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Harrison Keyes Gap Analysis

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Gap Analysis: Harrison-Keyes

A global publisher of print products, Harrison-Keyes specialized in traditional publishing and has been regarded as a leader in the industry since the mid '50s. The company has developed a name for itself through the publishing of texts, journals and other educational material. However, a new era has brought about new challenges for the publishing industry and Harrison-Keyes cannot compete with the low-cost retailers. Harrison-Keyes determined that digital publishing and the sale of e-books is their answer to remaining competitive in the publishing industry.

Harrison-Keyes has continued to face new challenges in their attempt to provide innovative services. The former CEO, who introduced the e-book publishing idea, has been replaced and a lack of project support from senior management has become apparent. Asia Digital Publishing has experienced a natural disaster and Harrison-Keyes, without a contingency plan, must find a replacement firm to perform its digital formatting. Employees are feeling threatened due to rumors of outsourcing and have left the company to accept job opportunities with competing publishing companies. Corporate and project strategy are not aligned and the failures of the project are directly related to the lack of project controls.

Situation Analysis

Issue and Opportunity Identification

Harrison-Keyes is faced with the opportunity to redefine its corporate and project strategy in order to resolve the many issues that have surfaced in their attempt to enter the digital publishing industry. The project managers must understand that in order to be successful in their endeavors, they must earn the trust and loyalty from their employees as well as senior management. Resistance to the project strategy will need to be addressed through increased communication and clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of the employees. The project managers' role is to ensure that responsibilities are clear for the team. When roles and responsibilities are unclear, incomplete tasks arise and finger pointing occurs. (Larson & Larson, 2007} For Harrison-Keyes to align its corporate and project strategy, senior management must take an active role in facilitating the mission. If an organization is capable of effectively establishing its strategy, senior leadership must take an active role in the communication and the implementation of the strategy. "Senior management must communicate the strategy to the organization, justify the strategy and establish buy-in for the strategy. Communication is a process that begins with the top of the organization and goes to the bottom." (Killackey, 2007, p.1) Harrison-Keyes will have the opportunity to assess, implement, and monitor a risk management plan that will assist them to mitigate the potential barriers that the organization may face in fulfilling the project strategy.

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas

The ethical dilemmas facing Harrison-Keyes stem from employees in all levels of the organization and the project management controls of the operation. Lower level employees are feeling threatened by the possibility of outsourcing occurring and are resigning, turning to a competitor for job security. Senior level management is not fully vested in the e-book sales and has placed a time limit on the success of the project. The company has fired CEO, Meg McGill and replaced her with William Guardo. The new CEO is not an advocate of digital publishing and favors traditional publishing instead. The organization is not aligned in a common strategy and this has resulted in numerous issues for the project. Employees' roles have not been defined and the corporate strategy is in question. Resistance and skepticism can occur when organizational change is instituted. This resistance can create difficulty in achieving the implementation of the change. (Folger & Scarlicki, 1999)

"Lay-off threats are one of the greatest threats to employee loyalty, even among those whose jobs are not immediately at risk." (McShane & Glinow, 2004, p.7) It will be important for Harrison-Keyes to communicate with their employees to establish trust and loyalty with the company. If the employees are engaged in the strategy of the project, they will develop a sense or responsibility for the success of the overall project. Through participation, employees believe that their decisions played a role in the organization's future.

The focus of project controls is to remain within the guidelines established in the project's plans and the deviations that were indicated in it. If a major change needs to occur in the project, project controls were not sufficient and the original plan not followed. Project managers must not only focus on past costs and schedule patterns of a previous project, but must be aware of future costs, future revenues, and technical problems that may occur as well. Harrison-Keyes has deviated from its original plans due to poor project controls and the lack of the risk management plan has left them behind schedule. The new CEO has recognized that the inability of the project team to demonstrate these controls has resulted in lost revenues for the company. Senior leadership is not in support of the project strategy and is threatening to terminate the operation in one month's time if changes do not occur.

For Harrison-Keyes, the development of an integrated information system would benefit the organization by providing the opportunity for all departments to access vital data and reports regarding the project's status and progress. An integrated information system would allow all members of the team to share and access the project's information. A project manager must be aware of each task incorporated in the overall strategy and use the necessary control techniques to provide a desirable outcome. The development of an integrated system will allow for the project manager to analyze the workflow, process design, management, and application processes.

End-State Vision

Harrison-Keyes will remain competitive within the publishing industry by providing new and innovative services to their customers. Harrison-Keyes will effectively manage, control, and measure all project and risk management functions to assist individuals and strategies in the alignment of the corporate vision

Gap Analysis

"All organizational changes should be consistent with an organization's mission, vision, and strategic plan. A mission statement represents the reason an organization exists, and an organization's vision is a long-term goal that describes what an organization

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