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Harrison-Keyes Problem Solution

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Problem Solution: Harrison-Keyes Inc.

MBA/590 Strategic Implementation and Alignment

Problem Solution: Harrison-Keyes Inc.

Harrison-Keyes (Harrison) has been a giant in the publishing industry for over a century. When companies have acquires that type of reputation it becomes very difficult to shift gears and move into a new arena. The Board of Directors and new CEO need to make a decision regarding the future of Harrison very quickly. After the termination of Meg the organization is in a quandary as to expanding the business portfolio or doing business as usual. The arena is a difficult one because the vision of the project has not been fully outlined. The senior management team is in disarray and the employees are becoming discontent.

Several key factors could be addressed; however, the biggest decision at this point is to move forward with the project or leave things as they currently exists. This paper will present a compelling case why Harrison needs to stop the bleeding and proceed in a course of action that will create a new image, greater customer loyalty and certainly increased sales. This is a change effort that has created a divergent of differing views on direction and commitment. "Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better" King Whitney, Jr.

Describe the Situation

Issue and Opportunity Identification

The biggest issue that has created the lack of direction for this project is stemming from the Board of Directors. When Meg was hired the vision has not clear and the e-publishing project experienced problems from the start. Meg was terminated and a new CEO hired and the project still did not have a defined set of parameters, infact the new CEO has been very open regarding the elimination of the project because he is not in favor of moving forward. This is a Board issue because there appears to be a lack of clarity regarding what is important for the Harrison organization.

The issues and opportunities are around building a team, identifying the skills lacking to move Harrison into the next century and establishing project controls that will enable this project to meet expectations internal and external. The research conducted of other publishing companies in the industry noted a huge shift from the traditional style of publishing to e-publishing. This shift has created a huge boost in sales, the attraction of authors and new customers. Harrison cannot deny the market analysis and needs to forge forward or downsize the company to maintain the status quo. The greatest obstacle is the internal forces that are not in alignment. The Board has not charged the new CEO with making the project work based on all the resources that have already been committed to the project and the new CEO has not charged the senior management team with pulling together to get this project to market in a timely fashion and the senior management team has not motivated and inspired the employees to stay focused and committed the goal.

Teamwork is a necessity for this project to move forward. "A team is a group whose members influence one another toward the accomplishment of an organizational objective" (Kotelnikov, 2007). Each member has to learn how to collaborate and build upon each other's strengths. "The most valuable single factor that contributes towards high levels of excellence and quality in a team, stem from an individual team member\'s ability to work with others, i.e. his or her levels of cooperation and communication" (Kotelnikov, 2007).

Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas

The three concepts that Harrison is facing with stakeholders are teamwork, project timeline and trust. These competing values among the various groups can hinder a project from moving forward. The project timeline enables the project manager to establish accountabilities and know the parameters to be met with a successful intervention. Teamwork is detrimental to the projects success. The senior management team has to be an example for how individuals work together collectively to support and encourage the employees.

Frame the "Right" Problem

Harrison will regain the leadership position in the publishing arena by strengthening their internal systems and recruiting and retaining the best and brightest talent.

Describe the "End-State" Vision

Harrison is in an industry bound by tradition and standardization. To maintain this status the organization needs to recruit and retain talent that will forge the company into the future. Although tradition is important to maintain the company reputation Harrison has to break through procedural policies that have existed overtime to embrace a new era that will be in alignment with customer needs and expectations.

Several goals to be met to bring about alignment are:

* A strong leadership team that works collaboratively

* The redesign of the project plan with project controls and a reduction in project duration

* The production team bringing outsourced component in-house

* New customers - 25% increase

* Hiring and retention of key employees

Identify the Alternatives and Benchmarking Validation

The benchmark data identified several issues that Harrison is facing based on managing a large-scale project. One of the key factors pertinent in a large-scale project is the identification of a project manager who is accountable for the outcome. To achieve this outcome it is crucial for alignment and cooperation of this project throughout the entire organization. "To successfully manage a project, a manager must adroitly build a cooperative network among divergent allies."(Gray & Larson, 2006)

As identified in the research everyone needs to understand the vision of the project to build an effective alliance. For projects a vision is necessary to ensure uniformity and to ensure



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