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A Tale of Two Projects. Project Management Case
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DescriptionA Tale of Two Projects A business tale of what it takes to turn around troubled projects.
A Tale of Two Projects
A business tale of what it takes to turn around troubled
projects. The year is 2005 and times are good. The
business environment is vibrant and the economy is
strong. Large businesses are committing large amounts
of capital and resources to implement new strategies,
establish new capabilities, and open new markets. It was
no different at PintCo, where Jack works as a Director of
Customer Relationship Management.
Jack walked into work on Monday morning like any other. He dropped his briefcase
in his office, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed down the hall to meet with his
boss, Brandon, about one of the company's troubled projects. Although Jack had
substantial experience, he had only recently joined PintCo after being hired away
from a chief competitor. He was still learning about some of the nuances of his
After the typical morning banter, Brandon and Jack got to the topic at hand. "Jack,
I'll get straight to the point. I need to you to take over the Customer Master File
project from Paul." Brandon said. He continued, "We hired you because of your
significant project management expertise. I know that you've turned around a lot
more difficult situations than this." Over an hour later, Jack emerged from
Brandon's office and set out to learn more about the challenge that Brandon had
posed to him.
Jack was an experienced business leader and project manager. He had seen more
than his fair share of ugly projects; some he turned around while others had spun
hopelessly out of control. He would be able to tell very quickly how this one would
go based on the makeup and culture of the project team.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Jack took over the Customer Master File
project, met with key project team members, and conducted dozens of interviews
with key stakeholders. It was only a few weeks since Brandon had handed the
keys to him for this troubled project, and now Jack was back in Brandon's office to
give a rather stark update on the situation.
"Brandon, I've talked to the project team and to key stakeholders, and I know why
this project is in trouble," Jack started. "If you truly want me to turn this project
around, I'll need your support to make some critical changes."
Brandon, a 20-year veteran at PintCo, knew what was coming. He had seen too
many projects start, flounder, and then fail at the company. He didn't want to hear
that another project was on the brink of failure, but he asked anyway, "What did
you find out, Jack, and what can I do to help?"
Jack drew a deep breath and began to explain his findings. "Brandon, as you know
this project has been in flight for nearly 6 months now and it is already behind
schedule and over budget." Jack went on, "In talking to ...
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