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Project Skills Workshops Workplans

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Development of market for champagne and cognac diamonds will drive prices up ... Switching On Champagne And Cognac Prices. Not this... ... but this. 24 November 2003 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Project Skills Workshops Workplans


1
Project Skills Workshops Workplans Doing-It
  • Instructors
  • Douglas Dow Integrative Projects
  • Terry Atkinson Integrative Projects
  • Selwyn DSouza Managing New Ventures
  • 24 November 2003

2
Agenda
  • The PaperCo Exercise 45 min
  • Workplanning 30 min
  • Doing it 30 min
  • Getting started
  • Interviews
  • Analysis
  • Take Home Exercise 5 min

3
The focus of today
Most of Today
Wrap-up
Friday
Framing the Problem
Communi-cating the Ideas
Collecting Analysing the Data
Establishing a Workplan
4
The PaperCo exercise
5
Workplanning
6
During a project, you will regularly switch
between thinking and doing
The Problem Solving Process
Thinking
Organising tools
Mapping the logic
Doing
7
As discussed, mapping the logic is one critical
tool in switching modes
All of the West Side plants assets can be
effectively redeployed
Sale of site will release to m
Most plant and machinery can be sold or relocated
All staff can be retained for new positions in
the new or higher capacity plants
Packaging machines can replace slower, low tech
machines at Auburn
Mixing and filling equipment can be sold to
private label suppliers
Plant manager can replace retiring PM at Auburn
Operators can be absorbed at Villawood where
throughput is growing
There are three prospective buyers for the sites
The location provides valuable advantages to two
These advantages are worth between and to
each
Therefore sale of site will release between
and
Foremen and Chemist can be allocated to the new
Oxley Plant
8
A workplan is the other critical tool
  • Whereas, mapping the logic assists us in moving
  • from specific knowledge to a better general
    understanding of the issues
  • from doing to thinking
  • Workplans assist us in moving
  • from a general understanding of the issues to
    creating knew specific knowledge
  • from thinking to doing

9
The balance between thinking and doing
differs between types of projects
  • For strategy-oriented projects
  • The value-added tends to be in intellectual
    breakthroughs
  • Framing the problem and developing the issue tree
    are the tricky part
  • The main role of analysis (i.e. doing) is assist
    in generating and proving the breakthroughs
  • For process or operations-oriented projects
  • The value-added tends to be in efficiently
    distilling large amounts of information
  • Framing the problem and developing the issue tree
    can be laborious, but relatively straight forward
  • For both, a well executed workplan is critical!

10
There are two kinds of workplans
11
Our workplanning approach employs a structured
problem solving technique
What problem are we trying to solve? How do we
think it can be solved? What data do we need
to test this solution? Obtain the necessary
data Analyse the data. What does the analysis
tell me? (If I had to respond now, whats the
answer to the problem?) Do additional
analysis (What further work needs to be done to
solve the problem?) Develop recommendations
The Workplanning Process
New hypotheses
Solutions
12
What does a good workplan contain?
Key issues identified Initial hypotheses
developed Analyses/methodology clearly
identified, specifically What needs to be
accomplished What information/data is
required How the information is to be developed
Thinking Map
Resources defined and responsibilities laid
out Structure and work process
documented Deliverables clearly
expressed Timing, meeting schedule laid
out Client commitment/requirements identified
Activity Schedule
13
Sample Workplan Format Page 1
Can Frostyveg become more profitable through
improving its cost position in potatoes?
Hypothesised solution to the problem in question
form
Are there opportunities to reduce production
costs in existing branches?
Is it feasible to reduce the number of branches?
Can we achieve a lower cost position than our
domestic competitors?
Do imports pose a real threat?
Issues to explore to test the proposed solution
14
Sample Workplan Page 2
Sub-Issue What are the capacities of each of the
branches? What will be total demand in
future? What cost savings are available
from branch closure? Are there other
barriers to closing a branch? Are there
opportunities to increase capacity at low cost?
Analysis Determine capabilities on an
equivalent unit basis Determine demand
on an equivalent unit basis From
previous analysis Determine which branch
provides greatest savings Determine risk
of having fewer than three locations Ability to
shift machinery
Output Capacity (Kg 13mm Equiv) Demand (Pr
oj) Savings From Branch Closure (Branch
A)
Timing
Issue Is it feasible to reduce the number of
branches?
Data Source Production managers in each
branch Marketing team
Field officers Branch managers Engineers
15
Three tests of a good workplan
  • Is it specific enough ?
  • Imagine that you had to give the workplan to a
    qualified, but anonymous person, to execute
  • Is it likely that they would they collect the
    information you want?
  • Is it based on your logic tree?
  • If you gave the workplan to the same qualified,
    but anonymous person,
  • Could they reconstruct your logic pyramid?
  • Is ever task assigned with a deadline?

There may be some tasks left unassigned if
their execution is contingent on other results
16
The main principle of the approach is that
thinking always drives doing
Thinking
Doing
Not this
What are we going to ask them? What data is
already available? Import share has
continued to rise. An issue is whether XYZ
adapted to loss of monopoly and learned to
compete with the Japanese
Better do some customer interviews Lets
wallow in and play with the data Better
interview customers and generate data to probe
relative Delivery Performance Responsiveness
Flexibility
But this
17
This Thinking Focus emphasizes analysis, rather
than description
  • Interrelating variables, rather than describing
    characteristics
  • Distilling themes, rather than presenting lists
  • Prioritizing, rather than stating
  • Projecting dynamics of a situation, rather than
    asserting a trend

18
Highlighting how variables interrelate
Not this
but this
Framework For WalMarts Success
Re-investment in Info Sys
Better Order Delivery Cycle
BASIS FOR WALMARTS SUCCESS Lower cost
structure Lower prices Regular re-investment in
Info Systems Superior order-delivery cycle
Lower Prices
Lower Cost
Fewer Stockouts
More Sales per Customer
19
Distilling themes from masses of information
Not this
but this
NZ sport has six goals 1. Develop strong
international teams 2. Increase
audiences 3. Develop understanding of the
game 4. Provide financial stability and
growth 5. Increase levels of participation at
grade level 6. Provide professional management
Sound Management
Strong Game
6
1, 5
Success Of NZ Sport
High Levels Of Public Support
Financial Viability
2, 3
4
20
Prioritising among a number of factors
Not this
but this
Stars rising cash flow was driven by price
rises, a fall in costs and volume increases
Stars rising cash flow was mostly due to
increased volumes
Price Per 000 (A)
Price Per 000 (A)
438
438
432
440
432
440
427
427
-
-
91
92
93
94
91
92
93
94
Cash Flow (m)
Cash Flow (m)
Cost Per 000 (A)
Cost Per 000 (A)
48
X
X
32
28
25
292
292
272
272
264
261
264
261
91
92
93
94
91
92
93
94
91
92
93
94
Sales Volume (m Bricks)
Sales Volume (m Bricks)
275
275
257
257
189
189
179
179
91
92
93
94
91
92
93
94
21
Projecting dynamic scenarios over time
Not this
but this
Effect Of Brown Rough Supply Switching On
Champagne And Cognac Prices
Demand increase after market development
Development of market for champagne and cognac
diamonds will drive prices up
Original World Supply
Price
Original CC Demand
World supply expands as industrial brown rough
switches into gem use
Price After Market Development
E1

Price After Supply Switching
E2
E
Current Price
Price reduction caused by supply switching
Volume
22
Remember, during the course of a project the team
continually moves from thinking to doing
The Problem Solving Process
Thinking
Organising tools
Map logic
Doing
23
Now, on to some specifics of Doing it
  • Getting started
  • The basics of interviewing
  • Some analysis hints
  • The majority of your MBA has been about specific
    forms of analysis
  • We are not going to repeat them all here
  • But there are some common general issues

24
Several critical elements of project start up
best practice
  • Have a kick-off meeting early
  • Use a start-up checklist
  • Establish team roles and processes
  • Develop a detailed workplan and agree on key
    accountabilities
  • Formulate and distribute data requests early

25
Team kick-off meeting - EARLY
  • Review relevant course materials/personal
    experience
  • Review company and project context
  • Organisational structure, products, financials
  • Assign basic module and process responsibilities
  • Take account of team members requests (skills
    vs interests) and other expectations (roles,
    interactions,etc)
  • Establish administrative/project management
    issues
  • Identify next steps

26
A sifting process occurs before the workplan can
be fully drawn up
Gaining an overview
testing that view and determining the solution
to determine what is key
6. Issue 7. Analysis Issue A Issue
B Issue C
1. Internal economics 2. Basis of competitive
advantage and competitor assessment 3. Customer
needs 4. Industry environment - supply/demand
balance, outlook for prices etc.
5. Key strategic success factors
27
You begin with the central question in the project
  • Start with the defining/the problem that you are
    setting at to resolve in the project Make sure
    everyone agrees on it
  • After you have sifted through the initial
    information on the business and the market,
    hypothesise a solution to the problem
  • This will express an end result and a means of
    getting there in question form (eg. can Company
    Zed turn the business around by sourcing
    offshore?)
  • Then define the issues by breaking the major
    question into subsidiary ones

28
Interviewing
29
Interviews Common Issues
  • Market trends
  • Whats happening - Recent developments
  • Third partys perspective
  • Order out of chaos - Anticipated patterns
  • Eliminate blind spots
  • Other channels customers
  • End-users served by distributors
  • Appropriate decision-makers
  • Customer analysis (i.e. segmentation)
  • Needs behaviours
  • Sourcing and order patterns
  • Their perceptions
  • Segment sizes trends
  • Competitive intelligence
  • Quantitative information
  • Behavioural

30
Interviews What, Who When
Category
Typical interviewee
Purpose
When
Client Government, academics,
institutions Customers Distributors Substitut
es Competitors
a) Technical staff b) Sales manager,
salesmen Industry expert Buyer,
specifier Dealer, sales manager Senior
executive Senior executive
Understand products, applications Know how client
sees things, market data Understand general
dynamics of industry, political
considerations Needs, purchasing criteria,
competition market data Market data, view of
client and customers Understand economics of
substitution, reaction of market etc Check your
view, understand position, response
First Second Third
31
Interviews - Ground rules
  • Dont rush in
  • Clear interview programs with the client the
    instructor
  • Revealing client identity
  • when can it be disclosed?
  • in set up
  • after interview
  • not at all
  • describing the project
  • Sensitive issues/touchy situation
  • check it out first
  • take clients worries seriously
  • they are on our side
  • they are always paying (time if not money)
  • Do not lie

32
InterviewsPlan carefully to save time
33
Setting Up InterviewsPlanning the programme
  • Arrangements - not a trivial task
  • Names, numbers, position, match
  • Call-backs confirmation (phone, letter?)
  • Managing the various lead times
  • Uncertainty of schedule
  • when do you cancel?
  • Telephone decorum
  • Manage your time effectively
  • Few interviews take more than 2 hours
  • So if you have to be on the road, try to get
    several in together in one day
  • Geography try not to be silly
  • Do the least important first
  • Your ignorance less critical
  • Change/refine your questions
  • Some tips
  • Detailed map
  • Get directions?
  • Travel time estimates

34
The InterviewThe initial introduction
  • Say good morning
  • Give them a card
  • A short fluent introduction
  • What you are doing, why and what you are going to
    ask them about
  • Should be word perfect
  • Builds up credibility
  • Dont be pompous
  • The first question should be one they can answer
  • How long have you been making widgets, using this
    process, etc

35
The InterviewThe structured interview guide
  • Dont stick rigidly to the order
  • Be flexible
  • Tailor it to the interview
  • Dont necessarily ask every question
  • Concentrate on what they know
  • Dont go over material you already know
  • Concentrate on what you dont know
  • But if you need data, make sure you get it

36
The Interview - Estimates and data
  • Try to get numbers when they say
  • For a long time, big/small, expensive
  • Make certain you understand E.g. does that
    include transport?
  • What if they are reluctant to provide estimates
    (in their area of expertise)
  • Suggest bounds
  • Show them your own estimates and ask them to make
    adjustments
  • Adds structure
  • Very quick
  • Set up alternatives and ask them to choose
  • Ask them for copies of anything which looks
    interesting
  • Dont press if they get nervous

37
Interviewing - Summary
  • Plan carefully in advance
  • What do you want to know
  • Who will tell you what you need to know
  • How should you best approach them
  • Plan your programme as early as possible
  • Arranging interviews is time consuming
  • Go to the interview well prepared
  • Questionnaire
  • Think about which is most likely to achieve
    results
  • Go in pairs if possible
  • One asks questions the other listens records
  • Switch mid-interview to show both are
    knowledgeable
  • Be professional at all times
  • Be polite
  • They are doing YOU a favour

38
Some analysis hints
  • The sanity checks using triangulation
  • The 80/20 rule
  • The "so what" test
  • Developing new hypotheses to test (be honest
    about what the data says)

39
A final exercise this one in logically
structured workplanning
  • Consider the scenario given on the following page
  • Develop a logic tree to address the issue
    Should the MBS agree to a merger with Mt Eliza
    Business School?
  • Prepare a workplan (1-2 pages) for one branch of
    your logic tree using the format illustrated in
    the examples (You do not need to assign
    responsibilities deadlines, but otherwise,
    treat it as if you were going to execute the
    workplan)
  • Be prepared to present BOTH your logic and
    workplan this Friday

40
The MBS Mt Eliza scenario
It has been proposed to the Board of the
Melbourne Business School (MBS) that the MBS and
the Mt Eliza Business School (MEBS) should merge.
As both institutions are not-for-profit, no
money would exchange hands in the merger. The Mt
Eliza assets and liabilities would simply be
transferred to the MBS balance sheet and a
subset of former Mt Eliza Directors would become
directors of the MBS. The prima facie argument
in favour of the merger is that MBS has a
healthier award program (e.g. MBA) and Mt Eliza
has a much larger and thriving executive
education program (e.g. two day to five week
training programs for executives and managers).
It is generally acknowledged that the Mt Eliza
MBA would be phased out if the merger were to
proceed.
41
Designing a workplan
  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5

From the scenario given, formulate a hypothesis
in question form on how your clients problem can
be solved (in this case it is fairly straight
forward)
Hypothesis In Question Form
ie Should MBS agree to the merger with Mt Eliza?
Yes/No
Brainstorm the issues that need to be explored to
test your hypothesis
Organise the brainstormed list of issues into a
set of questions, the answers to which will prove
or disprove the hypothesis above
Issue 1
Issue 3
Issue 2
Express each issue an action-oriented question
that will yield a yes/no answer
ie Will the merger resolve a key gap in the MBS
portfolio? Yes/No
Under each issue formulate a set of sub-issues
in question form, the answers to which will
collectively resolve that issue. These are not
likely to have yes/no answers
ie Does Mt Eliza has a strong position in Exec
Ed? Yes/No
Sub-issue 2
Sub-issue 3
Sub-issue 1
42
  • Step 6

Write up in the following format
Workplan Format
Page 1
Proposed solution to the problem in question form
Central Question
Major questions, the answers to which could form
recommendations formatted to yield a yes/no
answer (implying action)
Issues
Page 2,3 etc.
ISSUE Major questions, the answers to which
could form recommendations formatted to yield a
yes/no answer (implying action)
SUB-ISSUE More detailed questions the answers to
which will collectively resolve a major issue.
Not likely to have yes/no answers
OUTPUT The end product of the analysis
ANALYSIS A few very specific exercises to gather
data and calculate answers to issues - the action
steps
RESPONSIBILITY
DUE DATE
43
Your workplan output might look like this
Page 1
Page 2
Workplan Template
Workplan Template
Proposed solution to the problem in question form
Central Question
Major question, the answer to which could form a
recommendation
Issues
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