BUS 633 Discussion Responses Wk 3



Question 1 (Christopher)

Both opportunities and threats can be the outcome of any calculated or uncalculated risk. Kloppenborg, Anatatmula, and Wells (2019) describe an opportunity as, “a condition or situation favorable to the project, a positive set of circumstances, a positive set of events, a risk that will have a positive impact on project objectives” and a threat as “a condition or situation unfavorable to the project that presents a negative set of circumstances or events or consequences. A threat also is a risk that will have a negative impact on a project objective if it occurs” (Chapter 11).

In this scenario there are some opportunities that present themselves. First, the VMI concept will allow for ILS to reach their short-term goal of warehouse organization and help create documented procedures to have on file without having to do too much footwork. On the other hand, implementing this concept without a great depth of understanding can be costly and waste a significant amount of time. Implementing a new system is a project within itself and will require adjustments to the project charter and a new team to focus on the project.

Another opportunity is to establish a good working relationship with Walmart earlier than planned. The original plan was to work with Walmart after the warehouse was up and running. Since Walmart is reaching out to ILS now then this can be a good chance to get on board. In contrast, if this proposal for change was brought up too late into the project cycle, they might not be able to adjust for the $75,000 expense and they will bust their budget.

QUESTION 2 (David)

Being a project manager means having to anticipate changes that can come their way and how to most adequately respond to them. With the recent meeting with Walmart and P&G, it can be looked at as an opportunity that can really bring value and additional revenue not only with Walmart but with other customers as well. While it is later in the project timeline and there is an additional cost of $75K to account for there needs to be a strong case that the project manager can propose to ILS’s leadership team.

The threats of adding a new project scope at this point can include several factors. The first is that there would be an additional cost of hiring specialists to implement and track the technology which can be substantial and time-consuming. This would be an extra workload that wasn’t originally anticipated and can cost more than the $75K estimate. Implementing and piloting the program may not be successful in its target deadline and there is no guarantee that Walmart would do business with ILS even after it is implemented.

If the technology is successful then there is a high chance that Walmart would employ ILS’s service as they already have a working relationship and VMI is very beneficial for any retail business (Parihar, 2017). As long as there is no binding contract on the vendor management inventory system then ILS can utilize this with other companies and even bring it up on their value proposition which can be highly valuable to other companies in the industry. If it becomes widely adopted then it can potentially bring the organization far more business than before and they can use the technology in all the different countries that they operate in.


QUESTION 3 (Yvonne)

As a project manager on this Walmart project, I have designed a project quality management approach that relates to the inherited issues stated in the project management case.  Kloppenborg states that all project quality management plans describe the quality standards for which a project will use and how the project team will implement them (2019). This quality management approach is the layout of how the project will be judged as well as for the quality and control of the project. Kloppenborg says the plan should address the following: quality objectives, key deliverables, quality standards, quality control, quality roles & responsibilities, quality tools, and plan for quality control and issues (2019).

Due to ILS’s goal of acquiring Walmart as a client, ILS must set up a plan in which it addresses how to get there. The quality of which each task to be completed must lead to our stakeholders being happy, as well as Walmart with the way our organization runs. Each task completed must meet ILS standards and free of any mistakes. These mistakes will be caught as any issues are documented and need to be called to the attention of a supervisor immediately. The key deliverables of updating the warehouse, data analysis and implementation of customer satisfaction, safety issues, resources lost, and employee turnover, training of current and new employees, and lastly pitching the sale to acquire Walmart are highly important. Any changes to plans, timelines, and or supplies need to be documented in the change book which is assessed on a weekly basis by the project manager. Supplies or equipment should not be substituted unless approved by management, in which only the same grade supply/equipment will be approved.  New timelines need to be approved by the project manager, top management, and CFO. Keeping on the timeline and budget of the project is of extreme importance, I cannot stress this enough.


QUESTION 4 (Joseph Naro)

Customer satisfaction is the most important goal on most projects and satisfying the needs of customers is critical to a project’s success (Kloppenborg et al., 2019, section.12-2). As the project manager, developing a project management approach in relation to the inherited issues acquired during the acquisition in New Zealand is essential. Perspectives on quality project management should include the product, value, manufacturing, and customers. Given Walmart is our customer, our approach needs to align with its needs without exceeding our project scope boundaries. This means staying within budget and committed to corporate social responsibility. ILS inherited the following issues:

  • Low customer satisfaction
  • Safety issues
  • Wasted resources

The contemporary approach to quality management framework that would be best suited for ILS is six sigma. The VMI suggestion tells me Walmart is looking to reduce costs and ways to become more efficient. The six-sigma approach is a DMAIC methodology broken into five project phases: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (Kloppenborg et al., 2019, section.12-1d). Perhaps with the six-sigma approach, addressing the inherited issues will fulfill Walmart’s needs in the interim until we can approve the VMI project. If we can implement an inventory and warehouse management system for less than $75,000, it will allow us to organize the warehouse and become more efficient so we can better serve our customers thus improving customer satisfaction. The six-sigma approach also correlates to CSR. There have been researches showing that companies that apply the six-sigma methodology to their quality management, CSR performance increases (Yadav et al., n.d.). For example, one issue ILS has is a high electrical bill due to lights often left on and wasted energy. Ecotricity, located in Auckland is a 100% carbon zero, renewable electricity company ILS could consider using. Ecotricity also offers the option of solar which is 100% renewable which if installed could reduce wasted energy, align with CSR concepts, and can help save money on electricity.