harrison-Keyes has suffered the woes plaguing the entire industry. As competition from low-cost retailers eats into profits, publishing companies are finding success -- or even survival -- a challenge. In an effort to revitalize the company, the Harrison-Keyes Board of Directors recently hired a new CEO. (Apollo, 2007)

Situation Analysis

Issue and Opportunity Identification

Harrison-Keyes when started working on the e-publishing project under Meg McGill as CEO of the company has missed some key points in the strategic plan as well as implementation plan based on the same.

The implementation plan created by Jan and his team did not follow the basics of project management. All the major aspects Project selection, project planning, scheduling, Risk Management, Resources planning and Project Costing were overlooked or not planned with the proper details. To achieve the success in the project it is necessary to have a successful project manager who can guide the project team through all the process of the project.

One of the most significant driving forces behind the demand for project management is the shortening of the product life cycle. For example, today in high-tech industries the product life cycle is averaging 1 to 3 years. Only 30 years ago, life cycles of 10 to 15 years were not uncommon. Time to market for new products with short life cycles has become increasingly important. A common rule of thumb in the world of high-tech product development is that a six-month project delay can result in a 33 percent loss in product revenue share. Speed, therefore, becomes a competitive advantage; more and more organizations are relying on cross-functional project teams to get new products and services to the market as quickly as possible. (Gray−Larson: Project Management: The Managerial Process,)

Today's open market demands not only cheaper products and services but also better products and services. This has led to the emergence of the quality movement across the world with ISO 9000 certification a requirement for doing business. ISO 9000 is a family of international standards for quality management and assurance. These standards cover design, procurement, quality assurance, and delivery processes for everything from banking to manufacturing. Quality management and improvement invariably involve project management. (Gray−Larson: Project Management: The Managerial Process,)

Harrison Keyes Board was not happy with the progress of the e-publishing project and was thinking of closing the business of e-publishing. To stay in the publishing business and to regain the leadership position again in the industry e-publishing was the only solution as the competitors were already started e-publishing and were successful in it.

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas

Employees of Harrison Keyes are the important stakeholders in this scenario. The communication with in the company at all levels horizontal as well as vertical is not clear. The management has different agenda then the board of the company. There is a miscommunication within the departments working on the e-publishing process and employees working are unhappy due to not so clear communication from their peers.

A few of the departments that are part of the e-publishing process cycle seem to lack integration. Either they don't understand the process or they just don't want to cooperate. There are quite a few staffers who seem unhappy with our e-publishing plan. Whether this is due to lack of understanding about what we're trying to accomplish or it's just a matter of miscommunication is something that needs to be determined and acted on. (Apollo Ð'- 2007)

The second group which is stakeholder in this scenario is the leadership management of the Harrison Keyes Inc. Under the leadership of Meg McGill, the Harrison Keyes leadership team has started the project of e-publishing but after 6 months in to the project and spending over half of the money, the revenue was just $3 million. Board was not happy with this outcome and fired Meg from the post of CEO, and hired William Guardo as CEO of the company. William does not believe in e-publishing business. He was firm believer in traditional publishing business.

This has definitely become an issue for the leadership team as there will be another change in the organizational culture as well as the strategy of the organization. The company recently went through same cultural changes when Meg was hired and now again back to the same culture when William is hired.

End-State Vision

Harrison Keyes wants to stay in the publishing business and as they are the oldest players in the industry wants to regain that position of publishing giants or leaders.

Along with that, the company wants to increase the revenue and publish a stable sound balance sheet at the end of the year for the investors of the company.

Harrison Keyes Inc, wants to increase their customer base within the country as well as with internationally so that the writers who are associated with Harrison Keyes can get international acclaimed for their work as well as the readers all over the world would be able to read the good things available.

Gap Analysis

Harrison Keyes Inc has to take some steps to achieve the end state goals set by the leadership team. The new CEO of the company William Guardo has given the ultimatum of 1 month to prove that e-publishing project can survive and make good business and money or close the project.

To overcome the current issues faced by the company on this project it is advisable to spend some money and hire a project manger to manage this project. Its is difficult to bring this project from loss or scrap to successful or profitable business with in one months time but with the help of different tools available in modern project management it is definitely possible



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