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Harrison-Keyes Gap Analysis

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Gap Analysis: Harrison-Keyes

Harrison Keyes is a global publisher of print products, specializing in scientific, technical, business books, and journals. Founded back in 1899, recent years have seen the company suffer due to low cost retailers and other obstacles making it difficult for the company to survive. To compete in new markets the company has created an initiative to go from print to electronic publishing. As a result they’ve run into obstacles that could’ve been prevented by having the proper processes in place to alleviate setbacks. The following will help to identify and resolve these problems by, identifying issues and opportunities, stakeholder perspectives and ethical dilemmas, the end state vision, and finally a gap analysis, and conclusion.

Situation Analysis

Issue and Opportunity Identification

Harrison-Keyes hasn’t properly assessed their risks associated with implementing the company’s e-book strategy, thus exposing a lack of contingency planning and also resulting in various setbacks. Risk management is a process determined by 3 steps: identifying, “determining which might problems may affect the project and documenting their characteristics”, assessment, “…prioritizing the impact of each identified risk on the project objectives, and response”, “…assigning mitigation strategies to the identified risks and ensure continued validity of the strategies”. (UOP Simulation Week 4) This provides them with the opportunity to re-evaluate the current situation and develop initiatives to be able to better handle them. Lack of “oversight” and “disaster” planning has resulted in the company not being prepared for the loss of their partnership with Asia Digital. By properly managing this risk a backup company should’ve already been in place eliminating the need to find another with 1/3 of the project budget already being spent. Implementing these steps alone can account for improvements in managing the budget and handling time constraints.

Another issue relates to them having no adequate way of measuring performance results in place. Starting with a baseline plan “…provides the elements for measuring performance”. (Gray p.413 2005) A consultant was hired and advised Harrison-Keyes to use e-marketing tactics, after the company previously had determined the traditional style currently in place wouldn’t be a good fit for e-book marketing. At this point a plan should’ve been developed measuring all potential risks while also developing mitigation techniques to reduce those risks. Having a plan in place that addressed potential setbacks early on could’ve eliminated having to deal with later results that aren’t as good as expected.

Organizational Culture refers to a system of shared norms, beliefs, values, and assumptions, which binds people together thereby creating shared meanings. (Gray p.73 2006) Harrison-Keyes initial CEO, Meg McGill, was in full support of the e-book strategy, and the reason why this project was selected for implementation. In midstream of this implementation, a new CEO William Guardo was brought in who does not show the same support for the e-book strategy. Chapter 2 of Project Management: The Managerial Process states, “Every project should have a clear link to the organization’s strategy. (Gray p. 21 2006) It appears with the new CEO that the organizations strategy may be changing, further putting this project at the risk of failing. This lack of focus has also resulted in low employee morale, confusion over job functions, and the start of a turnover of employees. William Guardo should take this opportunity to address employees in making sure that everyone is clear on the goals and objectives of Harrison Keyes. Establishing lines of communication throughout the organization can reduce employee apprehension and provide a better understanding as to how they personally fit into those strategies.

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas

Harrison-Keyes is trying to implement a new e-publishing strategy. With increased competition, Harrison-Keyes is looking for new ways to generate revenue. While trying to implement the new e-publishing web site, Harrison-Keyes needs to take the stakeholders into account.

For anything to be successful, Harrison-Keyes needs to work out an agreement with the writers. The writers are worried that their content will not be protected properly, allowing for customers to pirate the material. If the writers are to leave the company, Harrison-Keyes will not have to worry about anything because there will be no content to protect. An agreement should be put into place for both new and existing books. Harrison-Keyes needs to be sensitive to the writers as they are not very open to the idea of online publishing. The agreement that is put into place should also address future changes that may occur.

The next area that Harrison-Keyes needs to look at will be their customer. Customers bring in the money, and without them there will be no money. Harrison-Keyes should do research about how to attract customers to their website. With the research results Harrison-Keyes can determine if customers are interested in purchasing e-books. After the determination that the demand for online content will be met with enthusiasm from the customer, a proper plan must be put into action. Failure to secure the customers will leave Harrison-Keyes with a bigger issue and the possibility of going out of business. Along with securing the customers, Harrison-Keyes must come up with a way to have the best possible content available to them. The process used to retrieve the material is not as important as what the material is. Having the best possible content will keep the customers returning and help to grow the business.

The biggest stakeholder in the new plan is Harrison-Keyes. Failure to implement a proper plan will leave the company with an uphill battle to generate revenue. Harrison-Keyes has been an industry leader for over 100 years in the book publishing industry. Maintaining the reputation of being an industry leader for providing online book content is important to the success of Harrison-Keyes. Should Harrison-Keyes fail to generate further revenue cuts will need to be made with current or future projects which could lead to the displacement of employees.

For Harrison-Keyes to succeed in the e-publishing market, they first must understand the stakeholder perspectives. Working out an agreement with the writers, focusing on

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